I read an article titled “10 Ways to Get Student Centered Learning Right” by Leah Levy. I am aware of methods for student centered learning and I use them especially on Friday afternoon’s when we are all watching the clock for the weekend to start so I was very interested in doing it correctly.
Levy writes that student centered learning is “an educational experience that is driven by its students.” What could go wrong with letting our students drive the class? According to the article we don’t really have to nor should we give up control of the classroom to the students. I agree with the suggestions below and am fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue this type of learning environment for students to meet the end goals. Some suggestions were modified to be applicable to my career at a College.
- Don’t lead, facilitate or coach students allow everyone to have a chance to participate (not just the extroverts). Guide them to think deeper. Ask “why”. Ensure students don’t lose track of the end goal.
- Push students to apply knowledge in new settings but allow them a choice in how they do this. Use group projects, choose from topics.
- Ensure teachers have adequate training in techniques and resources so personalized learning environments can be created. (iPads)
- Set clear rules for work so everyone is clear of what is expected. Ensure everyone participates.
- Give a variety of feedback; for discussions, skills, written tests etc.
- Ensure students have support after school to complete work.
- Give the student an experience to learn from. Take a tour, work placements.
- Measure success in other ways then test marks. (Projects)
- Realize that this doesn’t work for all topics. It’s great for critical thinking skills.
- Management must ensure that adequate resources and supplies are available to complete activities.
What topics would be best suited to deliver using a student centered learning approach?