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How to Improve Student Learning

In accordance with the dictates of the twenty-first century, the traditional approach towards education and teaching, the so-called “education through anesthetizing,” as Robinson (n.d.) identifies it, becomes irrelevant and gives place to a new concept, active learning: instead of the passive perception of information and boring facts, a student is expected to be directly involved in their studies and have “the itch to start something” (Friedman & Mandelbaum, 2011, p. 146). Reviewing a large body of literature, one can understand that, although some authors do not emphasize that active learning is a separate concept, they still convey this idea, and it is possible to deduce that active learning is notable for its complexity since it not only includes the necessity to collaborate and communicate with a wide range of people in the process of learning (for example, “engaged lecture format” or a Socratic approach pertain to it) but also refers to the development of creative thinking skills (Paul & Elder, 2014, p. 13). The concept of active learning incorporates divergent thinking as one the most important prerequisites of creativity: following the definition given by Carr-Chellman (2016), one can arrive at the conclusion that original, valuable ideas root in the capacity for creativity and, under favorable circumstances, i.e. appropriate education, flourish; what is more, 98% of people show unique creative thinking abilities at an early age and seem to lose them later because of the standard training. As a result, selecting strategies and materials that enhance and support the learning-teaching process should be based on early active learning as the imperative of the nowadays world: success depends on the way a person acts in the constantly changing environment and adapts to it using their knowledge and skills.

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Carr-Chellman, A. A. (2016). Instructional design for teachers: Improving classroom practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Friedman, T., & Mandelbaum, M. (2011). That used to be us: What went wrong with America – and how it can come back. Berkeley, CA: Hachette.

Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2014). How to improve student learning: 30 practical ideas (3rd ed.). Tomales, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Robinson, K. (n.d.). Changing education paradigms. Web.

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