Active Learning activities are highly important teaching tools that are often discarded by teachers because of the level of ‘risk’ involved in them. I would argue that the use of active teaching and learning techniques actually minimises the ‘risk’ by providing a greater variety of learning options to students: thus engaging them more and increasing their level of interest.
Active learning sessions cater for students whose learning preference fits into any, or several, of the Visual, Aural, Reading / Writing and Kinaesthetic styles. Through a range of carefully constructed questions and tasks students think critically, develop their empathy with the people involved in the ‘real’ events and, in my experience at least, form a much better understanding of how a range of complex factors can combine to cause further events. In addition to this active learning places the responsibility for learning in the hands of the student, and helps to develop their independent learning skills.