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Why Push?

Push demonstrates that the work required for learning must take place in the engaged minds of active learners. Trying things out, making errors, encountering problems, and formulating solutions are necessary components of effective learning. Listening, remembering, and following prescribed algorithms do not result in meaningful changes in thinking and behavior.

In most students’ learning experiences prior to attending college, and in many of their experiences in college, course evaluation criteria reinforce the notion that the goal of learning is to avoid error, mask misunderstanding, and provide the right answers to questions and problems posed by teachers. In addition, many evaluations of student learning and the grades associated with them are based primarily on the recall of facts and the application of well-practiced algorithms.

There is also ample evidence that in most instances students play a passive role in their educations. Even when they are engaged in so-called active learning experiences, those experiences are designed and directed by their teachers. It is certainly the case that active learning increases student attentiveness and perhaps even enjoyment, but it is also true that students may be actively engaged and yet fail to learn what the teacher intends to teach.

Learn more about the goals of Push, such as eliminating unproductive practices from the classroom while encouraging assertive learning.