Around the Room in Many Ways:
Using Stations to Maximize Opportunities to Learn
In classroom observations at the Community School of Davidson, researchers found that teachers use learning stations instead of lecturing in first and third grade classrooms. Individual classwork in a “learning station” teaching environment exposes students to material in different formats and difficulty in a way that fosters problem based learning. When presented material in different ways and given the opportunity to practice in different ways, children are more likely to remember key concepts to use as a foundation for future learning. The technique of having students work independently promotes self-regulation and improved engagement with material for the students. By critically engaging with material, students are more involved and therefore have more opportunities to learn than in a lecture style class. Additionally, they receive feedback from their teachers which improves student performance on subsequent attempts at similar work. By combining these different techniques, teachers maximize students’ opportunities to learn, which has been demonstrated to improve academic performance.