It is important to understand that in Action Learning, students actually play
the parts of a relationship about which you are teaching. For example,
if you are teaching about sonar, students play the bat, the food of the bat,
and the sound waves that are sent out by the bat to find food. This is
part of the key to the power of Action Learning; it makes relationships
within a situation clear. It is not a static representation of a concept or
situation, but rather a moving and adaptable representation.
When things move, we see how the interaction between the parts changes and
influences the overall situation. If we ‘act out’ erosion, we see
that the forces of wind, rain, and temperature affect a mountain. But to really
learn how this works we need to see it not as a static image, but as motion
over time. In Action Learning we can do that and see the change in the
mountain, how the erosion affects rivers as it deposits sediment in other places,
and how freezing breaks apart the rock. Students can act all of this out quite
easily. And unlike a video, the teacher and students can modify the demonstration
in order to answer questions as they arise. For instance, if a student asks
why certain types of rocks erode faster than others, the model can be adapted
to demonstrate the principal of hardness by having some types of rock erode
faster than others.
The Action Leaning Institute provides members with a number of tools to make this process work in the classroom. For a complete list of those tools see Resources.