STUDENT-CENTERED TEACHING & LEARNING METHODS. Richard Lynch Graduate School of Education Assumption University. Thought for the day – Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means. - Albert Einstein. Today’s Agenda.
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STUDENT-CENTERED TEACHING & LEARNING METHODS Richard Lynch Graduate School of Education Assumption University
Thought for the day – Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means. -Albert Einstein
Today’s Agenda • Learning Theories Overview - 2 fundamental questions • What is learning? • How do people learn? • Teacher-centered vs. Student-centered Education • Learner-centered instructional Strategies/Activities It’s Easy
Activity 1: Pair/Group Discussion - Learning Theory - Two Fundmental Questions Directions: Discuss the following 2 questions with one or two people sitting next to you. Try to develop a definition oflearning as well as a description of the processof learning. • What is learning ? • How do people learn?
Q1 - What is learning? Some definitions . . . • Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience - an external change that we can observe.(Behaviourism) • Learning is a relatively permanent change in the knowledge stored in memorydue to experience - an internal (mental) change that we cannot observe. (Cognitivism) • Learning happens when there is a change in meaning, new ideas, or concepts constructed from prior knowledge and experience. Individuals construct knowledge (learn) as they solve problems, usually through collaborating with other people. (Constructivism) • Learning is the discovery of new facts and relating them to those already known. (Cognitive constructivism)
Some Principles of Learning • Persons at all ages have the potential to learn. • Individuals vary in the ways they like to learn – learning styles/preferences • We learn to do by doing - learning improves when the learner is an active participant in the educational process. • We learn to do what we do and not something else. • Without readiness, learning is inefficient and may be harmful. • Without motivation there can be no learning at all. • For effective learning, responses must be immediately reinforced. • Meaningful content is better learned and longer retained than less meaningful content. • For the greatest amount of transfer, responses should be learned in the way they are going to be used. • Learning is more comfortable and effective when the environmental conditions support open exchange, sharing of opinions, and problem-solving strategies. • The depth of learning increases when new concepts and skills are useful in meeting current needs or problems.
Q2 - How do people learn? Behaviorism – Learner is passive, a receiver of stimuli & feedback (rewards & punishments), teacher transmits knowledge to student – The Transmission Model of Teaching/Learning. Cognitivism- Learner participates by selecting information from sensory memory, processing it in STM(working memory) and storing it in LTM (long term memory), and retrieving information in order to apply it (IPMM – Information Processing Model of Memory). Constructivism - Learner is active in creating knowledge and meaning fromexperience and in connecting new knowledge with prior knowledge.
How do People Learn - IPMM Information Processing Model of Human Memory
Bloom’s Cognitive Domain Taxonomy Teach Bottom - Up
Two Types of Knowledge • DECLARATIVE KNOWLEDGE Facts - who, what, when, where • PROCEDURAL KNOWLEDGE How Both types of knowledge complement and support each other. But which comes first? Which should you teach first?
Learning Styles Present material via multiple modes of instruction - Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic – VAK • Students should be able to • hear you state important concepts • readimportant concepts • write important concepts • work with materials (models, text passages, experiments, etc.) I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand. - Chinese Proverb
Activity 2: Pair/Group Discussion -Learner-Centered vs Teacher-Centered Education Directions: With one or two of the people sitting next to you discuss the concept of learner-centered education. Focus on the following areas: • List some important ways that it differs from teacher-centered education in terms of roles of learners and teachers, teaching/learning activities, assessment methods. • Think of the 3 learning theories we have discussed – where does learner-centered education fit in those theories? • Which approach is the most effective – learner-centered or teacher-centered?
Teacher-Centered Knowledge transmitted professor-students Students passively receive information Emphasis is on acquisition of knowledge outside the context in which it will be used Professor’s role is to be primary information giver and primary evaluator Teaching and assessing are separate Learner-Centered Students construct knowledge through gathering and synthesizing information and integrating it with the general skills of inquiry, communication, critical thinking, problem solving . . . Students are actively involved Emphasis is on using and communicating knowledge effectively to address issues and problems in real-life, authentic contexts Professor’s role is to coach and facilitate Teaching and assessing are intertwined Comparison of Teacher-centered and Learner-centered Approaches
Teacher-Centered Assessment is used to monitor learning Emphasis is on right answers Desired learning is assessed indirectly through the use of objectively scored tests Learning culture is competitive & individualistic Only students are viewed as learners Learner-Centered Assessment is used to promote and diagnose learning Emphasis is on generating better questions and learning from errors Desired learning is assessed directly through papers, projects, performances, portfolios, etc. Culture is cooperative, collaborative, and supportive Professors and students learn together Comparison of Teacher-centered and Learner-centered Approaches
A Few More Principles of Learner-centered Education • Professor: • Ask don’t tell • Focus on students’ experience and interests • Give students choices • Focus on confidence building for real-world skills • Make tasks open-ended, i.e., there is more than one possible answer • Students • Use prior knowledge and integrate new knowledge • Make choices based upon interests • Develop confidence in their growing knowledge & skills • Learn by doing
Activity 3: Pair/Group Discussion –Learner-Centered Instructional Strategies Directions: With one or two of the people sitting next to you make a list of specific teaching/learning activities you can use to make your classes more learner-centered.
Learner-Centered Instructional Strategies • Know your students – names, interests • Be active – move around the classroom • Be interactive – engage the students, have students engage each other • Be relevant – connect material to the world, to the students, use anecdotes • Use active learning – have students solve problems, answer questions, formulate questions of their own, discuss, explain, debate,brainstorm • Use cooperative learning – have students work in teams on problems and • projects under conditions that assure both positive interdependence and individual accountability • Use inductive teaching and learning – present students with challenges (questions or problems) and have them discover answers and solutions. Inductive methods include inquiry-based learning, case-based instruction, problem-based learning, project-based learning, discovery learning "When you make the finding yourself - even if you’re the last person on Earth to see the light - you’ll never forget it."– (Carl Sagan)
Direct Instruction Explicit teaching Lecture Drill & Practice Didactic Questions Demonstrations Indirect Instruction Case study Problem solving Discovery learning Inquiry learning Discussion Interactive Instruction Role play Debate Problem solving Brainstorming Discussion Experiential Learning Field trips Conducting experiments Role playing Simulations Surveys Model building Independent Learning Essays Research papers Projects Computer-assisted learning Homework assignments Instructional Strategies
Outside the lecture Independent projects Group discussion Peer monitoring of other students Field trips Reflective diaries, learning journals Computer-assisted learning Choice in subjects for study/projects/papers Portfolio development In the lecture Pair/group discussion Brainstorming Problem-solving Predicting Quizzes Minute papers Role plays Debates Think/Pair/Share Presentations/reports Interactive Learner-centered Lectures
Learner-centered Instructional Strategies Make, and have students make, explicit connections with • earlier lecture content • later lecture content • assigned reading material • students’ own experiences • the real world • students’ pre-existing knowledge “The most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach accordingly.” (David Ausubel)
Strategies for Understanding your Students 1. What are some non-verbal behaviors that can indicate if your students are having difficulty understanding you? 2.Can you fill in the blanks in these teaching imperatives? (synonyms in parentheses) Know your students’ levels of English _____________. (knowledge) Understand the various learning ____________. (methods) Appreciate various modes of processing ____________. (data)
A Learner-centered teacher has Awareness & Connections with Students • Rely on & react to your students’ non-verbal behaviors: • puzzled expressions, • shifting in seats, • hurried note-taking, lack of note-taking, • other signs of frustration or confusion. • Know your students’ levels of English proficiency. • Understand the various learning styles. • Appreciate various modes of processing information.
Strategies for developing connections with yourStudents • Check/clarify comprehension – ask both general & directed questions – employ “wait time” • Speak at a moderate rate of speech and use effective pausing • Speak slowly when defining terms • Speak with enough volume so that students in the back of the classroom can hear you – but do move to them occasionally • Use E-mail frequently
Strategies for developing connections with your MATERIAL • Ensure that your lectures are well-organized • Present your agenda (topics/objectives) for the class – on the first PP slide, written on the board, in a handout, or on the class website prior to the class • Emphasize key points – use repetition, paraphrase, summary, and pauses • Reinforce new terminology & ideas visually – write new words on the board, use carefully labeled charts, graphs, pictures
Learner-Centered Assessment • The professor’s role is tocoach and facilitate. • The professor and the students evaluate learning together. • Teaching and assessing are intertwined. • Assessment is used to promote and diagnose learning. • Emphasis is on generating better questions and learning from errors. • Learning is assessed directly through papers, projects, performances, portfolios, etc. • Professors and students learn together.
Summary • Learning Theory Overview: 2 fundamental questions • What is learning? • a relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience – Behaviorism • a relatively permanent change in the knowledge stored in memorydue to experience – Cognitivism • Learning happens when there is a change in meaning, new ideas, or concepts constructed from prior knowledge and experience – Constructivism • How do people learn? • Information Processing Model of Human Memory • Teacher-centered vs. Learner-centered Education • Learner-centered Instructional Strategies Professors known as outstanding lecturers do two things; they use a simple plan and many examples. – W. McKeachie EXAMPLES!!
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