A letter by Don Yokitis, of Nanty Glo, “Making students active learners,” was selected by the editorial board as the best of those that appeared during the week of March 22-28.

His letter was published March 20.

In his letter, Yokitis wrote that there is a significant difference between those who are active learners and passive learners, between participants and onlookers.

“Two strategies are considered and implemented by teachers to reinforce the efforts of active learners and to point bystanders in the right direction,” he wrote.

“First, teachers carry into practice instructional techniques that foster exploratory learning and research in all areas of the curriculum.”

For example, he wrote, science investigations and social studies research engage the interests and resourcefulness of the youthful scholar. Investigative learning frees pupils to embrace higher level thinking and hands-on learning, he added.

He explained that in science class, students work in groups to prove or disprove hypotheses. In social studies class, pupils propose hypotheses that are proved or disproved through research.

“Second, the commitment to exploratory learning engages active learners in a manner that passive learners are just beginning to grasp,” Yokitis wrote. “Along the way, teachers instruct, model and have students practice the methods of inquiry.

“Students and teachers are partners in the process of transforming passive learners to active learners. Hard work and resiliency by teachers and pupils alike results in a widespread acquisition of exploratory and hands-on learning outcomes.”

Note: Selection of the letter of the week is based on writing competency and the ability of the writer to get his or her point across. It is not based on whether the editorial board agrees with the writer’s stance.

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