Student centered learning or learner centered learning comprises of methods and strategies that shifts the focus of instruction from teacher to student.
I am sure you must’ve attended one of those classroom sessions where teacher takes the lead and guides students as what to do, how to do and keep spoon-feeding the students. Learning is about doing and if teacher is the one who is doing it all then where is the student learning?
In a student centered classroom the instruction command changes from “Do-As-I-Say” to “Lets See How We Can Do This” where the solutions are brought forward together and not just by the teacher. Allowing students to share and have a voice in what, how and why of the classroom activities give them a sense of responsibility and authority over their learning which again is a good thing. Student-centered classrooms include students in planning, implementation, and assessments. Involving the learners in these decisions will place more work on them, which can be a good thing.
What's not student centered? If classroom activities are all about the teachers and they are the one who’s doing all the talking and basically imposing ideas on the students then it is not student centered and the role of a learner is not played by the students in such settings. They simply follow the teachers’ instruction not being able to explore their imagination and creativity.
Believing in students’ capacity to lead is what drives a student-centered classroom. An educator must give students their chance to take charge of their learning, where they get to decide the content, the way they want to learn and where they possess the freedom to discover things themselves.
Various ways to make this happen can be in form of project-based learning, maker learning, exchanging roles with the students, and a lot that will be beneficial to students when learning is talked about.
Other thing that plays a key role when we talk about student centered learning is constructivism. Constructivism is a learning theory that explains how people learn and acquire knowledge from their experiences. And therefore it is directly related to education. Constructivist view of learning points students to practice various techniques to derive their knowledge and it also encourages students to CREATE!
Watch these videos below to understand the concept in better ways:
1. Student Centered Learning
A great video bringing all the amazing benefits of student centered classroom and how that can be possible.
2. The Power of Student Driven Learning
An amazing TED talk by a teacher herself sharing her experiences from transforming her classroom into a student driven classroom.
3. Strategies For Student Centered Discussions
This video is from the class of an English teacher. Watch students interact, engage and enjoy learning.
This one puts light on the 4 key principles involved in student centered learning, i.e. personalized learning, learning is competency based, anytime anywhere learning and ownership of learning.
Gone are the days when all students were needed to be seen in a classroom. Now teachers want to hear and engage with students to make most of this educational journey. Student centered learning is a key influencer to make that happen.