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Learner-centred teaching is not new
Learner-centred teaching is an approach that – unsurprisingly – places the learner at the centre of the learning
The notion of the learner-centred approach is not new. In fact, it has existed in one form or another for many millennia. For example, Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum were both examples of learner-centred institutions dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge.
It’s about developing a sense of agency
The modern notion of learner-centredness was first popularized in the late 1970s by the American educator Malcolm S. Knowles. In his seminal book The Modern Practice of Adult Education: From Pedagogy to Andragogy, Knowles describes learner-centredness as follows:
‘Learning results from the interaction of the learner with his environment.’ It is about learners being in charge and determining what they want to learn, rather than external authorities such as teachers or lecturers dictating to them.
It’s about developing responsibility
Learner-centredness is also about the learner taking responsibility for his or her own learning. It follows that it is about learners being able to manage their own learning.
To be learner-centred, the classroom must be a place where learners can freely express themselves and share their knowledge with others. It is a collaborative space where students build relationships with teachers and peers.
It’s about knowing strengths and weaknesses
Learner-centredness is about learners being aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. It is a process that leads to the building up of self-esteem, confidence, and higher order thinking skills.
What should I read next?
The article above was written by a robot, but if you want a couple of short easy-to-digest books on Learner Centred Teaching that were written by me – a human, then I suggest these: