Why We Need to Utilize More Active Stories for Active Learning
Learning is an essential facet of life. Humans, by nature, are curious species. The hard-wired curiosity that is so engraved in the human psyche is what drives people to want to learn more and explore new things. However, despite people’s natural hunger for knowledge, learning can also become distressing if done unnaturally. Unnatural learning simply means forced learning – it is when people are receptive of knowledge not because they are willing to, but because they are obliged.
Unnatural learning is particularly common in a classroom setup. Students are forced to take in a bulk of information in the guise of academic achievement. According to the forced learning theory, this kind of learning, which is so prevalent in the education system, is harmful because it alienates the meaning of learning from students. It denies the consciousness and the initiative of students to learn. Children, particularly, are less likely to be interested in learning than they naturally should be.
This is not to say though that we should revolutionize against the education system. There is no need to get rid of the classroom setup. However, if we want to foster a positive learning attitude among children, it is utterly necessary to introduce more fun approaches to education. Active learning is an example of this. It happens when all students are engaged in the learning process. Unlike in a spoon-feeding approach, students here do not remain receptive and passive. They become active learners.
When it comes to children, one of the most effective ways to facilitate active learning is to incorporate active stories. Children love storytelling. They are fond of reading or listening to stories that are exciting, imaginative, and relatable. Stories with a twist are especially fun and necessary for children to be hooked into the learning process. As more and more children seemingly become worn out of education, there is an increasing need to utilize more active stories for active learning.
Here are some of the reasons why:
It stimulates creative thinking
Creativity is one of the essential skills needed to succeed in life. If one is creative, she has more chance of standing out among the crowd. However, creativity is also one of the hardest things to acquire. One does not simply become creative overnight. Creativity develops with effort and hard work.
To stimulate creativity among children, there is a need for active learning. Active stories, particularly, spark creative thinking because they help children learn about concepts like color, movement, size, shape, and space. When children are constantly exposed to situations that allow them to flex their creative muscles (i.e., coloring, dancing, singing), both their minds and bodies become sharp and conditioned to come up with better ideas and more novel solutions to future problems.
It encourages active participation and communication
Childhood shyness is commonplace. It is natural for some children to be timid as part of their personalities. However, shyness can be detrimental once a child begins to transition into adulthood. He or she can waste many opportunities by shying away from things. For this reason, it is important to encourage children to be participative and communicative while they are still young.
Incorporating active stories for active learning is one way to encourage children to participate. Active learning does not just let children sit, listen, and think introspectively. They allow children to move, share, and be as active as they can. They help children get rid of their inhibitions, so they do not grow up to be reticent adults who are afraid to go beyond their comfort zones.
It increases retention
Retention is a crucial ability to succeeding in school. Since the education system requires students to memorize and comprehend terms, concepts, and lessons, having a strong retention skill is very important. However, retention can be difficult, especially if we consider the bulk of information that children receive each day.
To help children develop strong retention, active learning through active stories are essential. The rationale behind this is quite scientific. According to psychology, the amygdala, an almond-shape set of neurons responsible for storing memories, can help the brain better retain things when they are associated with emotions such as fear and excitement. In other words, the more fearful or exciting a thing is, the more memorable it is. Therefore, exposing children to fun and exciting activities like active storytelling can greatly help them retain their learnings at school.
It promotes a feeling of well-being
Utilizing active stories for active learning is beneficial to children’s physical, mental, and emotional health. For one, they facilitate exercises that allow children to be more mobile and dynamic. When children are largely involved in physical activities and exercises, they tend to grow up as healthier adults with a reduced risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Aside from physical health, active learning also helps children become mentally and emotionally stable. Essentially, active learning with the use of active stories provides children with the avenue to release their pent-up energies. It also allows them to develop confidence and to improve their relationships with others. In other words, active learning promotes an overall feeling of well-being among children.
Overall, utilizing active stories for active learning brings about many benefits. It does not only allow children to become better learners, but it also helps them grow into healthier and wiser adults. With the seeming decline of the interest in learning brought by the mishaps of the education system, there is a greater need to use more fun and child-friendly approaches to education. Active learning, by far, is the most effective solution to this issue. As Kurt Lewin once argued, “Learning is more effective when it is an active rather than a passive process.”