Learning or not

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We have all sat through classes where we learned little, except the facts and to be quiet. We also have been part of classes where we actively learned by being challenged by teachers and the subject to learn for ourselves. Although classes often seem outwardly alike in having a teacher, in having some students and in producing some results, the differences between passive and active classes are enormous. The passive kind of class usually has …

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…end with the last class. We all remember having to learn that "4 X 9 = 36" and having to memorize dates like 1914-1918, 1776, and 1492. And those kinds of classes are important for laying some groundwork, but not much true learning takes place there. There is a difference between knowing a fact and understanding it. Despite their outward similarities, the passive kind of class is clearly inferior to the active one for helping students understand the world around them.