The principle of minimal help

Best Practice 2023

The principle of minimal help

Stefan Wagner

Presenter: Stefan Wagner
Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, TIMN


We know from research that students learn best through active learning (e.g. Freeman et al., 2014). In fact, students should work on their own as much as possible in order to improve understanding and to develop problem-solving skills. As a teacher, it is therefore important to consider the ”principle of minimal help” as introduced by the well-known Swiss educationalist Hans Aebli. Simply put, its aim is to provide as much help as necessary whilst as little as possible. Note that this also spares the resources of the teacher. In this talk I will review the principle of minimal help and apply it to a typical exercise session in mathematics.

Student-centered learning (Hofmann 2004)




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