How can teachers enable students to learn? Somehow your students’ minds have to be impelled through a train of thought which disturbs pre-existing conceptions and leads to a workable formulation of newly encountered ideas. How can you help this to happen? The first section of this chapter explores the challenge of making meaning that lies at the heart of university learning and the teacher’s role in supporting students in that meaning-making. The second section charts the emergence of the recognition that learning is not a passive-receptive process but a constructive one on the student’s part and the corresponding rise of active learning approaches to teaching. The third reviews ways of focusing students’ attention on stimulating and rich active learning experiences. The fourth considers how to support students’ learning as they engage with activities. The fifth stresses the importance of weaving activities into a broader learning dialogue and, finally, the sixth section suggests how the use of learning activities can give shape to wider teaching strategies.
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