Today's world is entirely different than the one in which I was born. For context, I'm only 20 years old. Among all the advances in science and technology occurring every day are incredible advances in education and child development. We know more now than ever before about how the brain works and how that translates to learning. The research is quite clear: there are many types of learners, and the most effective ways of teaching convey the information in a variety of formats. Lessons that are engaging, interactive, and creative are best for knowledge retention.
One of my most memorable learning experiences was an 8th grade World History unit in which we researched and took on roles in a mock trial for Joan of Arc. Instead of reading a chapter in a book and answering quiz questions, we each prepared a series of statements to reevaluate the court's sentence in a modern context. Cast as Joan herself, I was quite relieved to be found "not guilty," but the real takeaway is found in the overarching lessons from this activity.