What are the differences between mechanical and meaningful learning anyway?

6 minutes to read

Mechanical and meaningful learning are teaching methodologies that have different and significant aspects for the development of students.

With different origins, each type of learning defends concepts and presents specific considerations. It is important to know both formats in order to develop and implement methods that are more suitable for the school reality.

Want to understand the differences between mechanical and meaningful learning? Follow it below!

After all, what is mechanical and meaningful learning?

Mechanical learning, also considered memoristic, is that which occurs through the transfer of information. This teaching model is related to more traditional methodologies, which defend that the teacher is the only holder of knowledge and, therefore, cannot be contradicted.

Meaningful or relational learning, on the other hand, appears as a counterpoint to mechanics, presenting a new view of the educational process. In this model, students’ knowledge is considered and used as a starting point for the development and progression of studies.

Thus, mechanical learning is directly related to an old and authoritarian model, which does not accept contributions or even suggestions from students. On the other hand, meaningful learning is intended to stimulate critical thinking and student participation, placing them as protagonists in the teaching process.

Understanding these differences is important precisely for the school institution to opt for a methodology that is more aligned with the goals of new students. The current generation requires differentiated and attractive approaches that use one or more technological resources in their daily lives.

With this, educators can create more motivating classes that are suited to the students’ reality. And meaningful learning has been prioritized, mainly for offering innovative tools and for encouraging a more active participation of students.

What are the main differences between types of learning?

Mechanical and meaningful learning have significant differences that must be considered. For a while, people are able to mechanically reproduce what they have learned, but without meaning. In this way, knowledge can easily be lost or forgotten.

Today, it is already considered that mechanical learning based on the memorization of contents does not meet the objectives of the inclusive and innovative teaching process. What is expected is that students can give meaning to what is studied, always with the aim of deepening the knowledge acquired.

Follow, below, what are the main differences between mechanical and meaningful learning and how the approaches impact the educational reality.

Linking to knowledge

In machine learning, knowledge is learned without interaction with other concepts. In other words, students’ baggage is not considered and there is little critical development about what is presented in the classroom.

In meaningful learning, on the contrary, students become part of the construction of knowledge, based on what they have already learned through their personal experiences. The linking of knowledge, therefore, is completely opposite in both types of methodologies.

Methods used

Likewise, the methods used are quite different in each type of learning. In mechanics, teachers are the maximum holders of knowledge and their function is, precisely, to transmit the materials with the objective of making students memorize what is being passed on.

In a more meaningful teaching, the methods are chosen according to the needs of the class. Students are the protagonists of their own development and act as building agents of knowledge, helping to implement approaches that are more appropriate to their reality.

learning process

While in mechanical learning, students are guided to follow fixed curricula and pre-established activities, in meaningful learning they have the chance to give their opinion and indicate better paths for the teaching process.

Contrary to what you might think, this does not mean that mandatory subjects are not worked on in the classroom. However, the development ends up being improved, in order to deal with the difficulties and demands of the class. This is especially important to meet the different realities and contexts of students.

teaching focus

The focus of teaching in mechanical learning is to reproduce concepts and knowledge already determined. In other words, students must reproduce the information that is passed on, without having autonomy in the construction of knowledge.

On the other hand, in meaningful learning, what matters most are the students’ experiences and what they can contribute to reaching a new level in teaching. Thus, training becomes broader and more inclusive, taking into account the specificities of each student.

What are the differences between mechanical and meaningful learning anyway?

Activities worked

In general, activities in machine learning guide students to reproduce and memorize the information that is passed on in the classroom. Thus, the focus is on assessments and tests, which end up harming the development of many students.

Meaningful learning, on the other hand, prioritizes multidisciplinary and interactive activities, which address different types of knowledge, much more. This aspect enriches the experience and makes the classes much more motivating and attractive.

Knowing the different types of teaching approaches is essential for schools that are thinking about making learning more and more meaningful. One tool that has made all the difference in this regard is Eleva’s interactive material.

With this didactic resource, it is possible to transform education and make it more personalized and attractive. Through games, video classes, among other study organization tools, the platform becomes adaptive and works well with different learning paces.

Overall, the interactive material is beneficial to both students and teachers, who have access to essential resources for planning and organizing classes. It also has innovative teaching technologies that prioritize autonomy for the entire school community.

Knowing the differences between mechanical and meaningful learning, school principals and coordinators can define approaches that are more suited to the students’ reality. Keep in mind that interactive material is a tool that helps in everyday education, bringing a series of benefits and facilities.

Did you like the content? Understand now how Eleva’s technology can help your educational institution’s processes!

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