Some Notes on
“Student-Centred”
Teaching and Learning
James Atherton
23 November 2010
Some Notes on
“Student-Centred”
Teaching and Learning
James Atherton
23 November 2010Just some notes/remarks;
not a compre...
Some Notes on
“Student-Centred”
Teaching and Learning
James Atherton
23 November 2010
In quotation marks
because it is so
...
Increasing...
(student)
• Activity
• Choice
• Power
I'm not offering a definition. If you
need one, this presentation is n...
Pages like this were
not in the original
presentation
What's the alternative?
“Direct Instruction”
Broadly, the teacher de...
Continuum
Teacher-
centred
Student-
centred
In practical terms there is a
continuum, and whereabouts you
choose to go on i...
Teacher-
centred
Student-
centred
Lecture without
interaction
Here are some sample teaching
activities and where they sit
Teacher-
centred
Student-
centred
Lecture without
interaction
Lecture with
interaction
Teacher-
centred
Student-
centred
Lecture without
interaction
Lecture with
interaction
Traditional class (Intro, task, “pl...
Teacher-
centred
Student-
centred
Lecture without
interaction
Lecture with
interaction
Traditional class (Intro, task, “pl...
Teacher-
centred
Student-
centred
Lecture without
interaction
Lecture with
interaction
Traditional class (Intro, task, “pl...
Teacher-
centred
Student-
centred
Lecture without
interaction
Lecture with
interaction
Traditional class (Intro, task, “pl...
Teacher-
centred
Student-
centred
Lecture without
interaction
Lecture with
interaction
Traditional class (Intro, task, “pl...
Teacher-
centred
Student-
centred
Lecture without
interaction
Lecture with
interaction
Traditional class (Intro, task, “pl...
Individual or group-based
projects
Variations on the theme
Role of teacher...
• “Sage on the
stage”
• “Guide at the
side”
Of all the simplistic rubbish that
appears in the education...
Role of teacher...
• “Sage on the
stage”
• “Guide at the
side”
Any half-way good teacher does both
as appropriate. To adop...
22 November 2010
Hargreaves’ teachers
• Lion-tamers
• Entertainers
• New Romantics
22 November 2010
Hargreaves’ teachers
• Lion-tamers
• Entertainers
• New Romantics
Students don't want
to learn, but...
22 November 2010
Hargreaves’ teachers
• Lion-tamers
• Entertainers
• New Romantics
Students don't want
to learn, but...
Th...
22 November 2010
Hargreaves’ teachers
• Lion-tamers
• Entertainers
• New Romantics
Students don't want
to learn, but...
Th...
22 November 2010
Hargreaves’ teachers
• Lion-tamers
• Entertainers
• New Romantics
Students don't want
to learn, but...
St...
22 November 2010
Hargreaves’ teachers
• Lion-tamers
• Entertainers
• New Romantics
Based on Hargreaves D (1975)
Interperso...
22 November 2010
A model
Dominance:
role/nature not
negotiable:
other components
adapt
Distance between elements and width...
22 November 2010
Traditional
model
Facilitator: more
“student-centred” approach
Dominance
Teacher
Learner
Subject
Teacher
...
22 November 2010
“Governess”/ Guru
Mentoring
Dominance
Teacher
Learner
Subject
Teacher
Learner
Subject
Influential contributors

“The theoretical standing of student-centred learning is often
surprisingly absent in the liter...
JSA
Knowles claims the application of SCL to
adult learning, based on these claimed
features of adults
Malcolm Knowles: “a...
22 November 2010
Very influential in radical adult
education; despite his critique of
the “banking model” of education
(se...
22 November 2010
“This book will present some aspects of what the writer
has termed the “pedagogy of the oppressed”, a
ped...
22 November 2010
a) the teacher teaches and the students are taught;
b) the teacher knows everything and the students know...
Z P DC h i l d ’s c u r r e n t
a c h i e v e m e n t
B e y o n d r e a c h
a t p r e s e n t
Zone of Proximal Development...
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Student centred notes

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  1. 1. Some Notes on “Student-Centred” Teaching and Learning James Atherton 23 November 2010
  2. 2. Some Notes on “Student-Centred” Teaching and Learning James Atherton 23 November 2010Just some notes/remarks; not a comprehensive account
  3. 3. Some Notes on “Student-Centred” Teaching and Learning James Atherton 23 November 2010 In quotation marks because it is so over-used as to be effectively meaningless
  4. 4. Increasing... (student) • Activity • Choice • Power I'm not offering a definition. If you need one, this presentation is not for you. But in practice, it means getting students to do things first, and working with that, rather than telling them stuff, or what to do, from the outset
  5. 5. Pages like this were not in the original presentation What's the alternative? “Direct Instruction” Broadly, the teacher demonstrates or presents, and then the students practise in the approved way, using exercises etc. Much disparaged and misrepresented, it is nonetheless the strategy of choice for many topics. Hattie (2009:205) gives it an effect-size of 0.59; way above the mean of 0.4. Many forms of “student-centred” learning score less than the mean. But read Hattie's commentary (2009: 204-207) Hattie J (2009) Visible Learning: a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement London; Routledge R e v e r s e Effect-size d=0.59
  6. 6. Continuum Teacher- centred Student- centred In practical terms there is a continuum, and whereabouts you choose to go on it depends on the topic and how you want the students to learn.
  7. 7. Teacher- centred Student- centred Lecture without interaction Here are some sample teaching activities and where they sit
  8. 8. Teacher- centred Student- centred Lecture without interaction Lecture with interaction
  9. 9. Teacher- centred Student- centred Lecture without interaction Lecture with interaction Traditional class (Intro, task, “plenary”)
  10. 10. Teacher- centred Student- centred Lecture without interaction Lecture with interaction Traditional class (Intro, task, “plenary”) Student presentation On a topic and terms set by the teacher...
  11. 11. Teacher- centred Student- centred Lecture without interaction Lecture with interaction Traditional class (Intro, task, “plenary”) Student presentation Student-led sem inar Topic at least negotiated by student(s)
  12. 12. Teacher- centred Student- centred Lecture without interaction Lecture with interaction Traditional class (Intro, task, “plenary”) Student presentation Student-led sem inar Self-directed groupwork/ independent study
  13. 13. Teacher- centred Student- centred Lecture without interaction Lecture with interaction Traditional class (Intro, task, “plenary”) Student presentation Student-led sem inar Self-directed groupwork/ independent study Students design and m anage class Note that the teacher is not actually essential. We do most of our learning without needs of that role.
  14. 14. Teacher- centred Student- centred Lecture without interaction Lecture with interaction Traditional class (Intro, task, “plenary”) Student presentation Student-led sem inar Self-directed groupwork/ independent study Students design and m anage class
  15. 15. Individual or group-based projects Variations on the theme
  16. 16. Role of teacher... • “Sage on the stage” • “Guide at the side” Of all the simplistic rubbish that appears in the educational “literature” these typifications must be the most egregious examples
  17. 17. Role of teacher... • “Sage on the stage” • “Guide at the side” Any half-way good teacher does both as appropriate. To adopt a strategy based on a preference for a role is to put the cart before the horse Of all the simplistic rubbish that appears in the educational “literature” these typifications must be the most egregious examples
  18. 18. 22 November 2010 Hargreaves’ teachers • Lion-tamers • Entertainers • New Romantics
  19. 19. 22 November 2010 Hargreaves’ teachers • Lion-tamers • Entertainers • New Romantics Students don't want to learn, but...
  20. 20. 22 November 2010 Hargreaves’ teachers • Lion-tamers • Entertainers • New Romantics Students don't want to learn, but... They will if you crack the whip They will if you make it fun enough
  21. 21. 22 November 2010 Hargreaves’ teachers • Lion-tamers • Entertainers • New Romantics Students don't want to learn, but... They will if you crack the whip They will if you make it fun enough Students do want to learn, and they will if you let them
  22. 22. 22 November 2010 Hargreaves’ teachers • Lion-tamers • Entertainers • New Romantics Students don't want to learn, but... Students do want to learn, and they will if you let them Student-centred learning can work for teachers like these
  23. 23. 22 November 2010 Hargreaves’ teachers • Lion-tamers • Entertainers • New Romantics Based on Hargreaves D (1975) Interpersonal Relations and Education London; Routledge (p. 164ff.)
  24. 24. 22 November 2010 A model Dominance: role/nature not negotiable: other components adapt Distance between elements and width of connecting lines show strength of identification between elements Teacher Learner Subject For a proper account of this model with provenance etc. go to: http://www.doceo.co.uk/tools/subtle_1.htm
  25. 25. 22 November 2010 Traditional model Facilitator: more “student-centred” approach Dominance Teacher Learner Subject Teacher Learner Subject
  26. 26. 22 November 2010 “Governess”/ Guru Mentoring Dominance Teacher Learner Subject Teacher Learner Subject
  27. 27. Influential contributors  “The theoretical standing of student-centred learning is often surprisingly absent in the literature.” (O'Neill and McMahon, 2005)  Broadly fits with humanist approaches to learning (Hargreaves' “new romantics”)  Associated with Dewey (1938), the constructivists Piaget and Bruner and the following... Dewey J (1938) Experience and Education (various editions)
  28. 28. JSA Knowles claims the application of SCL to adult learning, based on these claimed features of adults Malcolm Knowles: “andragogy” (1978) The need to know — adult learners need to know why they need to learn something before undertaking to learn it. Learner self-concept —adults need to be responsible for their own decisions and to be treated as capable of self-direction Role of learners’ experience —adult learners have a variety of experiences of life which represent the richest resource for learning. These experiences are however imbued with bias and presupposition. Readiness to learn —adults are ready to learn those things they need to know in order to cope effectively with life situations. Orientation to learning —adults are motivated to learn to the extent that they perceive that it will help them perform tasks they confront in their life situations. based on Knowles 1990:57  
  29. 29. 22 November 2010 Very influential in radical adult education; despite his critique of the “banking model” of education (see later) his own practice is not really student-centred. Paulo Freire 1921 - 1997 Brazilian educator: particularly adult literacy Seen as a political as well as practical issue Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1972)
  30. 30. 22 November 2010 “This book will present some aspects of what the writer has termed the “pedagogy of the oppressed”, a pedagogy which must be forged with, not for, the oppressed (be they individuals or whole peoples) in the incessant struggle to regain their humanity. This pedagogy makes oppression and its causes objects of reflection by the oppressed, and from that reflection will come their necessary engagement in the struggle for their liberation. And in the struggle this pedagogy will be made and remade.” From Freire P The Pedagogy of the Oppressed Penguin 1972:25 Freire
  31. 31. 22 November 2010 a) the teacher teaches and the students are taught; b) the teacher knows everything and the students know nothing; c) the teacher thinks and the students are thought about; d) the teacher talks and the students listen—meekly; e) the teacher disciplines and the students are disciplined; f) the teacher chooses and enforces his choice, and the students comply; g) the teacher acts and the students have the illusion of acting through the action of the teacher; h) the teacher chooses the program content, and the students (who were not consulted) adapt to it; i) the teacher confuses the authority of knowledge with his own professional authority, which he sets in opposition to the freedom of the students; j) the teacher is the Subject of the learning process, while the pupils are mere objects. “Banking” education
  32. 32. Z P DC h i l d ’s c u r r e n t a c h i e v e m e n t B e y o n d r e a c h a t p r e s e n t Zone of Proximal Development (Vygotsky) Probably the most influential theorist (via Bruner in the West) through his ideas of “social constructivism” where learning arises out of interaction between the learner and others, who may be teachers, but not necessarily in a formal sense
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