Education is constantly being upgraded, as you would expect and active learning, or learning by doing, is now globally accepted as being more effective than a traditional style of learning, where the teacher instructs from the front of the classroom. Of course, some countries are further down the improvement road than others; leading nations such as the UK, US and Scandinavian countries adopted active learning a few decades ago and the benefit can be clearly seen in the students.
International School Education
Parents prefer to send their children to a top-rated international school in Thailand, where they teach the British curriculum and import teachers from the UK. As Thailand is a non-English speaking nation, parents wish their children to acquire a level of English fluency as soon as possible and enrolling them in an international school is the best way to acquire the English language. They have an early learning program for young kids to prepare them for Year 1 and all communication is in English; by the time the student reaches Year 5, they are fluent in English.
If we go back even 50 years, we see an education system where the teacher is the main player; students are expected to sit quietly and absorb the knowledge dissipated by the teacher. This system does not encourage enquiry and asking questions is not part of the program; the students are expected to memorise facts, only to repeat them during a written examination. This is an outdated system of learning that does not promote enquiry or initiative and top schools no longer use passive learning, preferring to go with an active learning methodology. Here is some information about the benefit of taking notes.
This is a term given to learning by memory and to be honest, this system creates test passers, not students that can problem solve and we all know that life is not about getting good exam grades. It is the opinion of most educators that rote learning does not equip students for the modern world. Take the Thai education system as an example of rote learning; students sit in rows and copy the text on the blackboard; what is the result of such an education? The students do not develop creativity or initiative, they simply follow instructions and when they enter the job market, the lack of problem-solving skills becomes apparent.
The best way to implement active learning is a project-based learning approach, when the students form small groups and each decides upon a suitable topic for their project. The teacher becomes a facilitator and guides the students when they need help; this means the students take control over their learning and they are taught how to find information using search engines like Google. The group has to choose a format for their project, while also dividing tasks among the group and when the project is finished, the group presents their findings to the rest of the class. Research tells us that the best way to retain new knowledge is to teach it to others and that is why project-based learning is so popular.
Active learning is student centred, which means the learner chooses the topic and that motivates them to learn. A disinterested student is not going to learn, no matter how the subject matter is presented and when children immerse themselves in their learning, amazing things happen. It must be noted that the teacher is no longer a teacher; active learning requires facilitation and guidance and teachers have to undergo training to be able to effectively support their students.
In order for the students to get the most out of their learning, they need to have access to the Internet; part of the active learning strategy is to teach students how to self-learn and once a child has mastered the art of Googling, they have a very powerful tool at their disposal. In an active learning classroom, there would be learning resources in the corners, while the walls would be covered with student work.
This is not a skill you acquire from text books, rather solving real-life problems is the best way to develop problem-solving skills. When a group of students are working on a project, it might be that the teacher can see there are problems ahead, but they would not inform the students; they would allow the group to naturally encounter any obstacle and when that happens, the students have to brainstorm a solution. The teacher would not come right out and tell them how to overcome the issue, but they may point them in the right direction. It can be tough for the teacher to refrain from instruction; it is natural to want to impart knowledge, but allowing the learner to encounter real-life issues develops critical thinking and problem-solving.
If you want to equip your child with the tools for a happy and successful life, choose an international school in Bangkok that follows the UK curriculum. Active learning is by far the best approach and enrolling your child in the right school should be a priority.