Active learning and passive learning are two different ways of teaching a student. Students usually prefer one way to another.
Not all students are okay with both ways of learning. That’s what makes it difficult to teach a large number of students at a time.
Active Learning Vs. Passive Learning
Active learning and passive learning both have their advantages as well as disadvantages. Neither is perfect. Let’s take a look at what they are.
What Is Active Learning?
Active learning is a way of learning that allows the students to actively participate in the learning process. This means a student can learn by taking part in activities. It is a more interactive way of learning.
Some examples of active learning are:
- Participating in debates
- Conducting surveys
- Making presentations
- Doing assignments
Active learning can be done individually as well as in groups.
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Advantages Of Active Learning
1. Students Learn To Think For Themselves
In this method of learning students are expected to think for themselves. They have to complete the work given to them through research. They cannot just ‘cut, copy, paste’ the matter.
2. Increases Interest In The Student’s Minds
Active learning is a more interactive way of learning. Through this method, students get more interested and invested. They tend to study more about the topics and learn on their own.
3. Allows The Students To Express Themselves
Active learning allows the students to express their ideas. It doesn’t matter if their thoughts contradict the social or political world because regardless of that they can say what they think.
4. Increases Motivation
When a student is in charge of his or her learning, they tend to get more motivated to earn good grades. They do it for themselves rather than to please others.
Disadvantages Of Active Learning
1. The Teacher In Charge Should Be Experienced In The Subject
The activities for active learning take time and effort to plan. The teacher handling these activities should be an expert on the subject to grade the students fairly.
If the teacher is not an expert in the subject the student’s hard work will all be for nothing. The students will then tend to take the activities lightly and not perform well.
2. Stressful For Students
Active learning is a new method of learning which requires the full participation of students. However, shy or introverted students can find this method stressful. They would not perform as well as expected because of their personality.
Even though it is not their fault, they will be held responsible for the outcome.
3. Considered A Waste Of Time
Many students are against active learning because they feel it is a waste of time. According to them, to get good grades, all you need to do is study the textbook thoroughly and write the same in the exam paper.
With a mindset like this, they will not take the activities seriously and it will be useless to them.
4. Time Consuming
Preparing activities can be considered time-consuming since it takes a lot of effort and planning to do so. People feel the teacher’s time can be used elsewhere instead of wasting it on trying to get students more involved.
What Is Passive Learning?
Passive learning is when a student has to pay attention and take down the information given by the teacher. Students are rarely involved in this method of learning.
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Advantages Of Passive Learning
1. Information Given Is Helpful To Students
When a teacher presents information to the students they can go in-depth about the topic since they are already an expert in the subject. Time is used wisely and knowledge is shared quickly.
2. Less Stressful For Students
Passive learning doesn’t get the students involved and to some students that is a blessing. They can learn quietly without getting nervous about interacting with the teacher or their peers.
3. Students Are Used To Passive Learning
Since the beginning of their school years, students are used to passive learning. They don’t have to adjust to life to do well in school. They can learn what is being taught and use the same in exams.
4. There are not many distractions
Passive learning usually happens in a classroom in a school or college. Since there are many restrictions in classrooms there isn’t any room for distractions. Students can focus and learn better.
Disadvantages Of Passive Learning
1. Considered As Boring
Since passive learning happens without interacting with the students sometimes it becomes boring. The students tend to zone out and lose interest in the information presented by the teacher.
2. Doesn’t Let The Students Express Their Opinions
In passive learning, students are expected to study only what is being taught without questioning anything. They are not able to express themselves or their thoughts.
3. Doesn’t Give Students Time To Clarify Their Doubts
Since there is very little interaction between the teacher and students in passive learning, the students are not able to clarify their doubts. Sometimes the teacher doesn’t ask the students whether they are understanding properly or not.
4. Monotonous Way Of Learning
In this method of learning, students are not required to use their brains to think outside the box. It becomes very dull and is a very repetitive way of learning.
Conclusion (Which is Better?)
Since there are advantages and disadvantages to both the ways of learning we can say which one is better.
According to my, the method of learning depends on the students. A student has to decide for themself which method of learning they prefer. Which one brings out their full potential.
If you are an extrovert and love speaking up, I suggest you follow the method of active learning. If you are shy and introverted and learn better when you are not called upon, then passive learning is the way for you.
The best way to find out which way suits you better is by trying out both. Track your progress under both the methods and see which one helps you more.