Inspire - Inform - Involve
Daniel J. Doyle
In student centered teaching, we center our planning, our teaching, and our assessment around the needs and abilities of our students. The main idea behind the practice is that learning is most meaningful when topics are relevant to the students’ lives, needs, and interests and when the students themselves are actively engaged in creating, understanding, and connecting to knowledge (McCombs and Whistler, 1997).
- Students will have a higher motivation to learn when they feel they have a real stake in their own learning.
- Instead of the teacher being the sole, infallible source of information, then, the teacher shares control of the classroom and students are allowed to explore, experiment, and discover on their own.
- The students are not just memorizing information, but they are allowed to work with and use the information alone or with peers. Their diverse thoughts and perspectives are a necessary input to every class.
- The students are given choices and are included in the decision-making processes of the classroom. The focus in these classrooms is on options, rather than uniformity (Papalia, 1996).
- Essentially, "learners are treated as co-creators in the learning process, as individuals with ideas and issues that deserve attention and consideration" (McCombs and Whistler, 1997).
The Ten Commandments (+ one)
1. The following should be posted daily on board: Objectives & Competencies, Daily Procedures/Agenda, Bell-Ringer, Date, Assignments/Homework, Purpose.
2. Lessons should be “project-based”, involving progressive/cumulative units (less or shorter lectures).
3. Lessons should be “student-centered” (~75% student and 25% instructor) with the teacher working more as a guide or facilitator in the classroom.
4. Lessons should connect objectives to real-life material/situations.
5. Lessons should engage students on a higher order of thinking (problem solving, discovery, challenging)
6. Create a “kinetic-classroom” (active not passive) with lots of cooperative hands-on and out-of-seat student engagement (group work, discussions, presentations, labs, etc). This fosters leadership skills, cooperation and professionalism. Cooperative Learning = Collective Understanding.
7. Emphasis on technology (Activboard, flipcharts, Moodle, etc)
8. Instructors should regularly seek student feedback on material covered, lessons and/or vibrant issues (evaluations, forums, suggestion-box, etc)
9. Classrooms should be clean and organized to promote a structured and welcoming learning environment.
10. Walls should be decorated with aesthetically and intellectually stimulating visuals directed toward student learning and motivating.
11. Walls should display student work (refreshed on a regular basis). The following should be posted daily on board: Objectives & Competencies, Daily Procedures/Agenda, Bell-Ringer, Date, Assignments/Homework, Purpose.