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Active Learning

Active Learning

Active learning is “a method of learning in which students are actively or experientially involved in the learning process and where there are different levels of active  learning, depending on student involvement.” (Weltman, p. 8) It is a model of instruction that focuses the responsibility of learning on learners.

It was popularized in the 1990s by its appearance on the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) report (Bonwell & Eison 1991). In this report they discuss a variety of methodologies for promoting “active learning”. They cite literature that indicates that to learn, students must do more than just listen: They must read, write, discuss, or be engaged in solving problems. It relates to the three learning domains referred to as knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSA), and that this taxonomy of learning behaviours can be thought of as “the goals of the learning process” (Bloom, 1956). In particular, students must engage in such higher-order thinking tasks as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.Active learning engages students in two aspects – doing things and thinking about the things they are doing (Bonwell and Eison, 1991). L. Dee Fink suggests a model for conceptualizing the learning process that might assist teachers in identifying meaningful forms of active learning (dialogue, observing, doing).There are diverse range of alternatives for the term “active learning” like learning through play, technology based learning, activity based learning, group work, project method, etc. the underlying factor behind these are some significant qualities and characteristics of active learning.

Active learning is the opposite of passive learning; it is learner-centered, not teacher-centered, and requires more than just listening; active participation of each and every student is a necessary aspect in active learning. Students must be doing things and simultaneously think about the work done and the purpose behind it so that they can enhance their higher order thinking capabilities. Many research studies have proven that active learning as a strategy has promoted achievement levels and some others say that content mastery is possible through active learning strategies. However, some students as well as teachers find it difficult to adapt to the new learning technique.

Active learning should transform students from passive listeners to active participants, helps the student understand the subject through inquiry, gathering and analyzing data to solving higher order cognitive problems. There is intensive use of scientific and quantitative literacy across the curriculum and technology based learning is also in high demand in concern with active learning.[5] Barnes (1989) suggested principles of active learning:

Kindergarden activities for kids

Kindergarden activities for kids

While the first two years of a child’s life are spent in the creation of a child’s first “sense of self”, most children are able to differentiate between themselves and others by their second year. This differentiation is crucial to the child’s ability to determine how they should function in relation to other people. Parents can be seen as a child’s first teacher and therefore an integral part of the early learning process.

Early childhood attachment processes that occurs during early childhood years 0–2 years of age, can be influential to future education. With proper guidance and exploration children begin to become more comfortable with their environment, if they have that steady relationship to guide them. Parents who are consistent with response times, and emotions will properly make this attachment early on. If this attachment is not made, there can be detrimental effects on the child in their future relationships and independence. There are proper techniques that parents and caregivers can use to establish these relationships, which will in turn allow children to be more comfortable exploring their environment. Academic Journal Reference This provides experimental research on the emphasis on caregiving effecting attachment. Education for young students can help them excel academically and socially. With exposure and organized lesson plans children can learn anything they want to. The tools they learn to use during these beginning years will provide lifelong benefits to their success. Developmentally, having structure and freedom, children are able to reach their full potential.

Early childhood education often focuses on learning through play, based on the research and philosophy of Jean Piaget, which posits that play meets the physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social needs (PILES) of children. Children’s curiosity and imagination naturally evoke learning when unfettered. Learning through play will allow a child to develop cognitively. Thus, children learn more efficiently and gain more knowledge through activities such as dramatic play, art, and social games.

Tassoni suggests that “some play opportunities will develop specific individual areas of development, but many will develop several areas.” Thus, It is important that practitioners promote children’s development through play by using various types of play on a daily basis. Allowing children to help get snacks ready helps develop math skills (one-to-one ratio, patterns, etc.), leadership, and communication. Key guidelines for creating a play-based learning environment include providing a safe space, correct supervision, and culturally aware, trained teachers who are knowledgeable about the Early Years Foundation.

Learning is fun at Kinder School

Learning is fun at Kinder School

Kindergarten from German which literally means “garden for the children”) is a preschool educational approach traditionally based on playing, singing, practical activities such as drawing, and social interaction as part of the transition from home to school. The first such institutions were created in the late 18th century in Bavaria and Strasbourg to serve children whose parents both worked out of the home. The term was coined by the German Friedrich Fröbel, whose approach globally influenced early-years education. Today, the term is used in many countries to describe a variety of educational institutions and learning spaces for children ranging from two to seven years of age, based on a variety of teaching methods.In 1779, Johann Friedrich Oberlin and Louise Scheppler founded in Strasbourg an early establishment for caring for and educating pre-school children whose parents were absent during the day.]At about the same time, in 1780, similar infant establishments were established in Bavaria. In 1802, Princess Pauline zur Lippe established a preschool center in Detmold, the capital of the then principality of Lippe, Germany (now in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia).

In 1816, Robert Owen, a philosopher and pedagogue, opened the first British and probably globally the first infants school in New Lanark, Scotland. In conjunction with his venture for cooperative mills Owen wanted the children to be given a good moral education so that they would be fit for work. His system was successful in producing obedient children with basic literacy and numeracy.

Samuel Wilderspin opened his first infant school in London in 1819,[8] and went on to establish hundreds more. He published many works on the subject, and his work became the model for infant schools throughout England and further afield. Play was an important part of Wilderspin’s system of education. He is credited with inventing the playground. In 1823, Wilderspin published On the Importance of Educating the Infant Poor, based on the school. He began working for the Infant School Society the next year, informing others about his views. He also wrote The Infant System, for developing the physical, intellectual, and moral powers of all children from 1 to seven years of age.

Countess Theresa Brunszvik (1775–1861), who had known and been influenced by Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, was influenced by this example to open an Angyalkert (“angel garden” in Hungarian) on May 27, 1828, in her residence in Buda, the first of eleven care centers that she founded for young children.In 1836 she established an institute for the foundation of preschool centers. The idea became popular among the nobility and the middle class and was copied throughout the Kingdom of Hungary.

Friedrich Fröbel (1782–1852) opened a “play and activity” institute in 1837 in the village of Bad Blankenburg in the principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Thuringia, as an experimental social experience for children entering school. He renamed his institute Kindergarten on June 28, 1840, reflecting his belief that children should be nurtured and nourished “like plants in a garden”.

Women trained by Fröbel opened kindergartens throughout Europe and around the world. The first kindergarten in the US was founded in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1856 and was conducted in German.

Active learning

Active learning

Active learning is “a method of learning in which students are actively or experientially involved in the learning process and where there are different levels of active

Why should you be eating Organic ?

Why should you be eating Organic ?

Organic foods are foods produced by methods that comply with the standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide; however, organic farming in general, features practices that strive to foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Organizations regulating organic products may choose to restrict the use of certain pesticides and fertilizers in farming. In general, organic foods are also usually not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents or synthetic food additives.

Currently, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and many other countries require producers to obtain special certification in order to market food as organic, within their borders. In the context of these regulations, organic food is food produced in a way that complies with organic standards set by national governments and international organizations. Although the produce of kitchen gardens may be organic, selling food with the organic label is regulated by governmental food safety authorities, such as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or European Commission.

There is no sufficient evidence in medical literature to support claims that organic food is safer or healthier than conventionally grown food. While there may be some differences in the nutrient and anti-nutrient contents of organically and conventionally produced food, the variable nature of food production and handling makes it difficult to generalize results. Claims that organic food tastes better are generally not supported by evidence.
For the vast majority of its history, agriculture can be described as having been organic; only during the 20th century was a large supply of new products, generally deemed not organic, introduced into food production. The organic farming movement arose in the 1940s in response to the industrialization of agriculture.

I would like to see people more aware of where their food comes from. I would like to see small farmers empowered. I feed my daughter almost exclusively organic food.

Anthony Bourdain

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In 1939, Lord Northbourne coined the term organic farming in his book Look to the Land (1940), out of his conception of “the farm as organism,” to describe a holistic, ecologically balanced approach to farming—in contrast to what he called chemical farming, which relied on “imported fertility” and “cannot be self-sufficient nor an organic whole.” Early soil scientists also described the differences in soil composition when animal manures were used as “organic”, because they contain carbon compounds where superphosphates and haber process nitrogen do not.

Their respective use affects humus content of soil. This is different from the scientific use of the term “organic” in chemistry, which refers to a class of molecules that contain carbon, especially those involved in the chemistry of life. This class of molecules includes everything likely to be considered edible, and include most pesticides and toxins too, therefore the term “organic” and, especially, the term “inorganic” (sometimes wrongly used as a contrast by the popular press) as they apply to organic chemistry is an equivocation fallacy when applied to farming, the production of food, and to foodstuffs themselves. Properly used in this agricultural science context, “organic” refers to the methods grown and processed, not necessarily the chemical composition of the food.

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