It starts with a story:
The first time I taught an integrated case was in 2008. I was a solo agent in an individual classroom but I did my best to bring to the case perspectives from other disciplines. To my surprise, three years later students from that 2008 class still bring me something they read or saw that pertains to that case and take a minute to discuss it. For any teacher, this is one of those hallmarks of success, when students move from an environment in which the grade is the motivator to one in which learning itself is the motivation.
What was the process that so moved these students? Upon reflection, I can clearly see that many elements combined. One of the most dominant, however, is active learning. In this project the responsibility for knowledge acquisition was the students. I didn´t lecture; I posed questions and the students sought answers. The work was done either independently or in small groups outside the classroom; class time served more to filter, refine and process thinking. Student groups took initiative to refine the question, analyzed conflicting data, and entertained competing perspectives. They challenged each other, and they challenged me…and they still are.
And leads to learning.
We design workshops to:
- reflect upon the concepts of “active learning” and “student engagement;”
- identify and examine some of the factors that impact on student engagement – both positively and negatively;
- share experiences of novel attempts at promoting student engagement;
- explore the potential for new strategies to promote student engagement.