Learner-centered teaching: the seven principles (I)

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If you are a lecturer considering to move towards learner-centered teaching, you might want to know what you would be getting into. What principles would guide your new way of teaching? Of course each individual teacher has his or her individual style preferences and knows what works best for him or her. In future I will blog extensively on learner-centered learning.  However, the following seven principles (today three, tomorrow four) could serve as an introduction to learner-centered teaching:

1.    Teachers let students do more learning tasks. Example: at the end of the class it should not always be the teacher who summarizes but one of the students could be randomly appointed at the end of the class to provide a summary and even to afterwards ask co-learners about any points having missed.

2.   Teachers do less telling so that students can do more discovering. This addresses the problem that teachers generally talk too much. Example: If a student asks a question that’s ably anwered in the text, the teacher could refer them to the text. As a follow up the teacher could ask during next class to see if they have looked up the answer.

3.   Teachers do instructional design work more carefully.  In advance of the actual teaching the teacher prepares well designed learning experiences: Well designed means these learning experiences are for the student: (1) motivating, (2) activating, (3) competence-elevating and (4) integrating content knowledge and learning skills.

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