Student-centred Learning - Practical Suggestions For Implementing Student-Centered Learning

Practical Suggestions For Implementing Student-Centered Learning

Barraket (2005) utilized a number of techniques when implementing student-centered learning which included, scenario exercises, case studies, small and large group work, group reflection and evaluation and role plays. Freestone (2012) suggests that student-centered activities can be interjected by asking different types of questions: generative questions which are open-ended facilitating thinking and critical reflection; focus questions enable the student to connect in class learning to real world; and, explorative questions facilitate action and application. Freestone (2012) identifies the importance of the learner and teacher working in partnership to ask questions where the objective is thinking, real world application and are asked and answered by both teacher and student.

The lesson involves definitions, collaborative work with the text book and examples. Bogdan (2011) states that this allows the students to work together, frees up the teacher to work individually with students and encourages students to take control of their learning instead of just listening to the teacher they are fully engaged in their learning. Bogdan (2011) promotes the classroom as an environment for learning not to deem success or failure. Another method that is used is to open book tests. Since the motivation to learn is not always there when the subject is presented and may surface during testing Bogdan (2011) found that having an open book test allows students to continue their learning during this time. After the test is marked, students also have the opportunity to make corrections, thus continuing to support the student learning process Activities can include a vast array of techniques, for example, brain-storming, drawing, critiquing, trouble-shooting, designing and analyzing to name a few (Felder & Brent, 2009). They state that students may think they have learned the material from lectures, however, when it comes to application they may realize that they have not learned the material. Thus active learning activities serve to give the student and teacher feedback on their understanding of the topic and promote application of the material (Felder & Brent, 2009). Felder & Brent ( ) also suggest “think, pair, share” where students are asked to think about the task at hand and come up with their answers, pair up with a partner and share their findings via discussion and comparison in order to improve on their answers.

Student-centered learning does not only involve active engagement via doing activities, it also involves setting the right environment ie. Class set-up. One elementary school teacher changes her classroom to foster children’s curiosity, creativity and exploration (Rubenstein, 2007). This is accomplished by changing the height of the tables and chairs, making material visible and accessible, displaying children’s work on topics instead of buying pre-printed material, displaying objects that promote inquiry and curiosity.

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