Friday, May 22, 2009

Hands-On Teaching Methods

Hands-on learning methods can get anyone into MIT or Harvard!

A recent NY Times article reported universities including MIT, Harvard, and the University of Colorado are shifting their approach to teaching science. They are abandoning lecture halls for student-centered, collaborative and interactive teaching methods. What research-based doctoral scholars are adopting as a new approach, K-12 educators have known for years. All educators must be dynamic and exciting. They need well-planned lessons designed to include methods that help all students learn, with the recognition that everyone learns differently.  Multiple intelligences and learning modalities may be more adaptable as learners age, but we see businesses using these theories of learning to increase productivity and efficiency in the professional workplace. From the trails of an outdoor education center to the labs on MIT's main campus to the halls of Google, it is every educator and manager's responsibility to provide meaningful learning experiences. Students ache for engaging, rich, and relevant learning opportunities.

How does one create an interactive learning environment?


One method for enriching the classroom or boardroom is through the creation of small collaborative or 'cooperative learning' groups. This is especially effective for high school students. Collaboration provides a social outlet, a setting to learn, an opportunity to take on a new role, and maintain an active learning atmosphere. Good collaboration is one of the most important skills of any respected leader. 

Check out these collaborative learning websites for ideas, benefits, and other sources and strategies for changing your learning environment...

Collaborative Learning

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative Learning Research

Benefits of Cooperative Learning

Cooperative Learning Teacher Blog

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