The Paradigm Shift: Migrating from Teacher-Centered to Student-Centered Instruction & Learning


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The paradigmatic shift from a teacher-centered learning environment to a student-centered one is not an easy transition; and, does not occur effortlessly. What is student-centered learning? Necessary areas of change. Strategies for the shift. Positive outcomes. The paradigm shift. What changed? Teacher-centered vs. learning-centered instruction. 8 steps in the change process. Instructor concerns. Measurable objectives. Agent for change. Action plan.

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The Paradigm Shift: Migrating from Teacher-Centered to Student-Centered Instruction & Learning

  1. 1. The Paradigm Shift: Migrating from Teacher-Centered to Student-Centered Instruction & Learning Milisa Sammaciccia Ismail, MEd. 24 October 2011
  2. 2. The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. ~ Albert Einstein
  3. 3. Problem The paradigmatic shift from a teacher- centered learning environment to student-centered: • Is not an easy transition • Does not occur effortlessly
  4. 4. What is Student-Centered Learning?  Information and content is relevant and interesting to students.  Content is built to expand on their current knowledge base.  Focuses on the student rather than the transmission of information.  Students can experiment with their learning.  Learning is more meaningful.  Students are more engaged.  Learning is deeper and long-term.
  5. 5. Necessary Areas of Change  The balance of power  The function of content  The role of the teacher  The responsibility for learning  The purpose and processes of evaluation
  6. 6. Strategies for the Shift  Active involvement  Social Integration  Self-Reflection  Personal Validation
  7. 7. Positive Outcomes  Deep learning  Intrinsic Motivation  Student Retention
  8. 8. The Paradigm Shift Two AAHE national conferences 12 years apart revealed a clear shift in higher education focus:  1986: Taking Teaching Seriously  1998: Taking Learning Seriously
  9. 9. What Changed?  Instruction Shifted: • From: Teacher-centered/Content-driven • To: Learner-centered/Process-driven  Student Role Shifted: • From: Passive recipient/empty receptacle • To: Engaged learner and active agents  Instructor Role Shifted: • From: Disseminator of factual information • To: Facilitator/Learner mediator
  10. 10. Teaching-Centered vs. Learning-Centered Instruction  Teaching Goals • TCI: Covers discipline • LCI: Students learn - – How to use the discipline – How to integrate disciplines to solve complex problems – An array of core learning objectives  Organization of Curriculum • TCI: Courses in the catalog • LCI: Cohesive program with systematically created opportunities to - – Synthesize – Practice – Develop increasingly complex ideas, skills & values
  11. 11. Teaching-Centered vs. Learning-Centered Instruction  Core Structure • TCI: Faculty covers topics • LCI: Students master learning objectives  How Students Learn • TCI: Listening, reading, independent learning, often in competition for grades • LCI: (1) Students construct knowledge by integrating new learning into current knowledge. (2) Learning is viewed as a cognitive & social act.  Pedagogy • TCI: Based on delivery of information. • LCI: Based on engagement of students.
  12. 12. Teaching-Centered vs. Learning-Centered Instruction  Course Delivery • TCI: Lecture, assignments & exams for summative purposes. • LCI: Active learning, assignments for formative purposes, collaborative learning, community service learning, cooperative learning, self-directed learning, problem-based learning.  Course Grading • TCI: Faculty as gatekeepers. Normal distribution expected. • LCI: Grades indicate mastery of learning objectives.
  13. 13. Teaching-Centered vs. Learning-Centered Instruction  Faculty Role • TCI: Sage on the stage. • LCI: Designer of learning environments.  Effective Teaching • TCI: Teach (present information) well and those who can, will learn. • LCI: Engage students in their learning. Help all students master learning objectives. Use classroom assessment to improve courses. Use program assessment to improve the program.
  14. 14. 8 Steps in the Change Process 1. Shock 2. Denial 3. Strong Emotion 4. Resistance & Withdrawal 5. Surrender & Acceptance 6. Struggle & Exploration 7. Return of Confidence 8. Integration & Success
  15. 15. Instructor Concerns 1. Spending time on active learning does not allow for syllabus coverage. 2. Lack of lecture means loss of control. 3. Students do not understand reading material when independent. 4. Students do not understand open-ended problems vs. finding the right answer. 5. Group work resistance. 6. Cooperative teams are superficially working on assignments & lack of participation from all group members.
  16. 16. Measurable Objectives  Objectives should be specific & measurable.  Objectives should be focused on the student.  Effective objectives encompass: • Behavior • Performance • Understanding  Objective should complete the statement: “The student will be able to…”  Should be aligned with level of learning: • Knowledge • Comprehension • Application • Analysis • Synthesis • Evaluation
  17. 17. Agents for Change  Instructor • How do they view their role? • At what levels are they willing to accept change? • Teaching does not bring about learning • Only learners can control their own learning  Professional development • Development of skills • Enhancement of current skills • Collaboration on instructional strategies
  18. 18. Action Plan  Step 1: Assessment of Applicability • Discipline • Class size • Subject within the discipline • Room layout • Environmental factors for the room • Teacher personality • Classroom dynamics (Weimer, 2002, para. 4)  Step 2: Strategy Suggestions • Active Learning • Cooperative Learning
  19. 19. Action Plan  Step 2 continued… • Inductive teaching & learning – Inquiry-based learning – Case-based instruction – Problem-based learning – Project-based learning – Discovery learning – Just-In-Time learning  Timeline to Implementation • Syllabus: students should have direct input in creation. • First Day/Week of Class: – Discuss the climate – Open discussion about previous experiences in classes
  20. 20. Action Plan  Timeline continued… – Decisions are made about which assignments to tackle & due dates. – Short essay about why the student is taking the course, what they hope to learn and content. – Prioritize list of skills to be successful • Class Structure – Promote self-awareness with content – Use short activities often – Utilize learning center staff – Use supplementary materials – Teach students how to study the textbook – Let students summarize – Have students collaborate on what makes a group successful – Have students provide examples
  21. 21. Action Plan • Class Structure continued… – Write concepts on the board during discussions and make connections through illustration. – Use matrices and concept mapping. • Assignments – Students discuss details of assignments. – Make them interactive. – Students self-assess their work prior to submission. – Allow time for students to discuss progress during process. – Allow time for debriefing. • Assessments – Should be linked to content. – Can be negotiated but must be specific. – Various forms of assessment can be used: » Peer assessment » Group assessment » Expert assessment
  22. 22. Action Plan • Feedback – Solicit feedback early and often. – Students should complete a start, stop & continue feedback sheet on the class. – Use questions to solicit feedback. – Ask students questions.
  23. 23. Conclusion  Both instructors and students can feel overwhelmed by the process.  With proper application, skill and familiarity, SCI may change: • The way students learn; and, • The way teachers teach • The very nature of higher education  Lecture method is still the dominant pedagogical strategy • Research has proven its ineffectiveness  Promoting higher learning outcomes is at the core  Overestimating students’ cognitive involvement during lecture has been one of the major illusions for instructors.  Proper implementation brings an increase in motivation.  Diverse learning needs are met.  Not just a short-term fix but has demonstrated long-term results.
  24. 24. “Effective teaching strategies begin with realizing that there are multiple pathways to learning. Frequent and careful assessment aligned with observation determines the direction taken for optimal learning. Respect for all learners takes place. Varying teaching styles within a student-centered environment maximizes educational effectiveness.” ~ Mary Rose
  25. 25. RESOURCES Cuseo, J. (n.d.). The case for learner-centered education. Unpublished raw data, Psychology Department, Marymount College, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Retrieved from Felder, R. (2011). Student-centered teaching and learning. Unpublished raw data, Engineering Department, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. Retrieved from Centered.html Felder, R., & Brent, R. (1996). Navigating the bumpy road to student-centered instruction. Informally published manuscript, School of Education, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. Retrieved from Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Herder & Herder. Huba. , & Freed, (2000). Teacher-centered vs. student-centered paradigms . Unpublished raw data, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Retrieved from .pdf Mandernach, B. (2003). Writing quality learning objectives. Retrieved from Rose, M. (2008). Differentiation. Teacher Scholastic, 1(3). Retrieved from roofed.pdf
  26. 26. RESOURCES Ser Professor Universitario. (2011). 33 ways to make your classroom more learner- centered. Retrieved from ensino/33-ways-make-your-classroom-more-learner-centered Using student centered language to conceptualize learning objectives. (2011). Unpublished raw data, Saint Peter's College, Jersey City, NJ. Retrieved from Weimer, M. (2002). Learner-centered teaching: five key changes to practice. San Francisco, CA.: Jossey-Bass. Retrieved from Centered-Teaching-Five-Changes- Practice/dp/0787956465/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253296206&sr=8-1