Science Daily has just written a report on a new study and titled it “How Taking an Active Role in Learning Enhances Memory.”
I don’t really want to take the space up here to describe the experiment (you can go to the link to learn more) because it’s a little complicated. However, it shows what good teachers already know — that the more control students have over their learning, the more they will actually learn.
It gets down to creating opportunities for students to make choices — ranging from having them decided what categories they would use in a data set as along as they provide evidence that backs them up, to deciding exactly what their graphic organizers look like, to exactly how they can make presentations.
Of course, we’re not “potted plants” and we have to help guide these choices with sufficient scaffolding to maximize their odds of success….