Learning is a way of interacting with the world. As we learn, the way we structure new information and think about it enables us to see the world differently. When we learn, we can either skate along the surface of the text (Marton and Saljo, 1976), or we can use a deep approach, which involves seeing the big picture.
Active learning encourages a deep approach to learning (Gibbs, 2002). For instance, when we read a book, we might set out to understand the meaning of what the author is trying to say. We might work collaboratively on a project or hold a conversation with friends. A good democratic dialogue facilitates learning.