Michael and Modell's Active Learning

From Active Learning in Secondary and College Science Classrooms: A Working Model for Helping the Learner to Learn by Joel Michael and Harold Modell

Michael and Modell identify the following 10 core principles that undergird their understanding of teaching and learning:

  1. All learning occurs on the foundation of already learned knowledge and skills.
  2. To the extent that the old knowledge is faulty, the learning of new knowledge will be compromised.
  3. Declarative (what) and procedural (how) knowledge are different, and the processes of learning them are different.
  4. Learning declarative knowledge involves building mental representations or models.
  5. Practice with timely and appropriate feedback is required for all procedural learning.
  6. Retention and the ability to utilize knowledge (meaningful learning) is facilitated by building connections (links) between old knowledge structures and the new knowledge being learned.
  7. The ability to construct multiple representations of the new knowledge is an important component of meaningful learning.
  8. Some knowledge and skills may be more readily transferred to a new domain.
  9. Collaborative or cooperative effort can yield more individual learning than individual effort alone.
  10. Articulating explanations, whether to peers, teachers, or one’s self, facilitates learning.

If you feel like these core principles correspond well to your own ideas about teaching a learning, we'd highly recommend taking a closer look at their book, especially Chapter 1, which offers an in-depth discussion of these 10 points, and Chapter 11: Cooperative and Collaborative Learning, which provides short readable sections on peer teaching and case-based & problem-based learning, among other things.