16 Jan 2018

MOVING TO STUDENT- CENTERED LEARNING

There are some seminars or conferences you attend and then the next thing you notice is people leaving or sleeping during the speech. This happens often times when the speaker doesn’t carry the listener along and it is sad to say it happens in the classroom also during teaching and learning process.

Achieving learning goal is supposed to be the main aim of learning, but learning objective won’t be achievable when learners are not carried along in the learning process. For a learning objective to be achievable, the teacher needs to understand the learner’s values and what he/she feels will help the learner to be more effective in the instructional process.

Although It is really hard to avoid a teacher centered class because, it is human nature to dominate and teach what you believe to be true and not consider other’s views, however, teachers must be dynamic when it comes to teaching by making learning to be more consultative and participatory unlike the one-way “oratory teaching”. For example, instead of just listing words on the board, you can ask students to repeat the words or ask a student to read then others to repeat. Your mode of teaching should move from “listen to your teacher” to “someone should suggest”.

What Is Student-Centered Learning?

A student-centered learning is focused mainly on the interest, abilities, needs and learning styles of students and students choosing why they will learn, how they will learn it and what they will learn. Students need to discover things themselves and be involved in decision making. Therefore, there is need to ask the question of “who is doing most of the work in the learning process “is it the teacher or the student” then you know if your teaching activity is student or teacher centered.

Advantages of Student-Centered Learning

  • It will equip learners with greater researching skills because thy will look for materials/ information online to present to the whole class and reach informed opinions of their research information in the case of project work.
  • It also promotes team work, time management and planning among learners, organizing their contents to enable smooth delivery of their research work will also give them insight on how information should be arranged.
  • Students don’t depend on the teacher all the times and helps children to learn at all times, make their learning fun, enjoyable and motivating.
  • Student centered learning helps to improve student’s communication skills because they’ll be allowed to air their opinion as they communicate and given the chance to express themselves in class or during their presentation to the whole.
  • There’s an avenue for knowledge sharing among students, it also promotes discussions, brainstorming and unity in classroom.

Lend the Student A voice

A teacher need to allow his/her students share what they know so others including the teacher can benefit from the idea. As a teacher you should give chance to your students to talk and finish their sentence and not interrupt. Place them at the center of their learning activities, let them take charge of the teaching activities, something like student teaching students type. Increase learner-led learning activity.

How to Lend a Student A voice

There are so many ways to implement student-centered learning

Engage them in Projects: It could be group or individual, however you need to note that doing activities in group is always motivating, effective and enjoyable. A project topic may be given by the teacher or student to be presented or submitted at a given date.

Relate learning Content to everyday examples: An easy way to help students feel connected to what you’re teaching them is to relate what is learnt to real life issues. You can apply economics concept to how to can manage daily work activity.

Use students’ interests and fascinations: Find out what interest them and use these interests to increase engagement and motivate them. there are many strategies you can use to work this into your instruction. For example, when you want to teach shapes/ colors, you can ask them to bring their toys to school, you use ball to teach “round shape” and you will get happier and motivated students.

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