Investigating the effectiveness of active learning

Published:

The topic for investigation is the effectiveness of active learning in supporting children's language development, as it is a topic which interests me and I would also like to further develop my understanding and knowledge on this topic. Also active learning is an approach used in my placement to further children's learning in language as well as other aspects of the curriculum. Another reason for investigating the support of active learning on language development is the new Curriculum for Excellence which aims to combine nursery and the primary one level by prioritizing active learning. The English language can be complicated for children to learn as there are many meanings and spellings for similar words but if learnt through real-life or imaginary situations then this may help develop a child's understanding of language.

Aim

To investigate whether active learning is effective in developing children's language in the early years of primary school.

Objectives

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To determine prove the usefulness of active learning in developing children's language, in imaginary and real-life situations.

The objective for the children is to enjoy developing their language through play which is planned or spontaneous. I hope the children can use real-life and imaginary situations to develop their language as this will support them in communicating and writing.

Theorists

A theorist relevant to the investigation is Friedrich Froebel as his main theory was that children can learn indoors as well as outdoors. Also that children should be able to move freely and that symbolic and imaginative play is important, this relates to active learning as there is an emphasis placed on children experiencing and discovering things for themselves. He also believed that relationships, feelings and being part of a community is important to children's development. Froebel also influenced the "child centred" approach with the activity being related to the needs of the child. Froebel is an appropriate theorist as the new Curriculum for Excellence is also child centred as it aims to focus on every child's individual needs and interests.

Tina Bruce is a theorist relevant to the investigation as she was influenced by Froebel's theory of play being essential in a child's development. Bruce was trained at the Froebel Education Institute and was also head of the Froebel Education Institute. Bruce used her own observations of children to characterize the twelve aspects of free flow play, which she describes as well planned play.

Children's Needs, Rights and Interests

The investigation links with children's needs as language is part of communication and this is an important process for children to acquire as it will allow them to engage with their peers, family members, carers and teachers.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child links with the investigation as it ensures children and young people are provided with an education and also with the right to play. This will allow children to develop their language through a method which they enjoy and from which they will acquire many skills.

The National Care Standards reflects the rights of children and young people. It also relates to the investigation as one standard aims to provide a service in a language which children, young people, parents and carers understand. Active learning is a method which children may find useful as it supports their language development through play.

Play is an important aspect in early year's primary school as this is the transition period for children who have left nursery and are entering school. Active learning relates to many children's interests as children enjoy learning through play in which they can be actively involved. Whether the play is planned or spontaneous, children enjoy learning using real-life and imaginary situations. These situations can support children's language development as it will allow them to participate and enjoy the learning experience.

Curriculum for Excellence

The new Curriculum for Excellence has improved children's education in the early years by combining the stages of nursery and primary one. Active learning allows children to engage in learning in which they are actively involved. This can be spontaneous or planned play that engages the children to think and respond by actively engaging in real life or imaginary situations. The Curriculum for Excellence aims to make the transition period from nursery to primary one easier by providing a more active approach to learning as this will continue to build the child's confidence.

Gathering Evidance

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I will further research this topic by using primary and secondary research. The primary research will consist of observations, checklists, self-assessments and activities; I will use these methods as the self-assessments will show how the children personally feel about their language development and the observations will provide further information on whether active learning supports children's langugae development. The secondary research I may use are books, journals, newspapers and the internet; these methods will allow me to further investigate the effects of active learning in children's language development.

Time Scale

Date

Plan

Comments

18/01/10

Begin big book on Monty.

08/02/10

Planning Stage due 9.30am

08/02/10

Observe children's language without play.

Complete big book on Monty.

09/02/10

Observe children's language through play.

The Monty group will try to read the book to the class.

22/02/10

Choose a language group to perform a play from the Storyworlds reading book and explain the activity to the children.

23/02/10

The chosen group will perform the play for the class.

01/03/10

Word matching activity.

02/03/10

Survey the children on play.

08/03/10

Make believe story makers.

09/03/10

Self assessment for children.

22/03/10

Development Stage Due

23/03 -23/04/10

Write up Evaluation

26/04/10

Evaluation Stage Due