Article Index

Active learning

By Laurie Huberman

There has been a current of thought and practice in education dating back to the 19th century which prones the active engagement of children in the learning process. This is in contrast to the more passive experience of listening to teachers, taking notes, watching what they do, memorizing and imitating what is presented.

Such practices aim to instruct students through their active engagement in problem solving, creative work, critical thinking, projects etc. Over the past century and more there have been a number of thinkers and practitioners whose ideas have been taken up, published, spread and put into practice so as to advance their differing but nevertheless similar visions of what such active learning should be like. We have put together a list of some of the most influential and respected figures who have developed the ideas and practices of active education and included information about their most important contributions to the field.