Pedagogy: to learn at school, it is better to be active



Any student slumped in a seat undergoing three hours of lecture has already seen it: you learn better when you are involved rather than passive. A feeling that scientifically confirms a collection of studies published in Science last October 1st.

Handle, debate, get bored to learn better

Work carried out by the University of Washington shows that the fact of exchanging in class with the students, to make them participate, reduces the effect of socio-economic differences. Some students from disadvantaged categories may feel helpless in the face of traditional learning, and involving them helps reduce the gap in results. Both because the students feel supported, but also because the exchanges and debates in class help assimilation and understanding.

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Another way to “learn better” is to move. A Stanford researcher details the importance of physical and manual activity for memorizing, with neural connections benefiting from both manipulation and explanation. Finally, a psychologist and a cognitive scientist highlight the importance of “unstructured” time, that is, letting children be bored so that they can explore their own environments and activities.

Space letters for better reading

On the reading side, another study, published in a journal specializing in developmental disorders, recalls the importance of letter spacing in writing. By analyzing reading speed in dyslexic and non-dyslexic children, the English team showed that increasing the space between letters, within words and between words, reduces the number of errors in dyslexics. and improves reading speed for all children.

Another experiment this time using different colors for letters or words did not show any clear improvement. But the researchers admit that the reading time was less than ten minutes in their work; maybe the different colors limit reading fatigue after a while.

Overall, the researchers encourage teachers to space letters in their documents, a technique that is relatively easy to implement to help children read.

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