Pre-Active Phase of Learning

Pre-Active Phase of Learning B.Ed and M.Ed notes by Group Of Tutors

The pre-active phase of learning refers to the stage in the learning process where the individual is preparing themselves to learn new information or skills. This phase typically involves the individual setting goals, establishing motivation and interest, and creating a positive learning environment.


The pre-active phase of learning is the initial stage in the learning process where an individual prepares themselves to learn new information or skills. This phase is essential because it sets the groundwork for effective learning.

During the pre-active phase, learners engage in various activities that help them create a positive learning environment and set achievable goals.

Furthermore, the pre-active phase of learning helps learners to identify potential barriers that may hinder their progress. For example, if a learner realizes that they struggle with distractions, they can take proactive steps to eliminate them during the pre-active phase.

Similarly, if a learner identifies a particular concept or skill that they find challenging, they can focus more attention on that area during the pre-active phase and develop strategies for mastering it.

Also Read | What is the Pre-Active Phase of Teaching?

In addition, the pre-active phase of learning helps learners to establish a positive mindset toward learning. By setting achievable goals and creating a supportive learning environment, learners build their confidence and motivation, making it easier for them to tackle challenges that may arise during the learning process.

Some of the key activities that individuals engage in during this phase include:

Definitions of the Pre-Active Phase of Learning

Here are a few definitions of the pre-active phase of learning from experts in the field:

Robert M. Gagne

According to Robert M. Gagne, a prominent educational psychologist, the pre-active phase of learning involves “preparing the learner to learn by establishing his readiness to learn and motivating him to learn.” (Source: Gagne, R.M. (1970). The conditions of learning)

John Biggs

John Biggs, a leading authority on teaching and learning in higher education, describes the pre-active phase of learning as “the stage in which the student prepares themselves for learning, deciding what they want to learn and how they will go about it.” (Source: Biggs, J. (2014). Constructive alignment in university teaching)

Malcolm S. Knowles, Elwood F. Holton III, and Richard A. Swanson

In their book “The Adult Learner,” Malcolm S. Knowles, Elwood F. Holton III, and Richard A. Swanson define the pre-active phase of learning as “the period of time during which the learner prepares himself or herself mentally and emotionally for learning.” (Source: Knowles, M.S., Holton III, E.F., & Swanson, R.A. (2014). The Adult Learner)

During the pre-active phase, individuals may engage in activities such as:

The pre-active phase of teaching involves a range of activities that help to prepare the teacher to deliver effective instruction.

In other words, this phase of teaching includes all those activities which a teacher performs before classroom teaching or before entering the classroom. It is purely a planning phase of the instructional act. It starts with the establishment of some kind of goals and discovering ways and means to achieve those goals.

Some of the key activities involved in this phase include:

1. Setting learning Goals or objectives

Teachers define what they want their students to learn and identify specific, measurable learning objectives that will guide their instruction.

Setting learning objectives is a critical activity in the pre-active phase of teaching. It involves defining what students should know, understand, or be able to do at the end of the instruction.

Learning objectives are statements that describe what the students are expected to achieve as a result of the instruction, and they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

The learning goals could be determined using the following steps:

  • The teacher determines the teaching activities
  • Objectives are defined in terms of expected behavioral changes.
  • Objectives are ascertained according to the pupil’s psychology and the needs of society.

2. Selection of Content to be Taught

After the fixation of teaching objectives, the teacher decides on content to be presented before the learners and consequently, the teacher wants to bring changes in the behaviors of pupils.

The selection of content to be taught is another important aspect of the pre-active phase of teaching. It involves identifying the key concepts, skills, and knowledge that students need to learn and determining the most effective way to present this information.

3. Assessing the prior knowledge

Teachers evaluate their students’ prior knowledge and skills related to the subject matter they will be teaching. This helps them to identify any gaps in understanding and tailor their instruction to meet the needs of their students.

Assessing prior knowledge is a process of evaluating what students already know or understand about a particular topic or subject before instruction begins. It is an important part of the pre-active phase of teaching because it helps teachers to identify any gaps in their students’ understanding and adjust their instruction accordingly.

Assessing prior knowledge can involve various methods such as asking open-ended questions, conducting pre-tests or surveys, and observing student performance in related activities. By doing so, teachers can determine what their students know, what they need to learn, and what misconceptions they may have about the subject matter.

4. Designing instructional materials

Teachers develop instructional materials, such as lesson plans, handouts, and presentations, that are aligned with their learning objectives and appropriate for their students’ age, ability level, and learning style.

5. Selecting teaching strategies

Teachers determine the most effective teaching strategies for achieving their learning objectives and engaging their students, such as group work, discussion, and hands-on activities.

6. Creating a positive learning environment

Teachers establish a supportive learning environment that promotes student engagement, motivation, and success. This may involve setting clear expectations, establishing routines, and building positive relationships with students.

7. Establishing assessment methods

Teachers determine how they will assess student learning and evaluate their instructional effectiveness. This may involve developing formative and summative assessments, such as quizzes, exams, and projects.

8. Creating a lesson plan

Teachers create a detailed lesson plan that outlines the goals, objectives, and activities that will be covered in the lesson. The lesson plan also includes strategies for differentiation to accommodate the diverse learning needs of the students.

9. Setting learning expectations

Teachers set clear and achievable learning expectations that students can understand. This helps to motivate students and sets the foundation for their learning.

10. Establishing rapport with students

Teachers establish positive relationships with their students by getting to know them, understanding their needs, and showing interest in their lives.

11. Planning for classroom management

Teachers plan for classroom management strategies that maintain a positive and productive learning environment. This includes setting rules and expectations and having a plan for addressing behavioral issues.

12. How and When the Teaching Strategies

The teacher should also decide how and when he will make use of the previously selected method and strategy during classroom teaching.


The pre-active phase of learning is a very important part of teaching and learning. It’s when teachers get ready to teach by figuring out what their students already know, what they need to learn, and how they can teach them. By doing this, teachers can make sure their teaching is interesting, useful, and fits the students’ needs.

This planning helps students to learn the most important things they need to know and be ready for more learning. So, the pre-active phase of learning is really important because it sets the stage for successful teaching and learning.

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