Glossary Term

Participatory learning

An approach to teaching and learning which focuses on the learner. It encourages learning by doing, using small groups, concrete materials, open questioning, and peer teaching. For example, learners use practical activities to understand mathematical concepts or work together to solve problems and ask and answer questions. Participatory learning is contrasted with teacher-focused methodologies, which are characterized by learners passively sitting at desks, answering closed questions and copying from a blackboard. Participatory learning may also be used with teachers and education authorities to support them to analyze their needs, identify solutions and develop and implement a plan of action. In these contexts, it may include community participation, coordination, and analysis.