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Continuum of teaching-learning strategies

Continuum  of  teaching-learning  strategies  swings  from  passive  lecturing  to  active  and  reflective instructional modes. The teaching-learning methods occupy a crucial position in education process as these pave a way for students being passive or active learners. Active learning is a method of educating students that confirms their active participation in the learning process. According to Hung, Tan, and Koh (2006), active learning is act of learners becoming responsible for their own learning during which they are “actively developing thinking/learning strategies and constantly formulating new  ideas  and  refining  them  through  their  conversational  exchanges  with  others”  (p.  30).  In  the  process  of  active learning, learners are engaged in active cognitive processing during learning, such as attending to relevant information,
organizing  the  selected  information  into  a  coherent  cognitive  structure,  and  integrating the  information  with  existing knowledge (Mayer, 2003).
        Active learning model is characterized by students’ more involvement in discovery learning or problem solving than listening lectures that permit direct transmission of factual knowledge; students’ involvement in multiple small group activities, higher-order thinking processes and students’ exploration of their own attitudes and values instead of spoon feeding (Bonwell & Eison, 1991; Leu & Price-Rom, 2006: p. 19). Consequently, active learning maximizes students' attention and increases the likelihood that learning is occurring (Stover, Neubert, & Lawlor, 1993). The net consequences of active learning emerge in the form of students’ high level of engagement in learning tasks. Because active learning and engagement in learning are interdependent, Bulger, Mayer, & Almeroth (2006) acknowledged engaged learning as
having high levels of active learner participation designed into the plan for learning; and thus learning engagement is also associated with positive academic outcomes, including achievement and persistence in school ( Fredricks, Blumenfeld, and Paris, 2004).
        Treat et al., (2008) have traced the roots of active learning in work of ancient philosophers. They referred that Confucius (551-479 BC) argued for individualized instruction through discussion; Socrates (470-399 BC) emphasized involving individual learners in a philosophic dialogues; Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827) encouraged firsthand experience in learning environments; and Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) argued for learning via free self-activity that allows for active creativity and social participation. The focus on active learning in contemporary educational scenario is rooted in arguments by John Dewy, Carl Rogers, Jean Piaget and Vygotsky. Dewey (1938) developed a pragmatist philosophy and promoted learning by experimentation and practice – learning by doing. Rogers (1969, p. 162) argued that “much significant learning is acquired by doing” and that “learning is facilitated when the student is a responsible
participant.”  According  to  Piaget,  contradiction  between  learner’s  knowledge  and  what  he  experiences  creates disequilibrium and leads her/him to question her/his beliefs as well as to try out new ideas (Palincsar, 2005). Similarly,
        Vygotsky stated that learning takes place in a social context and that interaction with others (Roblyer, 2004). Besides this, an important concept of Vygotsky about learning in social context is zone of proximal development that advocates for cooperative efforts in the classroom.


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