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I enjoyed everything about this training!

"I feel I can take the method learned here back to my centre and introduce it very easily. I enjoyed everything about this training! It was a lot of fun and educational as well. The instructor was excellent. I believe it is a well thought out program and introduced excellently."

Virginia Raftus, Tot Meeting Place, Halifax, NS



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Student-Centered Classrooms Are What, Exactly....?

What exactly does a teacher mean when he or she says that they have a student-centered classroom?

I remember throwing this phrase around when I started teaching and now, years later, I wonder if I really knew what I was talking about! Here is a detailed definition described by Leo Jones, an internationally recognized authority on English language teaching.

'A student-centered classroom isn?t a place where the students decide what they want to learn and what they want to do. It?s a place where we consider the needs of the students, as a group and as individuals, and encourage them to participate in the learning process all the time. The teacher?s role is more that of a facilitator than instructor; the students are active participants in the learning process. The teacher helps to guide the students, manage their activities, and direct their learning. In a student-centered class, the teacher is a member of the class as a participant in the learning process.'

The above exert is taken from a paper called:
The Student-Centered Classroom ©Cambridge University Press

This article also addresses:
Autonomous Learning
Classroom Management
Fluency and Accuracy
Teacher as Facilitator
Different Kinds of Activities

Please see the PDF below to read the whole article.

Do you agree with the above definition of a student-centered classroom? Do you have a student-centered classroom? I think I thought I did but to be truly honest, I don't think I achieved it on a regular basis. My first instinct as a new teacher was to have as much control as possible, which at the time meant teacher-lead activities. I think it takes more energy and planning to have a student-centered classroom, but in the end, I think it better learning environment for children.

Check out this 20 minute video called: How Kids Teach Themselves. This researcher proves how learning occurs naturally among children without the presence of a teacher.

Let me know what you think!