Active Learning in Secondary School

Today’s Romanian school tends towards a more interactive educational practice and that is why teachers constantly seek new ways in which students can actively participate in the educational process, but also in improving the already known ones. It should not be forgotten that the student’s involvement in teaching, learning and evaluation activities depends on his / her own subjectivity, as some educators say.

Under these circumstances, the teacher has to find the best ways to transfer knowledge, displaying open behavior and a positive attitude for promoting interactive learning and stimulating the creative potential of his students. That is why a new concept, the interactive-creative learning, is being discussed. This type of learning puts the student in the position of discovering, imagining, building and redefining the meanings, filtering the notions through his own personality.

Reflecting on the situation of the modern teacher who is constantly facing the problems of education and learning, Professor Ioan Neacşu points out that educators are today urged to promote effective learning, participative, active and creative learning.

We, as teachers have the obligation to find the best ways to stimulate the student’s creativity, to give him the opportunity to think freely, to express himself freely, to cooperate with others, to find solutions to solving the exercises. In this case, the teaching-learning lesson becomes an „adventure of knowledge” as Crenguţa-Lăcrămioara Oprea (2009) states in which the child participates actively, encountering difficult situations, examining them and trying to find solutions.

An active method is also considered as the method of learning – venture which involves the creation of groups and their immersion in areas with great potential for exploration: natural, social, cultural. It promotes collaboration among students.

Learning Steps:

 I. Stage of Activity Objective Announcement and Workgroup Training:

1. announcement of the objective pursued in the activity;
2. the number of pupils in a group;
3. election of group leaders;
4. announcement that in the end each group will present the result of the work.

II. Stage of documentation and research through active and interactive involvement of all students in the working group in gathering and capitalizing on information
III. The stage of presentation of the curricular products, their analysis and evaluation:

1. display the products of the activity of each group;
2. describing and analyzing the activity of the groups, making appraisals, commenting and asking questions;
3. detaching the conclusions of the activity.

How did the didactic method work: I applied the above described method for studying the comedy „A Lost Letter” by I.L. Caragiale (8th grade), believing that the pupils will be more likely to perceive dramatically.
So we divided 8th grade students into six groups as follows: Group 1 – Literary Critics, Group 2 – Storytellers, Group 3 – Buddies, Group 4 – Fashion Designers, Group 5 – Journalists, Group 6 – Actors.

Group 1- The literary critics were tasked with making a Power-point presentation of Caragiale’s life and work.
Group 2 – The storytellers had a material to present the theme of the work, the story of the action, the presentation of the relationships between the characters.
Group 3 – The buddies are the ones who had to research and debate the sources of the comic in Caragiale’s work.
Group 4 – Fashion designers have prepared and launched a parade of costumes from the Caragiale era.
Group 5 – The world’s journalists debated the relationship between the characters as a magazine / issue issue.
Group 6 – The actors are the ones who have staged a passage from the studied comedy.

After the realization of these materials, they were presented in a lesson that aimed at assessing the tasks and at the same time checking the knowledge of Caragiale and the universe of his work.

Applying this method is done through several lessons and successfully combines with other traditional or modern methods. Starting from an objective, students have been able to seek, inform, discover, explain and present a work.

The teachers have come to the conclusion that educational methods are often underestimated or overestimated depending on the personality of the person using them, and therefore emphasis should be placed on improving the personality of the teacher rather than on the methods. If the same method is applied by two different teachers, it gives different results. So the applied methods transform both the individuality of the student and the teacher’s behavior that adapts to the psychosocial conditions of the class. Payload the improvement of the methods belongs to the scientific priestess scientists as well as to each teacher who can make the class of students a real laboratory for experimenting with methods and procedures. It is the teacher’s obligation to correlate the methods and procedures used in the activity with the available resources, to become factors supporting group work and stimulating individual and collective learning. The lack of textbooks restricts students’ access to information, while the use of the Internet facilitates their access to information.

1. Bocoş Muşata -Dacia-Interactive Training, Iaşi, Polirom 2013;
2.Goia Vistian – Didactics of Romanian Language and Literature Romanian, Cluj-Napoca, Dacia Publishing House, 2008;
3. Ioan Cerghit-Methods of Education, Revue and Added Edition, Iaşi, Polirom Publishing House, 2006;
4. Pride Elena, Lucica Borbeli, Doina Filip, Magdalena Gall- Interactive Didactical Strategies – Examples from Didactic Practice, Bucharest, Ed.Didactica Publishing House, 2010;
5. Neacşu Ioan – Methods and Techniques of Effective Learning, Bucharest, Military Publishing House, 1990;
6. Oprea Crenguţa-Lăcrămioara – Didactical-Interactive Strats, 4th Edition, Bucharest, Didactic and Pedagogical Publishing House, 2009;
7. Tudor Loredana Sofia- Elements of the theory of training, costeşti-Argeş, Ed.Ars Libris, 2013.

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