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WHAT IS OUR GLOBAL AGENDA ? A Look at Learner-Centered Teaching and Learning. Barbara L. McCombs, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist University of Denver Research Institute Email: bmmcombs@du.edu. Purpose of Presentation.

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what is our global agenda a look at learner centered teaching and learning

WHAT IS OUR GLOBAL AGENDA?A Look at Learner-Centered Teaching and Learning

Barbara L. McCombs, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist

University of Denver Research Institute

Email: bmmcombs@du.edu

purpose of presentation
Purpose of Presentation
  • To describe my own journey in identifying global issues in learning and teaching
  • To describe what I’ve learned about practices that improve motivation and achievement in several international studies
  • To identify some of what I think are the most important global educational issues in any learning context (on- or off-line)
  • To challenge participants to become involved in participating in a transformational redesign of educational systems
how the journey began
How the Journey Began
  • My family beginnings
  • Trying to understand natural love of learning
  • Researching different models of motivation
  • Finding research validated principles
  • Exploring how these principles translate into practice in the US and other countries
  • Seeing what’s needed in new educational paradigms, including those using online learning technologies
understanding motivation
Understanding Motivation
  • Learning as a natural process
  • Curiosity as a natural process
  • Motivation to learn as a natural process
  • What happens in schools?
    • Students can’t follow their natural interests – to inspire students they need to see relevance and meaning
    • Students can’t make choices and be autonomous – to engage students they need to have a say in what they learn and how they learn it
what does the research say
What Does the Research Say?
  • What is the evidence?
  • Where does it come from?
  • Is there any global confirmation?
  • How does the evidence translate into practice?
the learner centered principles as a framework for enhanced learning and motivation
THE LEARNER-CENTERED PRINCIPLES AS A FRAMEWORK FOR ENHANCED LEARNING AND MOTIVATION
  • Based on published research on learning, individual differences, and needs of learners
  • Include strategies responsive to and respectful of diverse needs of students as learners
  • Imply that programs and practices must include strategies consistent with the research-validated learner-centered psychological principles
  • Strategies focus on creating positive relationships, providing choice and control, and implementing approaches to building caring learning communities
  • Represent a paradigm shift or transformed and balanced view of cognitive, social, and emotional issues that focuses on learning and learners
why is this foundation important
WHY IS THIS FOUNDATION IMPORTANT?
  • A compelling rationale is needed to balance a focus on learners and learning.
  • There is an increased global recognition that educational systems must prepare students for life, productive careers, and to be learners for life.
  • There is growing research support that academic standards and content expertise are not sufficient to assist students in developing into knowledgeable, responsible, caring, and academically competent lifelong learners.
  • One of the primary benefits of basing practices on research-validated Principles that span over a century of research is that they are theoretically, empirically, and experientially grounded based on feedback from teachers and other educators.
background on development of learner centered principles lcps
BACKGROUND ON DEVELOPMENT OF LEARNER-CENTERED PRINCIPLES (LCPs)
  • The original document was developed in 1991-92 and disseminated in 1993 in response to changes in national educational policy that ignored knowledge base on learning and learners.
  • The LCPs emerged from an intensive review of a century of research on learning, motivation, development, and individual differences in learning.
  • This document was revised in late 1997 as new knowledge became available and new concerns with national educational policy surfaced.
  • As current research has continued to define evidence-based practices, a new APA Task Force is creating a set of tools for communicating evidence based practices that are developmentally appropriate for pre-K-12 students.
apa learner centered pscyhological principles
APA LEARNER-CENTERED PSCYHOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES
  • 14 principles divided into 4 domains or factors influencing learning and achievement
  • Imply a holistic look at learners, their needs, and the contexts/practices that best meet these needs across the age span
  • See separate handout of Table 1 for a listing of all 14 principles
  • Can also download full version at: http://www.apa.org/ed/cpse/LCPP.pdf
metacognitive and cognitive factors
METACOGNITIVE AND COGNITIVE FACTORS
  • Learning is a natural process
  • Learning is personal constructions of meaning
  • Learning is relating personal meanings to shared knowledge
  • Learning is facilitated by higher-order thinking processes
  • Learning is facilitated by environmental factors, including culture, technology, and instructional practices
motivational and affective factors
MOTIVATIONAL AND AFFECTIVE FACTORS
  • Motivation is a function of internal beliefs, values, interests, expectations, emotions, states of mind
  • Motivation to learn is a natural process when beliefs and emotions are positive and when external context is supportive
  • Motivation-enhancing tasks facilitate higher-order thinking and learning processes as a function of perceived relevance and meaningfulness as well as optimal difficulty and novelty
developmental and social factors
DEVELOPMENTAL AND SOCIAL FACTORS
  • Learning is influenced by unique genetic and environmental factors
  • Learning is facilitated by developmentally appropriate experiences and materials
  • Developmental differences encompass physical, intellectual, emotional, and social areas
  • Learning is influenced by social interactions, interpersonal relations, and communication with others
individual differences factors
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES FACTORS
  • The same basic principles of learning apply to all individuals
  • Learners differ in learned and genetic “preferences” for how they learn
  • Individual’s unique perceptions, learned beliefs, and prior learning experiences provide a “filter” for learning new information and interpreting “reality”
  • Setting appropriately high and challenging standards and assessing the learner and learning progress are integral parts of the learning process
what does the learner centered framework address
WHAT DOES THE LEARNER-CENTERED FRAMEWORK ADDRESS?
  • The Learner - perceptions, needs, motivation
  • Learning Opportunities - types of teaching and learning experiences that can meet learner needs for success, belonging, autonomy
  • Learning Outcomes - including affective, cognitive, social, and performance domains
  • Learning Context - climate for learning, including expectations, teacher and technology support, time structures, adaptability to student needs, and a focus on fostering positive learning communities
slide15

Learner-Centered Model: A Holistic Perspective

Learner

Learning

Knowledge

Learner

Learning

Integration of Factors

Impacting

Learners and Learning

Learning

  • Cognitive and Metacognitive
  • Motivational and Affective
  • Developmental and Social
  • Individual Differences
translating the learner centered principles into practice
Translating the Learner-Centered Principles into Practice
  • Selecting a theoretical framework that captures the LCPs
    • Person-centered
    • Phenomenological
  • Identifying evidence-based practices consistent with the LCPs
  • Measuring the efficacy of person and practice variables in predicting important learner outcomes
evidence based characteristics of learner centered teachers
Evidence Based Characteristics of Learner-Centered Teachers
  • acknowledge and attend to each student’s uniqueness
  • understand learning and motivation to learn
  • create a positive climate that feels safe and secure
  • assume that all students want to learn and succeed
  • are knowledgeable of subject matter
  • provide choice and personal responsibility for learning
  • have confidence in their ability to teach and reach different students
  • provide high quality explanations while encouraging students to think critically and independently
  • provide opportunities for active learning and student engagement in learning
  • see themselves as co-learners and partners with students in sharing responsibility for learning
evidence based characteristics of learner centered practices
Evidence Based Characteristics of Learner-Centered Practices
  • The emphasis is on methods that address the whole learner and his or her academic and non-academic needs and students are partners in co-creating learning experiences, climate, and community.
  • Practices at the classroom and school levels begin with strategies for getting to know each learner and forming a safe, inclusive learning community before academic learning begins.
  • Teachers see themselves as learners and co-learners with students and each other, and as facilitators rather than directors of student learning.
  • Success is measured by academic and non academic outcomes and by sustaining attitudes of ongoing learning, change, and improvement.
learner centered professional development tools
Learner-Centered Professional Development Tools
  • Help teachers engage in their own self-assessment process
  • Encourage teachers to reflect and think critically about their beliefs and practices
  • Allow teachers to examine educational theories and practices in light of their beliefs and experiences
the assessment of learner centered practices alcp tools for creating learner centered classrooms
THE ASSESSMENT OF LEARNER-CENTERED PRACTICES (ALCP): Tools for Creating Learner-Centered Classrooms
  • TEACHER SURVEYS - for increasing awareness of impact on students
    • Teacher Beliefs and Assumptions about learners, learning, and teaching
    • Teacher Characteristics related to effective teaching
    • Teacher Assessment of Classroom Practices in areas most related to student motivation and achievement
  • STUDENT SURVEYS - for identifying students not being reached
    • Student Assessment of Classroom Practices in same areas as instructor assessments
    • Student Motivation, Interests, Learning Strategies
characteristics of learner centered tools
Characteristics of Learner-Centered Tools
  • What they are
    • Non-threatening
    • Tools for learning and change
    • Opportunities to share expertise
  • What they are not
    • Evaluations of competence
    • One-size-fits-all strategies
    • “Cookbook” teaching procedures
research validated definition of learner centered
RESEARCH-VALIDATED DEFINITION OF “LEARNER-CENTERED”
  • Reflection of the learner-centered Principles in the programs, practices, policies, and people that support learning for all learners
  • Balances the concern with learning achievement and the concern with diverse learner needs
  • Is a complex interaction of qualities of the teacher in combination with characteristics of instructional practices – as perceived by individual learners
  • Meaningfully predicts learner motivation and levels of learning and achievement at different developmental levels (grades K-3, 4-8, 9-12)
learner centered concepts
CHOICE

RESPONSIBILITY

RELEVANCE

CHALLENGE

CONTROL

CONNECTION

COMPETENCE

RESPECT

COOPERATION

RELATIONSHIPS

LEARNER-CENTERED CONCEPTS
domains of learner centered classroom practices for grades k 3
DOMAINS OF LEARNER-CENTERED CLASSROOM PRACTICES FOR GRADES K-3

Facilitates

Thinking and

Learning Skills

Provides Motivational Support

Creates Positive Relationships

domains of learner centered classroom practices for grades 4 8 and 9 12
DOMAINS OF LEARNER-CENTERED CLASSROOM PRACTICES FOR GRADES 4-8 AND 9-12

Adapts to

Individuals

Encourages

Higher-Order

Thinking

Honors Student Voice

Creates Positive Relationships

slide26

DOMAINS OF LEARNER-CENTEREDCLASSROOM PRACTICES:COLLEGE LEVEL

Provides for

Social Needs

Encourages Personal

Challenge/Responsibility

Facilitates the Learning Process

Adapts to Class Learning Needs

Creates Positive Relationships

student motivational outcomes found with learner centered practices
STUDENT MOTIVATIONAL OUTCOMES FOUND WITH LEARNER CENTERED PRACTICES
  • take responsibility for their own learning
  • engage in learning for understanding vs. grades
  • achieve high academic and personal standards
  • engage in independent learning activities
  • seek out further information about topics of interest
  • persist in the face of learning challenges
  • continue to refine their skills in chosen areas
  • go beyond minimal assignments
student academic and behavioral outcomes found with learner centered practices
STUDENT ACADEMIC AND BEHAVIORAL OUTCOMES FOUND WITH LEARNER-CENTERED PRACTICES
  • High levels of classroom achievement on indicator such as grades and test scores
  • High levels of classroom and school attendance and engagement
  • High levels of social and emotional skills
  • High levels of lifelong learning skills
  • Low levels of disruptive classroom behaviors
what defines learner centered classrooms and schools
What Defines Learner-Centered Classrooms and Schools?
  • “Learner-Centered” is in “the eye of the beholder”
  • Won’t look the same from day to day, class to class, school to school
  • Depends on needs of individual learners, the culture of the school, and characteristics of the community
a universal systemic framework
A Universal Systemic Framework
  • An ecological framework for learning – one that defines the complex factors affecting learning from inside and outside the learner
  • A living systems framework – one that defines the domains of system functioning
slide31

Conceptual Framework:

Domains of Living Systems

TECHNICAL

ORGANIZATIONAL

PERSONAL

findings from international studies
Findings from International Studies
  • England – Looked at relationships between learner-centeredness as assessed by the ALCP surveys for upper elementary and secondary students and students’ lifelong learning skills. Found that students in more learner-centered classrooms had higher lifelong learning skills on 6 of the 8 dimensions measured.
  • Ireland – Looked at elementary students development of self-regulated learning and motivation skills as a function of how learner-centered the teachers practices were using the ALCP surveys and measures of self-regulated learning. Found significant relationships between learner-centeredness and students self-regulated learning and motivation.
  • Philippines – Looked at the practices of college instructors with the ALCP surveys. Found that the more learner-centered instructors had students with the highest motivation, attendance, and learning outcomes.
  • Spain – Looked at practices of high school teachers in learner-centered vs. non-learner centered classrooms as assessed by the ALCP surveys. Found that student s in more learner-centered classrooms had higher self-regulated learning skills.
what i ve learned
What I’ve Learned
  • Research-validated principles apply to a number of cultures and both on-line and off-line learning environments
  • It is productive to look at what unites versus separates us as a global culture
  • Learner-centered practices enhance a range of desired student outcomes
  • Schools that align themselves with learner-centered principles create new communities and cultures of learners
what does this imply for a global agenda
What Does this Imply for a Global Agenda?
  • We need to identify those common issues for teachers and students that contribute to optimum levels of learning and engagement
  • We need to identify areas of collaboration that can cross-validate common issues and solutions
  • We need to study how common issues play out differently in different cultures and groups
  • We need to understand the role of different values, purposes of education, and philosophies
  • We need to identify online and offline learning designs that prepare students to be innovators (creative lifelong learners and collaborators)
  • We need to work on new policy implications that have global perspectives
conclusions
Conclusions
  • We have many exciting challenges and opportunities to build research validated principles into the design of new educational systems
  • We have much to gain by collaboration
  • We can set the course for a transformed global educational system
  • We can inspire students at all levels to become involved