Activity based learning
In the past children spent time playing outside, exploring the natural environment and creating their own world. Today they are more likely to be involved in solitary, sedentary screen based activities. We need to find a balance between the use of new technology and and the more active ways of learning that might be more effective for many of our students.
“Children who are actively involved in their learning are more likely to be motivated, engaged and able to make connections with prior learning”
Michael Irwin P61.
It can be argued that Children today have fewer opportunities to play than in the past. There is less time spent exploring the natural world, less time ‘doing their own thing,’ fewer opportunities to take risks and problem solve. There is more time in supervised, protected and confining activities that put boundaries on learning and creativity.
Children may sit in front of a playstation or watch a dvd but this is not play, they may go to sports practice or swimming lessons, but this is not play … (quote from video on play).
Discovery Time provides opportunities for children to be involved in a range of play based activities these may be solitary or group activities and involve………
Activity based learning – some key readings that might set you thinking
Michael Irwin Massey University , Auckland) Boys aren’t getting a fair deal at school and need more time to play. 80%-90% chose practical, hands- on relevant experiences. Book published in 2009 ‘ Educating Boys – Helping our boys succeed at school. ’ (Harper Collins, NZ) http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/20090430 (Interview with Dr Michael Irwin)
(audio) www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmHWjCI_inc (interview with Dr Irwin about his book Educating Boys)
(video) tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/breakfast-tuesday-2-june-2765046/video (Dr Michael Irwin on Boys in Education. (4:55)
Marcon, R.A. (2002). Moving up the grades: Relationship between preschool model and later school success. Vol 4 (1), Those who had hands on experiences in early schooling did better later on http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v4n1/marcon.html
Michael Shayer – Children are less able than they used to be 11 and 12 year old students in year 7 are “now on average between 2 & 3 years behind where they were 15 years ago” in terms of cognitive and conceptual development. They know less about the world and how things work Reason – speculation “Lack of experiential play in primary schools, and the growth or a video game, tv culture. Both take away the kinds of hands-on play that allows kids to experience how the world works in practice and to make informed judgements about abstract concepts” http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2006/jan/24/schools.uk
“Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.”
– Chinese Proverb