As time passes and technology develops, approach to learning is changing. One of the approaches is student centered learning. Instruction is evolving from teacher-centered learning to Student-centered learning. Technology is the catalyzer for this change. Blackboard and chalk were the most developed technology in the classroom in traditional teacher –centered learning where teacher was the main element. Teacher used to teach using blackboard and chalk; and students used take notes using pencil and paper. It’s a lot different now. Teachers can interact with students by using smartboard, tablet computers, smart phones and other smart devices. Obviously, students are more involved. With the use of technology in today’s classrooms, (a) learning can be personalized and (b) competency based. In this approach, (c) students become responsible for their own learning and (d) learning is not limited to the classroom. Students can learn anywhere any concepts wherever they can apply knowledge.
These four principles should be embraced at the same time to fully integrate student-centered learning approach in the classroom and outside of the classroom. That’s why parents’ support for this approach is important.
After reading this article, I read Creighton’s book Principal as Technology Leader. Creighton describes the role of teacher for an engaged student learning which happens in a classroom where student-centered learning is integrated. Teacher should be a facilitator, be a guide, and be co-learner and co-investigator. With the developments in technology, students may now more than teachers in some disciplines. I think the critical point for teachers is being a co-learner and co-investigator. If we use the term “Lead Learner” instead of “Teacher”; it wouldn’t be wrong.
Cooperative Learning Saves the Day: One Teacher’s
The other article is related to student-learning centered learning. I came across with it when searched jigsaw activities. It’s an article in an interview style blog post on Education World. In the article, Editor gives some strategies that Dr. Theodore Panitz uses in the classroom as a teacher. Panitz is also earns his PhD in Education and he is an engineer who starter teaching later. He used cooperative techniques in case studies; group processing, trust building, and group work when he worked in the field before he started teaching in Elementary School. He says he didn’t think of importance of cooperative learning in the classroom. Relative to his work as engineer in real world, he started using some strategies and he studies those strategies in his PhD program as well. According to his experience, good results have been received. The key to cooperative learning, not surprisingly, is cooperation. According to Panitz: “Cooperation is a structure of interaction designed to facilitate the accomplishment of a specific end product or goal achieved through people working together in groups. Cooperative learning is defined by a set of processes that help people interact in order to accomplish a specific goal or develop an end product that is usually content specific.” He suggests Pair Reading, Math Olympics and Factoring Jigsaw techniques to teachers. All of these strategies involve students to work as a group. These strategies are also constructivist methods as Creighton mentioned in his Principal as Technology Leader book. I think Cooperative learning is a great learning style to involve student in active engagement in the classroom. Also it would help students owning their learning and internalizing the concepts in the subject they learn.
1. Why Parents Should Support Student-Centered Learning – http://gettingsmart.com/2015/08/why-parents-should-support-student-centered-learning/
2. Cooperative Learning Saves the Day: One Teacher’s Story – http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr287a.shtml