Implementing active learning in high school physical science
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Active learning marries well with the contemporary NGSS and it is an exciting time to be a science teacher. However, implementing active learning is a difficult task, so much so that, during a recent school year, I found myself almost exclusively teaching through direct instruction. Notably and, perhaps consequently, my students' median national percentile on the Georgia Milestones Physical Science End of Course assessment dropped 34 points compared to the previous year's students. Direct instruction is a common name for passive learning, which involves students seated and subjected to a one-way delivery of information, usually from someone that has a much different 2 experience, perspective, and way of communicating. This method sharply contrast active learning and my desired mode of instruction. In this paper, I further describe active learning and relevant literature regarding the concept, the methods used to answer the research questions, and evaluate my instructional method based upon the body of collected data. Lastly, I discuss potential factors that influence the effectiveness of implementing active learning and the impact is has on my teaching.