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Active Reviewing

Active reviewing improves our ability to learn from experience. Most active reviewing is simple, basic and direct. Used wisely it can enliven and sharpen the process of reviewing experience.

Integrating the worlds of talk and action
  • Over-reliance on words can restrict our ability to learn from experience, however articulate or inarticulate we may think we are.
  • Talk and action tend to inhabit distinct and separate worlds, especially when there is a clear demarcation line between doing and reviewing.
  • The more separate these worlds, the less likely it is that learning from experience is happening.
  • Active reviewing brings these worlds closer together, by narrowing the gap between theory and practice.

The benefits of active reviewing
The benefits arising from the habit of active reviewing can include:
  • More effective learning from experience
  • An improved confidence in translating words into action, trying out ideas, making decisions happen, and turning plans into reality
  • Soundly based resolutions and action plans. The transition of learning from a course is more likely to happen if plans for the future have already been rehearsed in some way while on the course.
  • Language is more likely to be used accurately, responsibly and sensitively. When language and action are no longer 'safely' separated, the quality of communication can only improve.
Active reviewing complements discussion-based methods - it does not replace them
There is a risk that active reviewing might be seen as 'anti-language' or as an attack on the value of verbal reviewing. It is the trainer's responsibility to maintain a suitable balance between language, action and any other media which are used for reviewing. Active reviewing methods simply extend the choices available for learning from experience.

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ACTIVE LEARNING ON OTHER WEBSITES
50 Science Webquests is an excellent resource not only for science teachers, but also for links to sites about active learning strategies. For example:

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