Student-Centered Learning:Fact, Challenge or Myth?
The European Students’ Union• Umbrella organization of 45 national unions of students from 38 countries, represents more than 11 million students• Formed in 1982, previously named WESIB and later ESIB• Promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of students at a European level• Work towards relevant organizations and processes, for example the European Union, the Bologna-Process, Council of Europe, UNESCO and OECD.
Another brick in the Wall? We dont need no education We dont need no thought control No dark sarcasm in the classroom Teachers leave them kids alone Hey! teachers! leave the kids alone! All in all youre just another brick in the wall. All in all youre just another brick in the wall .Pink Floyd: Another brick in the Wall (1979)
Beside that, there were some changes in the past 30 years• Internet revolution - endless information sources, available in an instant of a second• Massification of Higher Education – increased accessibility to education?• New communication tools
What is the answer?Student-centered learningYou cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself. (Galileo Galilei)
What is SCL?• Active rather than passive learning• An emphasis on deep learning and understanding• Increased responsibility and accountability on the part of the student• An increased sense of autonomy• An interdependence between teacher and learner• Mutual respect within the learner-teacher relationship• A reflexive approach to the teaching and learning process on the part of both the teacher and the learner
Source: Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2006). Teaching andlearning at a distance (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall., p. 202
9 underlying principles of SCL (1)1. SCL requires an Ongoing Reflexive Process.2. SCL doesn’t have a “One-Size-Fits-All” Solution3. Students have different learning styles4. Students have different needs and interests5. Choice is central to effective learning
9 underlying principles of SCL (2)6. Students have different experiences and background knowledge7. Students should have control over their learning8. SCL is about “Enabling”, not “Telling”.9. Learning needs cooperation between students and staff
Benefits for students• Making students an integral part of the academic community• Increased motivation to learn• Independence and responsibility in learning• Due consideration of students needs
Benefits for teachers• More interesting role for the teacher• Solutions to tackle massification and diversity• Positive impact on working conditions• Continuous self-improvement• Increased learner motivation and engagement• Professional development for academia
The wider benefits of SCL• Quality enhancement• The status of the teaching profession• Better retention in higher education• Attracting students• Fostering a Lifelong Learning Culture
Implementation by teachersTeacher-Centered Learning Student-Centered LearningLow student choice High student choicePassivity of students Activity of studentsTeachers as holders of powers Student empowerment
What does that mean in practice?• Increasing student motivation and teachers’ knowledge of students• Choice of teaching and learning methods• Choice of students assessment methods• Using course evaluation• Using ICT to enhance SCL
Can Institutions help?• Curriculum design and learning outcomes• Ongoing professional development of the staff• The central role of libraries in SCL
Common misconceptions:• SCL doesn’t mean anything in practice.• SCL requires a higher amount of resources• SCL is not appropriate to teach a large and diverse student body• SCL undermines the teaching profession• SCL is not appropriate to all academic fields
The long and winding roadChanging the mindset•Cooperation among stakeholders•Decision on a policy levelSustaining the culture of SCL
More information• Student-centered learning: Toolkit for students, staff and higher education institutions (ESU and EI, 2011), can be found on: http://www.esu- online.org/resources/6068/Student-Centred- Learning-Toolkit/• Changing Educational Paradigms (TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson)
Instead of conclusions?• What can be done to change the mindset?• How to involve students in the teaching and learning process?• Who should make the first step?• Is SCL a fact or a myth?
Instead of conclusion? You, you may say Im a dreamer, but Im not the only one I hope some day youll join us And the world will be as oneJohn Lennon: Imagine (1971)