Teachers' Evaluation of Student-Centered Learning Environments

By Cubukcu, Zuhal | Education, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Teachers' Evaluation of Student-Centered Learning Environments


Cubukcu, Zuhal, Education


Introduction

The concept of student-centered education has led to perceptual changes in relation to education, learning and teaching. In student-centered teaching, at the stages of decision making, planning, application, and evaluation during the teaching-learning process learners participate in the process willingly, showing interest with determination. It can be said that student-centered teaching has brought about the change in questions from "What should we teach?", "How should we teach?", "With what should we teach?" to a perspective where "What would s/he like to learn?", "What will s/he do to learn?", "What would assist him/her in his/her learning?", "To what extent did s/he learn?" In other words, in student-centered teaching learners actively participate in the decision making process about what to learn, how to learn, and what kind of help is required, and how to decide how much is learned (Bery, Sharp, 1999; Lea, Sttenhanson & Tray; Hartly, 1987; Sharma, Millar & Seth, 1999; cited in: Acat, 2005).

For over 100 years, philosophers such as John Dewey, Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget, Jerome Bruner, Ferriere, Rousseau, Freinet, Howard Gardner, Gianni Rodari, Bruno Ciari, Maria Montessori and others have reported on the benefits of experiential, hands-on, student-centered learning. Involving learner in decision making and using student interest to drive curriculum and projects supports a growing body of evidence that concurs with these revolutionary philosophers. Learning is not only about knowledge making. Children need to be active learners within the context of culture, community, and past experiences. Teachers who adhere to student-centered classrooms are influenced strongly by constructivism, naturalistic, social constructivism, existentialism, humanism, and progressive philosophies.

Student-centered learning, or student centeredness, is a model which puts the student in the center of the learning process. Student-centered learning is a model in which students play an active role in their own learning styles and learning strategies. While learning, internal motivation is of vital importance. Individual systemizing is more important than standardized systems. Student-centered learning improves learning to learn and learning how to improve skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and reflective thinking. Students apply and display different styles. Student-centered learning differs from teacher-centered learning in which it is characterized by the more active role of the learner when compared to the teacher.

Student-centered learning helps students to get their own goals for learning, and determine resources and activities guiding them to meet those goals (Jonassen, 2000). Because students pursue their own goals, all of their activities are meaningful to them. Student-centered learning which is based on experiential learning helps knowledge and skills to be grasped more extensively and permananetly (Lont, 1999). Since both students and teachers participate in learning process, teachers are perceived to be a member of teaching environment and students to be the persons whose individual learning needs should be addressed. Thus, teachers by using more recent teaching methods involve students in learning process more actively. This improves and expands teachers' roles, which in turn contributes to team spirit and and the culture of working together. The properties of student-centered teaching program that was prepared by the Mid-continent Regional Educatinoal Laboratory are as follows (McCombs & Whisler, 1997; cited in: Unver & Demirel, 2004):

* emphasizes tasks that attract students' various interests,

* organizes content and activities around the subjects that are meaningful to the students,

* contains clear opportunities that let all students develop their own learning skills and progress to the next level of learning,

* contains activities that help students understand and improve their own viewpoints,

* allows for global, interdisciplinary, and complemetary activities,

* supports challenging learning activities even if the learners find them difficult, and

* emphasizes activities that encourage students to work with other students in cooperation.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Teachers' Evaluation of Student-Centered Learning Environments
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?