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Teacher-centered vs

Didactics 2016

Paradigm Shift
Old Instruction Paradigm
An educational institution exists to
provide instruction.

New Learning Paradigm

An educational institution exists to
produce learning.

Instruction Paradigm
Means vs End
Most common teaching method used
Teachers are in the active role and
students are in a passive, receptive
Students are listeners NOT learners

Learning Paradigm
Uses student-centered/active learning
techniques to get students involved in the
learning process
Focuses on the students needs, abilities,
interests, and learning styles
Acknowledges student voice as central to
the learning experience for every learner
Requires students to be active, responsible
participants in the learning process

Background Research
Theorists like John Dewey, Jean Piaget, and
Carl Rogers whose collective work focused on
how students learn is primarily responsible for
the move to student-centered learning.
Central to their ideas is that students actively
construct their own learning known as
Learners construct new knowledge from their
experiences; they incorporate the new
information into an already existing

This approach positions students at

the central stage of the learning
process, where they are responsible
for their own advances in the
knowledge acquisition, in this case,
and second language (L2) acquisition
(Kassim and Ali, 2007)



provides opportunities for students to engage actively in meaningful

encourages them to take ownership of their own learning.

gives them explicit instruction in the content and language skills they
need and in strategies for gaining that knowledge and those skills
(Goldenberg, 2008)

Teacher centered
A teacher-centered approach is one where activity in
the class is centered on the teacher.
A typical Presentation - Practice - Production
(PPP) lesson tends to be teacher-centered, as the
teacher leads the activity and provides necessary
information, usually in an open-class arrangement.
In the classroom
Teacher-centered lessons are generally associated
with traditional approaches to language learning,
but teacher-centered activity can be useful in a
variety of ways in teaching. The teacher is an
effective model of the target language and an
important source of information on how the learners
are doing.

A teacher-directed approach to learning

recognizes that children require
achievable expectations and that students
must have a solid foundation before
learning a new concept. For example, in
order to learn multiplication properly, a
student must understand repeated
addition and grouping. This process
cannot be discovered by most students
without the direction of a teacher

In teacher-directed instruction:
Students work to achieve curricular objectives in
order to become critical thinkers
Students complete activities designed by the
teacher to achieve academic success
Students respond to positive expectations set by
the teacher as they progress through activities
Students are given extrinsic motivators like
grades and rewards in which motivates children
to internalize information and objectively
demonstrates their understanding of concepts
Student work is evaluated by the teacher

Learner-Centered Teaching
Learner-centered teaching focuses attention
on what the student is learning, how the
student is learning, the conditions under
which the student is learning, whether the
student is retaining and applying the
learning, and how current learning positions
the student for future learning.
The idea of student-centered classrooms is
based on students' engagement with
classroom activities and experimenting and
exploring throughout their learning processes
instead of teacher being the only source.

What is studentcentered/active learning?

Any well-structured, teacher-guided,
student-centered activity that
substantially involves students with the
course content through talking and
listening, writing, reading and reflecting.
Focus on how students learn, what they
experience, how they engage with their
Learning is meaningful when topics are
relevant to students`lives and interests.

Examples of StudentCentered Learning


Examples of StudentCentered Teaching Strategies

Interactive Lecturing
Group Work
Discussion Forums
Hands-On Projects


Begin by saying: Its your turn. Look at
your neighbor the person sitting to the
left or right of you. Make sure no one is
left out. Nudge your neighbor and tell
him/her the most important fact youve
just heard in the last 10 20 minutes.
Find out what your neighbor thinks is the
most important fact. You have 1 minute to
talk to each other.
When the minute is up, resume your


Get ALL your learners involved in
creating and answering questions.
Before beginning, give each learner a
blank index card. Tell them you will
give them direction at some point
during your presentation of what to
do with it.

Bonus Tip: Pass That

Pass That Answer:
Instead of writing a question, learners
write an answer to a question and the
person on the right guesses what the
question is and writes it on the card.
Students write an answer to a question
you give them and then they compare
their answers. You ask a few volunteers to
state their answers and then you tell
them if they were correct.

Assessment of student-centered
One of the most critical differences between
student-centered learning and teachercentered learning is in assessment. In
student-centered learning, students participate
in the evaluation of their learning. This means
that students are involved in deciding how to
demonstrate their learning.
Developing assessment that support learning
and motivation is essential to the success of
student-centered approaches.
Focus is on what students do rather than on
what teachers do in the classroom.