In the past, many parents and educators held rote memorisation of information as the gold standard for learning. However, with technology continuously evolving, the relevance of purely repeating or retaining information is no longer as valuable as before.
Instead, to better prepare your children for the future, their active engagement with education is more important than simply repeating textbook answers. Such abilities require the child to possess critical thinking skills and creative minds.
Unfortunately, these attributes are not easily taught through traditional teaching methods like passively receiving information from a teacher; instead, they are better developed through facilitated processes like active learning.
Definition And Benefits Of Active Learning
With active learning, children are empowered to take on a more active role in their education. This hands-on approach encourages children to apply what they have learnt to their surroundings. As such, it enables questions, discussions, and experiments to blossom in a very natural manner.
Although the benefits of active learning are not new, especially in early childhood education, it has gained much traction during the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive results of recent studies, active learning is shown to be more effective than traditional methods in several ways, as we have listed below.
– Improved student engagement and motivation;
– Better retention of information;
– Development of higher-order thinking skills;
– Increased opportunities for formative assessment;
– Enhanced collaborative skills;
– Heightened problem-solving skills.
Ways to Incorporate Active Learning in Daily Routine
If you’re looking for new ways to teach your child, here are three parenting tips to facilitate active learning at home:
1. Application-based Assignment
One simple way to encourage active learning is to weave in assignments that require your child to apply the concepts they are learning in real life. For example, if they are studying math, have them help with parenting tasks like grocery shopping or budgeting for the week. Opportunities to learn can also come in daily activities like counting the number of wooden blocks in a game of Jenga or deciding how many pairs of pants can fit into the washing machine.
Such assignments can involve your child more in helping around the house while encouraging them to stay curious about these relevant materials they will learn in school.
2. Tap on the Protégé Effect
Another way to embody active learning is to have your child explain concepts or knowledge to someone else, like yourself. Doing so achieves the Protégé Effect where children form a more profound and longer-lasting understanding of the material by teaching the knowledge they have just acquired. It has been proven that children tend to gain more confidence in their knowledge when explaining to people who share meaningful relationships with them, such as their family.
Why does this work? When children teach or present their understanding of learned concepts in the safe environment of their homes, they receive attention and approval from their closest people. Thus, it motivates a child to take continual ownership over their learning, effectively fostering their enduring interest in the subject. Therefore, a good parenting tip to enable this is to ask meaningful questions to help your child explain specific ideas or concepts they learn in school. Be patient in listening and validate their attempts to help kickstart their learning!
3. Gamification of Learning
A third way to encourage active learning is to gamify the learning process. When exploring new knowledge is a constant quest, it becomes more enjoyable.
To simulate a dynamic learning environment at home, you can play games with children using your immediate surroundings. Whether taking a walk in the park to spot different animals and plants or having a fun-filled quiz of labelling objects at home together, children must enjoy the process of learning. At its core, gamification assists children in seeing how the material they are trying to learn can be simplified and absorbed in engaging ways.
While this process may take parents a lot more effort than the other methods listed, gamified learning can pique higher levels of interest in children while maintaining more focused attention. Games make the most challenging part of knowledge acquisition fun, interactive and memorable. Creating more opportunities at home can thus contribute to a greater intake of knowledge.
Child-centred Active Learning at MindChamps MindSpace Student Care
Understandably, every parent wants their child to get the best education possible. While the ways to do that may vary from family to family, one thing is certain: active learning plays a vital role in student success and should be made available to children at a young age. However, with so many demands on your time, it’s not always easy to be there for them as much as you would like. That’s where student care services can help.
At MindSpace Singapore, we understand the challenges of parenting. We also know that active learning is one of the most effective ways for children to retain information and develop critical thinking skills. That’s why we’ve developed the 3-Minds approach to education at our centres. Our services provide a safe and stimulating environment where children can learn and grow. We offer various activities and after-school curriculums designed to engage all three minds – the logical mind, the creative mind, and the physical mind. And we work closely with parents to ensure that each child gets the individual attention they need to thrive.
We invite you to contact us today if you are interested in providing your child with the gift of active learning. We’ll also be happy to answer any questions you have about our student care centre and how we can help your child reach their full potential. For more parenting tips, browse the blogs on our website to gain expert insight on things like improving continuous writing, easing your child back into school and many others.