Learner Centered Approaches to Teaching

In the link below MaryEllen Wiemer Phd shares five characteristics of the learner centered classroom from a recent book she published. This is a great opportunity to preview some of the content included in the book. For me as a relatively new classroom instructor I found these helpful to put in perspective some of what occurs in the classroom environment. In my previous role as a clinical instructor I as able to use hands on demonstration and real life examples frequently as a teaching tool. Student were most often engaged and I was able to walk through the tasks confidently as I was most comfortable with the process. However as a novice classroom instructor I often wonder what I can do differently to capture student engagement, and how to encourage student participation and ownership of the information and their learning. Number five is of particular interest as it relates directly to the course content. Collaboration. This is evident in the way the some of the classes are delivered. The interprofessional education classes when facilitated I don’t know where the class is going to go…as a facilitator I have guiding questions, but the conversation and learning is driven by the participants who are the learners.

The five characteristics are;

1) Learner-centered teaching engages students in the hard, messy work of learning.

2) Learner-centered teaching includes explicit skill instruction.

3) Learner-centered teaching encourages students to reflect on what they are learning and how they are learning it.

4) Learner-centered teaching motivates students by giving them some control over learning processes.

5) Learner-centered teaching encourages collaboration.



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