The Active Learning DVD
The DVD is no longer available for purchase. But if you have a copy you can use the guidance here to make the most of viewing it.
One of the problems of writing about kinaesthetic teaching methods is that you end up trying to describe movement. It’s a bit like trying to explain what a ballet dancer does – at some point you’re reduced to saying that they wave their arms round a lot and hop up and down – not the most artistic description ever! And it’s the same with active learning – how do you best describe the choreography of the pupils round the classroom? With charts? With text?
The DVD has now resolved this dilemma; it's the ideal complement to the scripts on this website, allowing you to see how the sequence of movement develops, how the pupils can be prompted to think through their answers and, above all, how structured and how controlled the activities are - all the features that, otherwise, you have to visualise.
Six activities are shown 'in action' – favourites, washing lines and A-Level:
How to develop understanding of events and sources
Rebellions: why they happened and why they failed
Focus on the people and the community not the derelict buildings
A timeline activity creating a big picture very simply
A washing-line activity making a concept concrete and creating a structure for extended writing
This activity discusses and demonstrates how Active Learning can be used at A-Level to encourage students to become more independent in their reading of complex issues
Interspersed amongst the demonstrations are interviews with 5 experienced teachers who add practical advice and discuss the benefits and impact of active learning in their classrooms.
The full playing time is 2 hours but the sections can be viewed individually.
Using the DVD for CPD
For suggestions on using the DVD for CPD [ click here ].
The DVD was 'officially' reviewed by 2 PGCE tutors, Michael Riley at Bath Spa and Terry Haydn at East Anglia.
Michael said it is "a great resource - so useful to see excellent practice modelled and then have teachers reflect on their practice ... If you are uncertain about the power of role-play to help pupils with their understanding of history you need to watch this ... full of useful ideas to help history teachers create more dynamic learning. Watch, learn and enjoy!"
Terry said the DVD is "a great resource ... the extracts graphically illustrate how to undertake classroom activities which involve active and kinaesthetic approaches and provides vivid exposure to good ideas about how to teach history."
Feedback shows that the uses of the DVD are wider than I ever imagined - departmental CPD and mentoring of trainees were anticipated but others weren't - with the DVD being shown at parents' evenings to show how teaching styles have changed - at whole-school training to show what the history department does well.
Constructive feedback is always welcome, particularly anything that will help other teachers.