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Turned on to learning 2: active learning in Primary 1

Martlew, J. (2009) Turned on to learning 2: active learning in Primary 1. Other. AERS (Applied Education Research Scheme).

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Abstract

This research briefing gives an account of a research project undertaken by the Learners, Learning and Teaching Network within the Applied Educational Research Scheme (AERS). In an earlier study undertaken by that network (Turned on to Learning 1, AERS Research Briefing 7) we found that teachers thought about engagement in learning in terms of the ways in which children were involved in the teachers' agenda. But for the children it was learning opportunities that involved physical and social actions and interactions and some degree of choice that were engaging. 'Active learning' is a hot topic in primary schools in Scotland. The Curriculum for Excellence explicitly advocates learning through play, investigating and exploring in real and imaginary situations for the early years (Scottish Executive, 2007) and many local authorities are now developing an active learning approach. In this exploratory study we set out to discover what active learning means for children and teachers in the first year of primary school (P1). We wanted to finding out how teachers and school managers interpret active learning and what they expect it to achieve. In addition, we spent time in classrooms to observe the varying interpretations in practice and gathered the views of children and their parents about the experience of being in an active learning environment.