The Active Learning Academy
To better coordinate our efforts to provide STEM professional development and foster professional learning communities around active learning, STEM for Success in launching the Active Learning Academy.
The Active Learning Academy was inspired by Ken Horwitz’s work in the ongoing NJIT/Newark Math Success Initiative. In 2019, NJIT, the City of Newark and the Newark Board of Education partnered to create the NJIT/Newark Math Success Initiative (MSI) to promote effective teaching and learning for a group of Newark’s rising high school seniors. The program included an intensive seven-week professional development experience for Newark math teachers in which teachers were embedded in MSI math classes held at NJIT and created Active Learning modules.
STEM for Success was inspired to develop and launch the Active Learning Academy by the MSI teacher’s feedback, their gains in self-efficacy with Active Learning, and their desire to continue deepening their knowledge and practice.
Assistant Director for Professional Development
What is Active Learning?
The Conference Board on Mathematical Sciences (2016) defines Active Learning as classroom practices that engage students in activities, such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving, that promote higher-order thinking.
With this wide definition, there are many techniques that can be employed to encourage students to engage with the mathematics being discussed: teaching/learning techniques include but are not limited to think-pair-share, Inquiry Based Learning, Project Based Learning, flipped classrooms, classroom response systems, math emporium, and Modeling or Computer labs.