David Ausubel addresses the improvement of presentational methods of teaching. This is counter to the current trend away from “passive” learning (Joyce, Weil, & Calhoun, 2015). However, the use of a properly designed advance organizer takes the passive methods and moves them into the realm of “active” learning. Advance organizers serve to help students attach current information to what they are going to learn. Advance organizers do this by making use of a variety of media that set the stage for learning. (Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, 2012). The advance organizer can also help set the stage for why certain media is being used in instruction.
Using a variety of media in teaching is a good idea for the modern world. We consume news, information, and entertainment through a variety of media sources, so having an understanding of how to absorb the content within the media is a good educational goal. There needs to be more than just using pictures, showing films, or playing music. The advance organizer can provide not only the scaffolding for the student (Joyce, Weil, & Calhoun, 2015), but can provide the context through which the student needs to view the media.
It is important to use a variety of media in instruction as it allows the teacher to select the media that is most appropriate for the material. While changes to culture can be a subject of a lecture, viewing a documentary film about the time period can provide a more robust understanding for the students. Listening to music or the time can provide insight in the issues of that day. Unless the students have the context in which to consume this media, which is provided by the advance organizer, they will not be able to learn what they needed.
Dean, C. B., Hubbell, E. R., Pitler, H., & Stone, B. (2012). Classroom instruction that works. Alexandria: ASCD.
Joyce, B., Weil, M., & Calhoun, E. (2015). Models of Teaching. Pearson.