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'''Inquiry-based learning''' is an educational approach analogous to the scientific method.  The model focuses on educators being 'enablers' of knowledge rather than instructors.  It moves away from the classic method known as 'chalk and talk' which emphasizes the role of the educator as giving out as much information on what is known to students.  The problem with this method is that it is irrelevant and outdated given the fast transmission of data possible due to technology.  Rather, it is necessary for educational approaches being used to teach students to become problem solvers and critical thinkers, skills necessary given readily available facts and information-it is the application and manipulation of facts and data that students must learn, and not memorization. Click [[inquiry-based learning cont.|here]] for more information.
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== '''Active learning''' ==
  
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'''Active learning''' is an educational approach in which educators enable students to construct their understanding, teaching them to become problem solvers and critical thinkers.  In contrast to a classic 'chalk and talk' presentation in which an instructor delivers information to students, students learn how to gather, analyze, and evaluate information themselves. 
  
[[File:imageinquiregif.gif|center|link=pageInquiry-based learning|alt=alt text|source: www.worksheetlibrary.com/teachingtips/inquiry.html]]
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Studies show that active learning can help encourage women and racial minority groups in fields where they are underrepresented. Multiple studies have looked at the effects of active learning in the natural sciences, areas in which women and racial minorities are also underrepresented. Interactive engagement methods such as [[Peer Instruction]] have been reported to increase understanding for all students and to decrease the gender gap in Physics. Other work in the sciences, such as that motivating the The National Academies Summer Institutes on Undergraduate Education [http://www.academiessummerinstitute.org/], similarly suggests that active learning improves all students' comprehension of materials and may be particularly beneficial to female, African American, and Latinx students. {{hidden|more|Students of teachers who emphasized interest in science, further study in science, and experimental methods had higher scores; this benefit was significantly greater for underrepresented minority students. According to an overview of past research about the effectiveness of inquiry based learning [ftp://charmian.sonoma.edu/pub/references/Kinkead.pdf], past projects to increase gender ratios in the sciences have found improved success rates with an inquiry-based teaching compared to traditional lecture formats.}}
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__NOTOC__
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== How to Incorporate Active Learning ==
  
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Incorporating active learning into the classroom requires changing the environment from one of passive information reception to one of inquiry and desire to understand.  This shift in thought can be achieved by adopting several related practices and attitudes.
 +
 +
[[Image:Blooms_new.png|400px|right|Bloom's Taxonomy|link=Bloom]]
 +
 +
* '''Become familiar with [[Bloom]]'s Taxonomy and help your students move up the pyramid.'''
 +
 +
* '''[[Incorporate 'breaks' into your lectures]].'''
 +
 +
* '''Use  [[Think-pair-share]].'''
 +
 +
* '''Use One-minute papers.'''
 +
::The one-minute paper is a "modest, relatively simple and low-tech" innovation designed to obtain regular feedback from students. In the final minute or two of class, the teacher asks students to respond to the following two questions:
 +
:::1. What is the most important thing you learned today?
 +
:::2. What is the muddiest point still remaining at the conclusion of today's class?"
 +
::Using an experimental design, John F Chizmar and Anthony L. Ostrosky (1998) [http://www.jstor.org/stable/1182961 report] an approximate 6.6 percent increase in economic knowledge relative to pre-treatment levels.
 +
 +
* '''[[Flip]] your classroom.'''
  
 +
* '''Have your students listen to, or ''produce'', podcasts.'''
 +
::[http://audioecon.com/about-me/ Rebecca L. Moryl] maintains a [http://audioecon.com/ curated library] of economics-themed podcasts, primarily from ''Planet Money'', but also from ''Freakonomics'', ''EconTalk'', ''This American Life'' and others.
 +
 +
* '''Participate in the [[Wikipedia Education Program]].'''
  
== Examples of Inquiry-Based Learning ==
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*'''Use''' '''[[Peer Instruction]]'''. 
 +
:: Peer Instruction is an instructional strategy that works even in large classes; it engages students through a structured questioning process involving every student. Harvard researchers implemented and evaluated the method and found "increased student mastery of both conceptual reasoning and quantitative problem solving upon implementing PI."
 +
 +
* '''Prompt students to answer “Why?” questions.'''
 +
:: Pressley, McDaniel, Turnure, Wood, and Ahmad (1987) presented undergraduate students with a list of sentences, each describing the action of a particular man (e.g., “The hungry man got into the car”). Students in the treatment group were prompted to explain “Why did that particular man do that?” Another group of students was instead provided with an explanation for each sentence, and a third group simply read each sentence. On a final test in which participants were cued to recall which man performed each action (e.g., “Who got in the car?”), the treatment group substantially outperformed the other two groups. (Summary from Dunlosky, Rawson, Marsh, Nathan, and Willingham, [http://psi.sagepub.com/content/14/1/4.full?ijkey=Z10jaVH/60XQM&keytype=ref&siteid=sppsi])
 +
 +
::Translating this result into the economics classroom is feasible and desirable, but it requires a bit more nuance.  Generally economics requires students to retain not only the base information but also a particular explanation of that information.  Economists could provide follow-up research to identify the efficacy of questioning techniques that lead students to develop and retain this higher order learning.
  
* '''Teach using the [[case method]].''' Providing students with a case representative of the lesson's educational objective effectively engages them beyond pure memorization.  With case methods, students are forced to truly understand the underlying concept and apply it to the analysis of the case. Click [http://serc.carleton.edu/econ/cases/index.html here] to see a guide to implementing the case method in the Economics classroom.
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* '''Emphasize the "how" rather than the "what" of knowledge.'''  
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:: Explain the methods economists used to learn the causes of increased income inequality rather than simply reporting the casues.[http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/inquiry/ Thirteen.org] By placing an emphasis on the knowledge-creation process, students learn basic concepts and begin to learn how to generate knowledge themselves.
  
* '''Using problem sets and including context-rich problems.'''  Problem sets effectively engage the student by asking it to apply knowledge from the lesson.  More importantly, using context-rich problems that provide real-life applications of the lesson, and at times excess information, force the student to truly comprehend the material.  For a guide on using context-rich problems in the Economics classroom click [http://serc.carleton.edu/econ/context_rich/index.html here].  The use of [[technology]] in the classroom also enables inquiry-based learning by providing students with multiple resources and representations of the same information.
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* '''Don't emphasize that there is "one right answer."'''   
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:: An emphasis on a single correct answer to a question discourages student involvement and discourages critical thinking. When students contribute to classroom discussions, identify the value in their comments. Then, clearly explain the generally accepted answer and why that answer is valuable.
  
* '''Having a recitation session with students.''' Recitation sessions allow for close, one-on-one discussion of abstract concepts, of which there are many in the Economics discipline.  By having a small group of students meet with a professor to discuss the weeks problem set, one sets the stage for critical discussions--students can discuss their ideas with each other and the professor and therefore gain a multidimensional understanding of concepts. 
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* '''Read [http://www.exploratorium.edu/IFI/resources/artofquestioning.html The Art of Questioning].'''
  
 +
* '''Teach using the [[case method]].'''
 +
:: Providing students with a case representative of the lesson's educational objective effectively engages them beyond pure memorization.  With this method, students develop a solid understanding of the underlying concepts through analysis of the case.  Consult this [http://serc.carleton.edu/econ/cases/index.html guide] to implementing the case method in the economics classroom.
 +
 +
* '''Use [[simulations and models in the classroom]].'''
 +
 +
* '''Use problem sets with context-rich problems.'''
 +
:: Problem sets effectively engage and challenge students by requiring them to comprehend and use concepts from the lesson. For a guide on using context-rich problems in the Economics classroom read [http://serc.carleton.edu/econ/context_rich/index.html here]. 
  
{{hidden| Inquiry Based Learning: Kent Gardens Elementary School|The implementation of inquiry-based learning curricula has been increasingly popular and successful in recent years.  Kent Gardens Elementary school in McLean, VA is a great example with its [http://www.fcps.edu/DIS/OHSICS/forlang/partial.htm#whatis/ Partial-Immersion World Language Program].  Through this program students learn a foreign language by being taught in a foreign language for half of the day and English the other half.  The philosophy behind this approach is that by teaching students in a foreign language, they will learn it because they will need to apply it rather in the traditional "chalk and talk" method of having them learn the language via memorization of vocabulary and verb conjugations.
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* '''Schedule periodic recitation sessions with students.'''
In the Kent Gardens program, students are taught Math, Science and Health in the foreign language of choice because these subjects "use manipulatives and concrete, hand-on activities, both of which help with the natural second language acquisition process."  On the other hand, Social Studies and Language Arts are taught in English.  The program has been cited by education resources profiling the inquiry-based learning method such as [http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/inquiry/ Thirteen.org].}}
 
  
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*'''[[Kelvin Wong|Use a game show to teach game theory.]]'''
  
[[Image:immersion.gif|center]]
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== Other Examples of Active, Inquiry-Based Learning ==
  
== How to Incorporate Inquiry-Based Learning ==
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Stephen D. Morris (Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego) presents research-based suggestions for improving the teaching of AS/AD in his paper, ''Teaching [[General Equilibrium]] to Undergraduates: A Graphical Approach''.
  
The [http://www.eric.ed.gov/ Educational Resource Information Center] posts a handbook from the Alberta Ministry of Learning aimed at implementing inquiry-based learning titled "Focus on Inquiry:  A Teacher's Guide to Implementing Inquiry-Based Learning." To access it, click [http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED491498.pdf/ here].  A similar, shorter document from Penn State can be found [http://www.schreyerinstitute.psu.edu/pdf/IBL.pdf here].
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See [http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED491498.pdf/  "Focus on Inquiry:  A Teacher's Guide to Implementing Inquiry-Based Learning"] by the Alberta Ministry of Learning , and a similar, shorter [http://www.schreyerinstitute.psu.edu/pdf/IBL.pdf document] from Penn State.
  
[[Image:Fx_Bloom_New.jpg|right|frame|Bloom's Taxonomy]]
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[http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00220485.2013.770343  A Dream Experiment in Development Economics] by Prakarsh Singh & Alexa Russo, ''The Journal of Economic Education'' (Volume 44, Issue 2, 2013)
  
Incorporating Inquiry-Based Learning into the classroom implicates changing the environment from one of instruction to one of curiosity and desire for explanationsThis shift in thought can be achieved by adopting several practices and attitudes:
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Partial-immersion language programs promote language acquisition through active use rather than through memorization of vocabulary and verb conjugationsSee [http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/inquiry/ Thirteen.org].
  
* '''Become familiar with [http://www.odu.edu/educ/roverbau/Bloom/blooms_taxonomy.htm Bloom's Taxonomy] and help your students move up the pyramid.'''
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== Additional Evidence and Research ==
 
* '''Place an emphasis on the "how" rather than the "what" of knowledge''', like in [[cooperative learning]].  Students should learn how it is that current knowledge was generated.  This is important because it teaches them how to use data/observations to derive knowledge.  [http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/inquiry/ Thirteen.org] gives as an example explaining to students what methods were used to conclude what the Earth's different rock layers are rather than just telling them what these layers are called.  Again, by placing an emphasis on the knowledge-creation process, students become accustomed to this way of thought and begin applying it.
 
  
* '''Don't emphasize that there is "one right answer."'''  In the current system an emphasis is placed on there being a correct answer for topics, but this disencourages student involvement during lecture and therefore disencourages critical thinking and a desire to understand things beyond "face value."  As part of this technique , whenever students contribute to lecture but clearly misunderstand a concept instead of telling them they are incorrect, one should explain what the generally accepted answer entails and why it is that the answer is accepted. 
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[https://www.pnas.org/content/117/12/6476 Active learning narrows achievement gaps for underrepresented students in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math PNAS 2020]
  
* '''Questions, Questions, Questions.'''  As an educator, one should ask open-ended questions that are reflective in nature. This [http://www.exploratorium.edu/IFI/resources/artofquestioning.html article on question types] by Dennie Palmer Wolf. In it, he explains the differences between Inferences Questions which "fill in the gaps," Interpretation Questions which assess comprehension of the consequences of information/ideas, Transfer Questions which are meant to take knowledge to a new place and Hypothesis Questions which relate to predictive thinking.  All together, using these question types fosters an inquiry spirit.
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[http://www.pnas.org/content/111/23/8410.abstract Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics, PNAS 2014]
  
* [[Incorporate 'breaks' into your lectures.]]
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[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16341257 Teaching more by lecturing less, Cell Biol Educ. 2005]
  
* [[Incorporate 'desirable difficulties' into your course.]]
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[https://www.pnas.org/content/116/39/19251 Measuring actual learning versus feeling of learning in response to being actively engaged in the classroom PNAS 2019]
  
* Use [[simulations and models in the classroom]].
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{{hidden|'''Becker & Watts, 2008.'''|This paper examines how economics was taught in four different undergraduate classes in colleges and universities. U.S. academic economists filled out a survey  in 1995, 2000, and 2005, and researchers compared the responses to see how teaching methods changed throughout this decade. During this decade, there was nationally a greater focus on encouraging instructors to spend more time, attention, and effort on teaching, especially through active, student-centered teaching methods (i.e., less use of direct instruction, known colloquially as 'chalk-and-talk'). By 2005, more instructors were using other teaching methods beyond chalk-and-talk, such as classroom discussions, lecture notes provided in hard-copy or online, and computer lab assignments in econometrics/ statistics courses. Additionally, a small but growing minority of instructors used internet database searches, classroom experiments, or assignments referencing current financial news, sports, literature, drama, and music. Cooperative learning methods were used much less frequently. Click [http://ideas.repec.org/a/jee/journl/v39y2008i3p273-286.html here] to access it. This study can be found in [[The Journal of Economic Education]].}}
  
== Evidence ==
 
 
{{hidden|'''Becker & Watts, 2001.'''|In this article, the authors compare the results of surveys on teaching style conducted in 1995 and then again in 2000. They found that although higher-education institutions have effectively shifted from professors' focus from being more research-oriented to being more focused on their teaching, outdated teaching methods still permeate the discipline.  From the surveys conducted, the authors see that classroom presentations are still dominated by the "chalk and talk" method.  The authors also find that teacher-student discussion does not occur until until upper level courses, and student-student discussion is rare for the discipline as a whole.  On a similar note, it is observed that the use of multiple-choice test formats seems to be excessive--especially in introductory theory courses. Click [http://www.jstor.org/stable/1183384 here] to access the article.}}
 
{{hidden|'''Becker & Watts, 2001.'''|In this article, the authors compare the results of surveys on teaching style conducted in 1995 and then again in 2000. They found that although higher-education institutions have effectively shifted from professors' focus from being more research-oriented to being more focused on their teaching, outdated teaching methods still permeate the discipline.  From the surveys conducted, the authors see that classroom presentations are still dominated by the "chalk and talk" method.  The authors also find that teacher-student discussion does not occur until until upper level courses, and student-student discussion is rare for the discipline as a whole.  On a similar note, it is observed that the use of multiple-choice test formats seems to be excessive--especially in introductory theory courses. Click [http://www.jstor.org/stable/1183384 here] to access the article.}}
  
{{hidden|'''Becker & Watts, 2008.'''|"In 1995, 2000, and 2005, the authors surveyed U.S. academic economists to investigate how economics is taught in four different types of undergraduate courses at postsecondary institutions. They especially looked for any changes in teaching methods that occurred over this decade, when there were several prominent calls for economists and postsecondary instructors in other fields to devote more attention and effort to teaching and to make greater use of active, student-centered learning methods, with less use of direct instruction ("chalk and talk"). By 2005, although standard lectures and chalkboard presentations were still dominant, there was evidence of slow growth in the use of other teaching methods, including classroom discussions (especially teacher-directed discussions), computer-generated displays (such as PowerPoint), providing students with prepared sets of class notes, and computer lab assignments in econometrics and statistics courses. Internet database searches were used by a small but growing minority of instructors. Classroom experiments were used by a small share of instructors in introductory courses. Assignments or classroom references to the popular financial press, sports, literature, drama, or music were used somewhat more often. Cooperative learning methods were rarely used." Click [http://ideas.repec.org/a/jee/journl/v39y2008i3p273-286.html here] to access it. }}
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{{hidden|'''Major & Palmer, 2001.'''|"Problem‑Based Learning (PBL) is an innovative educational approach that is gaining prominence in higher education. A review of the literature of PBL outcomes summarizes, across multiple studies, the positive effects of problem‑based learning. Since PBL brings with it unique challenges to traditional assessment, however, this study suggests alternative approaches. Alternative assessment may provide additional insight into the effectiveness of PBL and other alternative pedagogies." Click [http://www.rapidintellect.com/AEQweb/mop4spr01.htm here] to view it.}}
  
{{hidden|'''Major & Palmer.'''|"Problem‑Based Learning (PBL) is an innovative educational approach that is gaining prominence in higher education. A review of the literature of PBL outcomes summarizes, across multiple studies, the positive effects of problem‑based learning. Since PBL brings with it unique challenges to traditional assessment, however, this study suggests alternative approaches. Alternative assessment may provide additional insight into the effectiveness of PBL and other alternative pedagogies." Click [http://www.rapidintellect.com/AEQweb/mop4spr01.htm here] to view it.}}
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{{hidden|'''Crouch, Watkins, Fagen, and Mazur, 2007.'''|"Peer Instruction is an instructional strategy for engaging students during class through a structured questioning process that involves every student. We describe Peer Instruction (hereafter PI) and report data from more than ten years of teaching with PI in the calculus- and algebra-based introductory physics courses for non-majors at Harvard University, where this method was developed. Our results indicate increased student mastery of both conceptual reasoning and quantitative problem solving upon implementing PI." See link provided above.}}
  
 
== Conclusion ==
 
== Conclusion ==
  
Due to several factors such as technology and global interconnection the rate of information dissemination has dramatically increased. As result, an educational system that places an emphasis on vast memorization is inefficient. Instead, educational systems should be reorganized to emphasize problem-solving and the generation of knowledge. This shift can be achieved by fostering an environment of inquiry.  Inquiry-Based Learning is a tool educators can use to craft student minds that seek more than just concrete answers and rather enjoy full comprehension of the mechanisms underlying the what is known. In other words, by employing Inquiry-Based Learning methods educators can help students learn to create knowledge, a currently necessary skill.
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The rate of information dissemination has dramatically increased, due to technological development and global interconnection. An educational system that focuses on memorization and lower order cognitive skills is obsolete and inefficient. Instead, curricula can be reorganized to emphasize problem-solving and other higher order skills. Through inquiry-based teaching practices, educators create an environment of inquiry, helping students to seek more than simple answers, to explore the mechanisms underlying what is known, and to learn how to create knowledge themselves.
 
 
  
 
{{hidden|Sources|
 
{{hidden|Sources|
Line 59: Line 94:
 
"Assessing the Effectiveness of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education: Lessons from the Literature." Manuscript Reviewing Guidelines. Web. 27 June 2011. <http://www.rapidintellect.com/AEQweb/mop4spr01.htm>.
 
"Assessing the Effectiveness of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education: Lessons from the Literature." Manuscript Reviewing Guidelines. Web. 27 June 2011. <http://www.rapidintellect.com/AEQweb/mop4spr01.htm>.
  
Becker, William E., and Michael Watts. "Teaching Methods in U. S. Undergraduate Economics Courses." The Journal of Economic Education 32.3 (2001): 269-79. Web. <http://www.jstor.org/pss/1183384>.
+
von Secker, Clare. 2002. "Effects of Inquiry-Based Teacher Practices on Science Excellence and Equity" The Journal of Educational Research, 95, 3. 151-160. [http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/27542373.pdf]
  
 
"Inquiry-based Learning: Explanation." THIRTEEN - New York Public Media. Web. 03 June 2011.  <http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/inquiry/index_sub7.html>.
 
"Inquiry-based Learning: Explanation." THIRTEEN - New York Public Media. Web. 03 June 2011.  <http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/inquiry/index_sub7.html>.
Line 65: Line 100:
 
"Inquiry-based Learning." Printable Worksheets for Teachers and Students. Web. 01 June 2011. <http://www.worksheetlibrary.com/teachingtips/inquiry.html>.
 
"Inquiry-based Learning." Printable Worksheets for Teachers and Students. Web. 01 June 2011. <http://www.worksheetlibrary.com/teachingtips/inquiry.html>.
  
"World Language - Partial Immersion." FCPS Home Page Redirect Page. Web. 10 June 2011. <http://www.fcps.edu/DIS/OHSICS/forlang/partial.htm>.}}
+
"World Language - Partial Immersion." FCPS Home Page Redirect Page. Web. 10 June 2011. <http://www.fcps.edu/DIS/OHSICS/forlang/partial.htm>.
 +
 
 +
Becker, William E., and Michael Watts. "Teaching Methods in U. S. Undergraduate Economics Courses." The Journal of Economic Education 32.3 (2001): 269-79. Web. <http://www.jstor.org/pss/1183384>.
 +
 
 +
Kinkead, Joyce. 2003. "Learning Through Inquiry: An Overview of Undergraduate Research" NEW DIRECTIONS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING, 93. 5-17. <ftp://charmian.sonoma.edu/pub/references/Kinkead.pdf> }}

Latest revision as of 11:16, 20 May 2020

Active learning

Active learning is an educational approach in which educators enable students to construct their understanding, teaching them to become problem solvers and critical thinkers. In contrast to a classic 'chalk and talk' presentation in which an instructor delivers information to students, students learn how to gather, analyze, and evaluate information themselves.

Studies show that active learning can help encourage women and racial minority groups in fields where they are underrepresented. Multiple studies have looked at the effects of active learning in the natural sciences, areas in which women and racial minorities are also underrepresented. Interactive engagement methods such as Peer Instruction have been reported to increase understanding for all students and to decrease the gender gap in Physics. Other work in the sciences, such as that motivating the The National Academies Summer Institutes on Undergraduate Education [1], similarly suggests that active learning improves all students' comprehension of materials and may be particularly beneficial to female, African American, and Latinx students.

How to Incorporate Active Learning

Incorporating active learning into the classroom requires changing the environment from one of passive information reception to one of inquiry and desire to understand. This shift in thought can be achieved by adopting several related practices and attitudes.

Bloom's Taxonomy
  • Become familiar with Bloom's Taxonomy and help your students move up the pyramid.
  • Use One-minute papers.
The one-minute paper is a "modest, relatively simple and low-tech" innovation designed to obtain regular feedback from students. In the final minute or two of class, the teacher asks students to respond to the following two questions:
1. What is the most important thing you learned today?
2. What is the muddiest point still remaining at the conclusion of today's class?"
Using an experimental design, John F Chizmar and Anthony L. Ostrosky (1998) report an approximate 6.6 percent increase in economic knowledge relative to pre-treatment levels.
  • Flip your classroom.
  • Have your students listen to, or produce, podcasts.
Rebecca L. Moryl maintains a curated library of economics-themed podcasts, primarily from Planet Money, but also from Freakonomics, EconTalk, This American Life and others.
Peer Instruction is an instructional strategy that works even in large classes; it engages students through a structured questioning process involving every student. Harvard researchers implemented and evaluated the method and found "increased student mastery of both conceptual reasoning and quantitative problem solving upon implementing PI."
  • Prompt students to answer “Why?” questions.
Pressley, McDaniel, Turnure, Wood, and Ahmad (1987) presented undergraduate students with a list of sentences, each describing the action of a particular man (e.g., “The hungry man got into the car”). Students in the treatment group were prompted to explain “Why did that particular man do that?” Another group of students was instead provided with an explanation for each sentence, and a third group simply read each sentence. On a final test in which participants were cued to recall which man performed each action (e.g., “Who got in the car?”), the treatment group substantially outperformed the other two groups. (Summary from Dunlosky, Rawson, Marsh, Nathan, and Willingham, [3])
Translating this result into the economics classroom is feasible and desirable, but it requires a bit more nuance. Generally economics requires students to retain not only the base information but also a particular explanation of that information. Economists could provide follow-up research to identify the efficacy of questioning techniques that lead students to develop and retain this higher order learning.
  • Emphasize the "how" rather than the "what" of knowledge.
Explain the methods economists used to learn the causes of increased income inequality rather than simply reporting the casues.Thirteen.org By placing an emphasis on the knowledge-creation process, students learn basic concepts and begin to learn how to generate knowledge themselves.
  • Don't emphasize that there is "one right answer."
An emphasis on a single correct answer to a question discourages student involvement and discourages critical thinking. When students contribute to classroom discussions, identify the value in their comments. Then, clearly explain the generally accepted answer and why that answer is valuable.
Providing students with a case representative of the lesson's educational objective effectively engages them beyond pure memorization. With this method, students develop a solid understanding of the underlying concepts through analysis of the case. Consult this guide to implementing the case method in the economics classroom.
  • Use problem sets with context-rich problems.
Problem sets effectively engage and challenge students by requiring them to comprehend and use concepts from the lesson. For a guide on using context-rich problems in the Economics classroom read here.
  • Schedule periodic recitation sessions with students.

Other Examples of Active, Inquiry-Based Learning

Stephen D. Morris (Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego) presents research-based suggestions for improving the teaching of AS/AD in his paper, Teaching General Equilibrium to Undergraduates: A Graphical Approach.

See "Focus on Inquiry: A Teacher's Guide to Implementing Inquiry-Based Learning" by the Alberta Ministry of Learning , and a similar, shorter document from Penn State.

A Dream Experiment in Development Economics by Prakarsh Singh & Alexa Russo, The Journal of Economic Education (Volume 44, Issue 2, 2013)

Partial-immersion language programs promote language acquisition through active use rather than through memorization of vocabulary and verb conjugations. See Thirteen.org.

Additional Evidence and Research

Active learning narrows achievement gaps for underrepresented students in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math PNAS 2020

Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics, PNAS 2014

Teaching more by lecturing less, Cell Biol Educ. 2005

Measuring actual learning versus feeling of learning in response to being actively engaged in the classroom PNAS 2019

Conclusion

The rate of information dissemination has dramatically increased, due to technological development and global interconnection. An educational system that focuses on memorization and lower order cognitive skills is obsolete and inefficient. Instead, curricula can be reorganized to emphasize problem-solving and other higher order skills. Through inquiry-based teaching practices, educators create an environment of inquiry, helping students to seek more than simple answers, to explore the mechanisms underlying what is known, and to learn how to create knowledge themselves.