Student-Centred Learning

Focus Groups 2015 have been formed and I am working in a group looking at Student Centred Teaching  or putting the student at the centre of their learning. Here is a starting definition of this approach from UNSW Australia:

Student-centred teaching allows students to create knowledge, as opposed to passively receiving information, and encourages deep learning. A student-centred approach focuses primarily on what the student needs to do in order to learn, rather than on the course content or the transmission of information by the teacher.

We went back to the Ken Robinson and his TED Talk on the Death Valley of Education. He captures the issue by emphasising three imperatives:

  • We must individualise teaching and learning
  • We must attribute high status to the teaching profession, and see professional development as an investment, not a cost.
  • We must make schools responsible and autonomous to get the job done. Centralised decision making is not the way.

We looked at five characteristics of Student Centred Learning:

  1. Learner-centered teaching engages students in the hard, messy work of learning.
  2. Learner-centered teaching includes explicit skill instruction.
  3. Learner-centered teaching encourages students to reflect on what they are learning and how they are learning it.
  4. Learner-centered teaching motivates students by giving them some control over learning processes.
  5. Learner-centered teaching encourages collaboration.

Homework is to implement and reflect. Coming soon to a blog post near you.

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