Activity based Learning (ABL) method is a technique adopted by a teacher to emphasize his or her method of teaching through activity in which the students participate rigorously and bring about efficient learning experiences. It is a child-centred approach. It is a method in which the child is actively involved in participating mentally and physically. Learning by doing is the main focus in this method. Learning by doing is imperative in successful learning since it is well proved that more the senses are stimulated, more a person learns and longer he/she retains.
Pine G (1989) mentions that in an activity based teaching, learners willingly with enthusiasm internalize and implement concepts relevant to their needs.
So our understanding on the activity method by now should mean any learning that is carried out with a purpose in a social environment, involving physical and mental action, stimulating for creative action or expression.
Why do we need to use activity based learning method?
The information processing theory in psychology views learners as active investigators of their environment. This theory is grounded in the premise that people innately strive to make sense of the world around them.
In the process of learning, they experience, memorize and understand. Students need to be provided with data and materials necessary to focus their thinking and interaction in the lesson for the process of analysing the information. Teachers need to be actively involved in directing and guiding the students’ analysis of the information.
It requires active problem solving by students in finding patterns in the information through their own investigation and analysis. With continued practice in these processes, students learn not the content of the lesson but also develop many other skills.
- It enhances creative aspect of experience.
- It gives reality for learning.
- Uses all available resources.
- Provides varied experiences to the students to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, experience, skills and values.
- Builds the student’s self-confidence and develops understanding through work in his/her group.
- Gets experiences, develop interest, enriches vocabulary and provides stimulus for reading.
- Develops happy relationship between students and students, teachers and students.
- An activity is said to be the language of the child. A child who lacks in verbal expression can make up through use of ideas in the activity.
- Subjects of all kind can be taught through activity.
- Social relation provides opportunity to mix with others.
Kinds of activities:
The activities used in this strategy can be generalized under three main categories:
- Exploratory – gathering knowledge, concept and skill.
- Constructive – getting experience through creative works.
- Expressional– presentations.
The Activities you could focus on:-
- watching, observing, comparing, describing, questioning, discussing, investigating, reporting, collecting, selecting, testing, trying, listening, reading, drawing, calculating, imitating, modelling, playing, acting, taking on roles, talking, writing about what one can see, hear, feel, taste, experimenting and imagining.
- Sequencing ordering, finding regularities and patterns, connect with given knowledge, use different modes of perception, depict.
- Structuring, ordering, classifying, constructing, solving, planning, predicting, transferring, applying knowledge, formulating ones individual understanding, interpreting, summarizing, evaluating, judging, explaining and teaching.
- The process of organizing activities must be based on curricular aims bringing together the needs, ideas, interests and characteristics of the children with the knowledge, skill, experience, and personality of the teacher within a given environment. The extent to which the teacher works with students individually or in groups affect the relation the teacher has with each child.
Steps required for Effective Organization of Activities.
- Involving children in the learning process.
- Each child is made an active learner.
- For each activity ensure you follow the principles of:-
- How? Work directions step by step, including:
- With whom? Where? How long?
- What after?
- Ensure you give clear instructions before each activity. It must focus on the above a, b, c, d.
Role of a Teacher in an Activity Based Method
- A planner, an organizer and evaluator.
- Decision maker.
- Knowledge imparter