I love when I come across a new resource that squares with my thinking. It backs up what I already believe.
In a conversation this week with my friend and colleague, Dr. Linda Winfree, she shared a text she had read recently, Himmele & Himmele’s (2011) Total Participation Techniques: Making Every Student an Active Learner.
The question we were discussing centered on the need for, and absence of, frequent participatory learning activities in high school and post-secondary educational settings. So much of the instruction students receive can best be described, as Himmele & Himmele term it, stand-and-deliver instruction. Too much lecture. Too much teacher talking.
We teachers need to rethink our instructional practices to reduce the teacher talk and to increase students’ active engagement, both physically & cognitively, in the classroom.
I particularly appreciate a Himmele & Himmele assertion that supports my instructional decisions; they write, “Good teaching results in student learning. And if glue sticks and scissors are a way to get students to learn more effectively, then you are never too old to use them” (p. 30). They offer Cut-and Pastes as one of their Total Participation Techniques for all ages, writing, “With adults, for example, we use Cut-and Pastes to better understand things like Bloom’s taxonomy, assessment concepts, and linguistic concepts” (p. 74).
Confirmation. I’m not alone in my thinking.
Make every learning opportunity a memorable experience. Involve learners in hands-on, minds-on activities.
What participatory learning activities have you found to be most successful with your students?