5. represents a paradigm shift from traditional teaching
methods by focusing on how students learn instead of how
teachers teach. Thus, the model’s conceptual underpinning
is rooted in learning, challenging us to ask the rarely heard
question, “How can I improve my students’ learning?”
instead of the often asked “How can I improve my
teaching?” (Weimer, 2002).
6. Learner-centered teaching is:
learning approach which is broadly related to, and
supported by, constructivist theories of learning. It is
characterized by innovative methods of teaching
which aim to promote learning in communication
with teachers and other learners and which take
students seriously as active participants in their own
learning, fostering transferable skills such as problem
solving, critical thinking and reflective thinking.«
7. Comparison of Paradigms
(George Watson, 2002)
Students construct knowledge through
gathering and synthesizing
information and integrating it with the
general skills of inquiry,
communication, critical thinking, and
Knowledge is transmitted
from teacher to student.
Students are actively involved.Students passively receive
Emphasis is on using and
effectively to address enduring and
emerging issues and problems in
Emphasis is on acquisition of
knowledge outside the context in
which it will be used.
Instructor’s role is to coach and
Instructor’s role is to be the
primary information giver.
12. Five key changes to practice
The balance of the
The role of the
The function of the
13. The balance of the power
Faculty are in control
◦Content, pace, assignments, due dates, evaluation, communication
◦Syllabus language as evidence
Of course we are (or should be):
◦Students are not capable (lack maturity, do not have good study skills,
not prepared, do not care about learning)
◦Faculty are capable
Can one design course activities and assignments that responsibly give
students more control over learning?
14. Combination of faculty and student decision making
Students gain confidence – initial resistance changes to increased
Increases feeling of ownership of class
◦Assignments selected from array of options
(Fixed due dates – own scheduling decisions)
General course policies and evaluation methods Topics covered.
15. * Can one design course activities and assignments that
responsibly give students more control over learning?
* How much power is enough?
* How much freedom can they handle?
* When do teachers compromise professional responsibilities?
16. * Content plays major role in instructional decisions.
* Common assumption: More is better.
* How much content is enough?
•Entry level vs. advanced courses
•Memorization vs. understanding
*Future uses of content:
•Need to continue to learn new content (it’s impossible to teach
everything about anything)
•Old understandings replaced by newer understandings (need to relearn
17. *Goal – develop learning skills (accessing, organizing, evaluating) that
students will use later to understand new (or revised) content
*Content is “used” not “covered”
•Develop knowledge base (current use)
•Develop more general learning skills
•Create learner awareness
How to balance establishing a knowledge base with the
development of learning skills?
18. Practical approaches:
Think developmentally – learning skills build on one another
How to interpret a textbook figure
Make short learning activities routine
Students spend 5 minutes at end of lecture summarizing
Take advantage of learning center professionals
Use supplementary materials
19. *Involve students in process of setting classroom climate
Have students identify climates where they have learned effectively in
Get feedback on classroom climate
*Help students face poor exam performance
*Accepting responsibility for assignment details
*Empowering students to fix problems
Establishing guidelines for how students should address problems that
arise during group work
20. *Do learning tasks less
Students summarize info
*Less telling – more student discovery
In-class syllabus test
*Do more modeling
Demonstrate how an “experienced” learner would approach
a task (adopt-a-paper)
*Get students to learn from (and with) each others
21. * Review periods
focus on integration of content, organization, identifying emphasis
*Use the exam to promote learning
Provide additional short answer questions
Have students write a question that they expected, but did not show up
*Debriefing the exam
Increase sense of responsibility and confidence in assessing their own
*Peer reviewed activities
22. active rather than passive learning
deep rather than surface (or strategic) learning
learner: increased responsibility, accountability,
interdependence and mutual respect within teacher-
reflexivity in both learning and teaching
1. Watson, George (2002). Student-Centered Learning: A Challenging Odyssey in PBL, Fourth
Annual Asia-Pacific PBL Conference Hat Yai, Songkla, December 12, Thailand.
2. Weimer, Maryellen (2002). Learner-Centered Teaching Five Key Changes to Practice.