Overdependence on lecturing and other instructor-centered learning strategies often fosters a passive learning attitude, and mental disengagement during class. Effective instructors regularly utilize more student-centered strategies that offer the following benefits:
- Students learn only 10% of what they read, but 80% of what they personally experience and 90% of what they teach others.
- Allowing students to apply their existing knowledge base fostered through earlier education, work and other life experiences. Good teaching is essentially a matter of fostering connections in students' minds to new material.
- Creating healthy risk - where true learning takes place, for students and professors overrides comfortable trap of teaching only as you have been taught.
- Using groups of two or three students to focus on key concepts and report back to the class on their findings reduces inhibitions against class participation. Expanding the group size over time will lead to richer class-wide discussions and other benefits.
- Role-playing fosters richer student understanding of the multiple perspectives inherent in most learning issues.
- Field work and other student-centered learning activities foster personal interest, motivation, and commitment, achieve at higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.
- Student presentations not only increase retention and higher level learning, but self-efficacy that extends well past the classroom.
- Provide the instructor an opportunity to evaluate students in a richer environment, assess genuine learning, and identify areas requiring additional attention more effectively.
- Make the teaching and learning enterprise a lot more fun for everybody!
For more information on student-centered learning methodologies, please read
Chapter 9 of The Adjunct Professor's Guide to Success: Surviving and Thriving
in the College Classroom.
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