Student Roles in a Learner-Centered Environment

Student Roles in a Learner-Centered Environment
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  • 0:02 What Is a…
  • 1:48 Preparing Students
  • 3:00 Students' Role
  • 4:58 Benefits
  • 5:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
The role of the student in a learner-centered environment is different than in a typical classroom. What does this look like? This lesson looks closely at a learner-centered environment, explains the students' role, and provides examples.

What Is a Learner-Centered Environment?

Ashley is a teacher preparing for her first year in the classroom. She plans on designer her classroom based on a learner-centered environment. Ashley views her role as a coach and facilitator, not as a lecturer. Her curriculum focuses on the students' construction of knowledge by being active learners. She plans to teach her students reflective practices and be a reflective teacher. This means that she and her students will consistently think about their learning before, during, and after teaching. Her classroom is arranged to be a community of learning, with desks arranged in groups and places for whole group instruction. There are other components of a learner-centered environment:

  • Assessments are used to determine future teaching goals. This means that test results and other measures of student needs dictate class goals, rather than a pre-packaged curriculum.
  • Teachers and students work and learn together. The teacher is more of an expert consultant, helping students to learn to their full potential. Engaging, hands-on lessons replace lectures.
  • The learning culture in the classroom is cooperative. Students work together to learn things, often helping one another rather than competing. Best marks are awarded when students learn together.
  • Learning is cross-curricular. Unlike traditional instruction, learner-centered environments intermingle related subjects in the same way they might be found in real life. A lesson on the environment might mix math, social studies, and physical science, for instance.

How does Ashley plan for her students? Let's take a look.

Preparing Students for a Learner-Centered Environment

Ashley will focus all aspects of learning on her students, from activities to assessments. She will begin by explaining to students why she's using a learner-centered curriculum. To help them understand their new role and increased responsibility, she'll explain three things.

First, brain research shows that long-term memory and impactful learning only happen when the brain is actively engaged. Therefore, students will increase their role in learning from being passive listeners to becoming active doers.

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