3. AL Theory – 5 Important Factors
Based on the sociocultural theory of learning - that people
learn in a social context (learn from each other).
Bruner (1968): active involvement of the learner is crucial to
Vygotsky (1978, 1987): with collaboration, direction, or
support, learners can do more and solve more difficult tasks.
After social interaction, information is integrated on the level
of individual cognition.
Can take on many forms, but all forms encourage students to:
• apply new knowledge to current understanding or to
• synthesize information;
• create new ways of understanding and creating.
8. Passive Learning or Active Learning?
•Complete the handout with a partner.
•Discuss in English as you go through each item.
9. Active Learning (Handout KEY)
(2) Students must do something in order to learn.
(3) Students interact with each and the teacher to develop their understanding of the
(6) The teacher is a facilitator of learning.
(8) The philosophy of constructivism (where students use their current knowledge to build
new understanding) is valued.
(9) There is a reduction or absence of lecturing.
(10) Assessing what students have learned can be difficult.
(15) A lot of preparation time may be required from teachers.
(18) The relationship between knowledge, feelings, attitudes, and behavior is emphasized.
(20) A goal is to develop various competences.
(12) Students are involved and interact with each other.
(23) Students react, observe, discover, and act.
(24) Students are encouraged to use higher order thinking skills.
10. Passive Learning (handout KEY)
(1) The student is viewed as an empty container that the teacher must fill with
(4) There is a strong emphasis on memorizing and recalling information.
(5) The teacher is the “sage on the stage.”
(7) Lessons provide a foundation for future learning.
(11) A large amount of information is taught through direct instruction.
(12) Assessing what students have learned is not challenging.
(13) Relatively little preparation time is required from teachers.
(14) Cognition is emphasized.
(16) A main goal is to cover the course content.
(17) Students study in isolation and have low attention levels.
(19) Students listen to lectures and look at visuals.
(21) Students use mostly lower order thinking skills.
In reality, there is no clear separation.
ONE OR THE OTHER
WITHIN A SPECTRUM
Passive Learning Active Learning
Both are needed.
12. Discussion Questions
1. Why is passive learning still important?
2. What are some examples of passive activities
that can also be active?
3. How can we make the traditionally passive
activities in #2 more active?
13. 1. Why is passive learning still important?
•Students need background knowledge as a base
for higher order thinking skills.
•Passive learning in the form of reading, lectures,
audio-visuals. is a necessary input.
•Passive learning is an efficient way to deliver