What is Learner-Centred? How To Teach 100% Better with a Learner-Centred Approach

What is Learner-Centred? How To Teach 100% Better with a Learner-Centred Approach. Unlocking learning.

Unlocking Learning Success

Looking for a learner-centred approach to teaching? Look no further. I’ve written an updated post on learner-centered teaching here as well and included different perspectives that you should embrace to unlock learning success.

If you’re serious about putting your learners at the centre of your teaching practice, then you need to check out my eBook on Gumroad. It’s packed with practical tips and insights to help you become a more effective teacher.

So, what are you waiting for? Click the link below to get your hands on Unlocking Learning Success and take your teaching to the next level.

Buy the eBook now: Unlocking Learning Success: 12 Concepts from Te Ao Māori You Should Embrace for a Learner-Centered Approach

Otherwise, read on…!

Having trouble figuring out what learner-centred means?

Struggling to understand what learner-centred teaching really means? In my eBook “Unlocking Learning Success,” I dive deep into 12 concepts from Te Ao Māori that you can embrace to create a truly learner-centred approach.

As an experienced educator and vocational trainer in Aotearoa New Zealand, I’ve learned valuable lessons that I’m excited to share with you. This book is perfect for anyone who wants to transform their teaching style and apply a different worldview to help their students succeed.

The extract below is just a taste of what you can expect, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to delve deeper into Te Ao Māori and take your teaching to the next level. Grab your copy on Gumroad today!

What are others saying about What is Learner Centred?

“I purchased it yesterday online and it instantly helped me” – HR

If you’re struggling to understand what it means to teach in a learner-centered way, don’t worry – you’re not alone. In my eBook, “Unlocking Learning Success: 12 Concepts from Te Ao Māori You Should Embrace for a Learner-Centred Approach,” I share time-honoured approaches to help you create the conditions for learning success. As a vocational educator in Aotearoa New Zealand since 2006, I’ve learned these lessons through experience and practice.

If you’re interested in teaching in a more learner-centered way, my eBook can help you learn to think differently and apply a different worldview to create successful learning experiences.

One reader recently shared their experience: “I wanted to say thank you for allowing me to see more clearly the 12 concepts from Te Ao Māori I need to embrace as an Adult Literacy and Numeracy tutor. I purchased it yesterday online and it instantly helped me with concepts in the NZCALNE certificate I am currently working on.”

Improving your ability to teach in a way that is more learner-centred can benefit you in many ways. As the reader above mentioned, it can help with certifications and training, but it can also help you better understand your learners and even improve your relationships with them.

So if you’re interested in taking your teaching to the next level, check out my eBook and start unlocking learning success today!

What is learner-centred teaching?

If you’re unsure about what learner-centred teaching means, it’s an approach that prioritizes the learner and places them at the center of the learning experience.

As a teacher or facilitator, your responsibility is to guide and facilitate learning, while the learner takes responsibility for their own learning.

This approach is also referred to as student-centred learning and is designed to put the learner in control of their own learning journey, promoting greater engagement and better outcomes.

Why is a learner-centred approach important?

A learner-centred approach places the learner at the center of the learning experience, with the teacher acting as a facilitator. By focusing on the interests and needs of the learner, this approach can help pave the road to success.

In adult teaching environments, a learner-centred approach is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it encourages the development of self-directed learners who can take responsibility for their own learning and work independently. This is essential for fostering life-long learning and independent problem-solving.

Secondly, by placing responsibility for learning in the hands of the learners, we empower them to be active and responsible participants in their own learning process. This can lead to increased motivation and engagement, and ultimately better learning outcomes.

Finally, learner-centred teaching is recognized as a best practice internationally, and has been shown to be effective in a wide range of contexts.

By embracing a learner-centred approach, educators can create a more engaging and effective learning environment that supports learners in achieving their goals.

What’s wrong with traditional teacher-centred approaches?

Traditional education often places the teacher in the “active” role while the learners are “passive,” creating a teacher-centered approach. This contrasts with the learner-centered approach that empowers students to take responsibility for their learning, resulting in more active and engaged learners.

Unfortunately, many learners, especially those with low literacy and numeracy skills, struggle in teacher-centred environments. By making learning more active and engaging, we can help learners become more successful and independent.

Can you compare learner-centred and teacher-centred?

Here’s a quick comparison of what learner centred teaching might include versus a more traditional teacher-centred approach.

The focus is on both the learners and the teacher.The focus is on the teacher who is the expert.
The focus is on how the learners will use the skills or content.The focus is on what the teacher knows about the skills or content
Teacher models. Learners interact with teacher and each other. Teacher talks. Learners listen.
Learners work in pairs, groups, or alone depending on the task. Learners work alone.
Learners work without constant monitoring and correction. Tutor provides feedback or corrections as questions come up.Teacher monitors and corrects.
Learners have some choice of topics.Teacher chooses topics.
Learners evaluate their own learning. Tutor also evaluates. Teacher evaluates student learning.
Learning environment (may not be a classroom) is often noisy and busy. Learning environment (usually a classroom)  is quiet.

How shift from teacher-centred to learner-centred?

Making the shift from a teacher-centered to a learner-centered approach might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some practical tips to get you started:

  • Recognize that your learners can be experts too. Instead of dominating the class, create space for your learners to share their knowledge and experience.
  • Shift the focus away from what you know, and look at how your learners will use these skills and content. Encourage them to apply what they’ve learned to real-world situations.
  • Foster an environment where learners can work together. Encourage group work, pair work, or even solo work, depending on the task.
  • Provide feedback and corrections as questions, issues, or challenges arise, instead of constant monitoring and correction.
  • Give learners some choice of topics, even if your curriculum is set by someone else. Consider involving them in the planning process to increase their sense of agency.
  • Get learners to evaluate their own learning. Encourage self-reflection and self-assessment, and consider incorporating learner evaluation data into your own evaluations.
  • Experiment with different learning environments. Consider alternatives to the traditional classroom, and don’t be afraid of a little noise and busyness.

Learner-centred teaching is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Different learners have different learning styles, preferences, and needs. Therefore, it’s important to be flexible and adaptable in your approach. Take the time to get to know your learners, and work with them to create a learning environment that meets their needs and preferences.

This may involve experimenting with different teaching strategies, modes of delivery, and assessment methods. Ultimately, a learner-centred approach is about empowering learners to take ownership of their own learning, and supporting them on their journey to success.

Remember, making the shift to a learner-centred approach is a process, not an event. Keep experimenting and reflecting, and be open to feedback from your learners.

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If you’re looking to transform your teaching practice and create a more learner-centred environment, my ebook “Unlocking Learning Success: 12 Concepts from Te Ao Māori You Should Embrace for a Learner-Centered Approach” is an essential resource.

You’ll learn practical strategies and techniques based on time-honoured approaches that will help you shift your teaching from teacher-centred to learner-centred. Click the link below to purchase the ebook now and start your journey towards unlocking learning success for your students.

Click here for my eBook on Learner Centred Teaching

What does it include?

Learn time-honoured concepts from Te Ao Māori and create a learner-centred teaching environment that connects with your students. As a vocational teacher or educator, discover ways to think holistically, understand important Māori words, and apply concepts from a Māori worldview to your teaching.

Even if you don’t work with Māori learners, these concepts are good practices in adult education and training that can work for anyone. The book explains 12 concepts that you need to embrace to become more learner-centred and holistic in your approach, including Whakapapa, Ako, and Kaitiakitanga.

Don’t be intimidated by the te reo Māori terminology; the book offers an easy visual way to make sense of the different layers of Māori Knowledge. You don’t need to be an expert to apply these concepts and change the way you think about learning, teaching, relationships, and business. Take the first step in your journey and click here to get started.


Get the companion eBook – Three Simple Approaches You Need for Learner Centred Teaching

Discover time-honoured approaches to learner-centred teaching

What if I told you that there were time-honoured approaches to teaching and learning you can use to create the conditions for learning success. Imagine if your teaching really connected with your learners… What if your classroom or training environment was a place where your learners felt like they belonged and wanted to learn?

Here’s a secret. It’s totally possible if you discover and embrace time-honoured concepts from Te Ao Māori – the Māori world. This book is for you if you want to teach or train in a way that is more learner-centred or if you want to learn to think in a more holistic way. Read more here


Click the link below to find out more about What is Learner-Centred? 12 Concepts from Te Ao Māori You Should Embrace to Create Learning Success

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Learn the fundamentals of literacy and numeracy with Graeme Smith

Discover how to be more successful in your teaching journey. I’ll introduce and explain some of the fundamentals of adult literacy and numeracy.

Once you’ve finished reading, you will have a better understanding of the basics including how to integrate or embed literacy and numeracy into your teaching. This includes with technical and vocational education. You can read more here.

Now bundled wth two free printable resources – a place value chart and hundreds grid.


Click the link above to find out more about Literacy and Numeracy: It’s Not Rocket Science.

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Bonus content

Since you read all the way to the bottom of this post, here are some less conventional ways you can encourage learner-centred teaching:

  1. Bring in an outside facilitator or expert: Sometimes, having an outside facilitator or expert come in to lead a session can help shift the focus away from the teacher and towards the learners. This can be especially effective when the facilitator is able to bring in new perspectives and ideas that are not typically part of the teacher’s or learners’ experiences. This approach can also be a way to build relationships between the teacher, the learners, and the wider community.
  2. Use technology to facilitate collaboration: Technology can be a powerful tool for promoting collaboration and learner-centred teaching. For example, online platforms can be used to create discussion forums, collaborative projects, or peer-to-peer learning opportunities. This can help learners to take ownership of their learning, to share their own knowledge and perspectives, and to collaborate with others in ways that are not possible in a traditional classroom setting. By leveraging technology in this way, teachers can create a more learner-centred environment that empowers their students to take control of their own learning.
  3. Incorporate student feedback and ideas into the curriculum: Rather than sticking rigidly to a predetermined syllabus, try to make room for student input and creativity. Encourage students to suggest topics or projects that interest them and incorporate those into the curriculum. This can help to create a more engaged and invested learning environment, as students feel like they have a say in their own learning. It can also lead to more innovative and effective teaching methods, as students may come up with ideas or perspectives that the teacher may not have considered.
  4. Let learners design the assessment: Allow your learners to design their own assessment tasks or activities. This approach encourages learners to take ownership of their learning and helps to develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Additionally, learners will gain a deeper understanding of the course material as they work to design an assessment that accurately reflects their learning.
  5. Allow learners to teach: Give your learners the opportunity to teach others in the class. This approach encourages peer-to-peer learning and allows learners to share their knowledge and skills with others. Additionally, this approach can help to boost learners’ confidence and self-esteem, as they become experts in the material and share their knowledge with others.
  6. Encourage student-led projects: Assigning open-ended projects to students can give them a sense of autonomy and allow them to take ownership of their learning. For example, instead of assigning a topic for a research project, allow students to choose a topic that interests them and give them the freedom to explore it in their own way.
  7. Flip the classroom: Instead of lecturing in class and assigning homework, consider recording your lectures and having your learners watch them at home, and then using class time for more interactive and collaborative learning activities.
  8. Encourage reflection: Give learners regular opportunities to reflect on their learning and progress. This can be as simple as asking them to write a brief journal entry or share their thoughts in a group discussion. By reflecting on their learning, learners can better understand their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.
  9. Foster creativity: Encourage learners to think creatively and express their ideas in unique ways. Instead of traditional assignments such as essays and exams, allow learners to showcase their knowledge and skills through creative projects such as videos, podcasts, and infographics. This approach can help learners develop their critical thinking skills and creativity.
  10. Involve the community: Learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom. Encourage learners to engage with their communities and apply their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts. This can involve service learning projects, community partnerships, or field trips. By connecting learning to real-life experiences, learners can see the relevance of what they are learning and develop a sense of social responsibility.

Ultimately, the key to learner-centred teaching is flexibility and a willingness to adapt to the needs and interests of individual learners. By incorporating both conventional and unconventional methods and strategies, as well as involving students in the learning process, teachers can create a dynamic and engaging learning environment that encourages learners to take ownership of their own learning journey.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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