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What are active methodologies?

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What are active methodologies?

Active methodologies are teaching and learning strategies that place the student at the center of the knowledge acquisition process. For it to be effective, the student needs to be mature and actively participate in the process.

There are different methods that can be used, such as problem-solving, project development, the so-called “flipped classroom”, among others.

The benefits of active methodologies for the student

The active methodology helps in understanding content and solidifying the acquired repertoire. Among other advantages, we can mention the increased interest on the part of students in relation to the subjects taught, acquisition of knowledge made in a more playful and faster way, improvement in the ability to solve problems in a collaborative way.

It is important to highlight that the active methodologies are complementary, that is, more than one can be used throughout the student’s education. Also because among the objectives of these methodologies is the formation of more critical and proactive people, who are able to solve problems in a collaborative way.

5 examples of active methodologies to use in the classroom

Check out, below, five active methodologies that you can take to your class.

1. Problem-based learning

Problem-based learning is one of the most widespread active methodologies. To be put into practice, it needs to be divided into three major steps:

  • Understanding the problem: Students need to understand what the problem is. But such understanding must be achieved jointly among colleagues, not individually. 
  • Cognitive conflict: at this stage, there must be a conflict, a kind of difficulty, which is necessary for learning the content.
  • Resolution: after identifying the problem and encountering some difficulties, it is also necessary to find a resolution together. For this, it is necessary to have the acceptance of different voices on the same phenomenon.

This methodology encourages teamwork and interaction among class members. Therefore, the idea is that the problems simulate everyday situations, which can be experienced by students. Teachers of Science, Biology, or Chemistry subjects, for example, can ask students to form groups and find solutions to the problem of river pollution in the city or neighborhood in which they live.

2. Project-based learning

Project-based learning requires the child to develop a project, as the name implies. But it must be developed by the student, under the supervision and guidance of the teacher. In this way, it is expected that the student will be able to develop socio-emotional skills, such as proactivity and collaboration while acquiring repertoire and learning content.

In this methodology, the student learns to analyze and solve problems through coordinated steps and actions. He understands the importance of defining and following an action plan, with deadlines and goals, for example.

Another characteristic of this methodology is that it can be carried out in groups or individually. It is recommended that, whenever possible, it is applied in a team, so that students can develop other skills, such as the ability to coordinate and collaborate.

3. Flipped Classroom

The flipped classroom is one of the most used active methodologies, being applied at different stages of teaching. In this case, the teacher stops explaining and explaining the contents and passes the turn to the students themselves.

These are the famous “seminars”, in which children gather in groups and must research a certain topic or phenomenon to explain to the rest of the class, clearing up any doubts that arise. The aim is to make students assume more active positions in the classroom, interacting with colleagues, answering questions, and actively participating.

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If the class remains quiet, without asking any questions to the group that is presenting, it is the teacher’s role to encourage participation or establish a dynamic of discussion among them. One idea is to define that everyone must ask at least one question to the different groups that will present themselves.

After all, active listening is also part of the methodology. Encourage students to use different resources, such as images, PowerPoint slides, videos, and sound files, to capture the attention of classmates. Make the exhibits dynamic and engaging.

4. Gamification

Another active methodology used and increasingly widespread is gamification. It is defined by the application of games in teaching and learning situations. They can be more traditional games, such as board games or physical activities, to more modern ones, such as computers or applications.

In general, this is a methodology that generates a lot of engagement among students, who feel challenged and encouraged to improve to reach a certain level or obtain some gain or advantage. Another function is to encourage and teach the class to persist until the end. There are, then, several ways to gamify the contents taught in the classroom.

Dynamics can be carried out between groups and between colleagues in different ways: with levels, phases, among others. A traditional way to include gamification in the classroom is to divide the class into groups and have a question and answer game, with prizes and advantages throughout the game for the team that gets it right.

5. Case Study

The case study integrates the list of active methodologies because it places students as central subjects for understanding and solving the case presented and discussed. In general, it is used when there is a need for the student to obtain a practical technique, and not just theoretical knowledge, about a certain function.

In literature class, for example, it can be the elaboration of a poem with rich rhymes and another with poor rhymes, so that they understand the difference between them. Or, in the discipline of artistic education, it can be the elaboration of a painting or a clay sculpture, so that certain composition techniques can be learned.


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