You might have spent hours preparing a lecture. You might have also worked incredibly hard to deliver the same lecture. But why aren't your students showing any interest? Because you're probably using the wrong teaching technique!
This is where student centered learning comes into play! This educational approach is devised to make learning more effective by targeting the interests and goals of individual students. Dive in to learn the advantages of a student centered learning environment, plus how you can create it for your pupils.
What Are the Advantages of Student Centered Learning, And Why is It Important?
Over time, teaching methodologies have evolved to make learning processes more personalized and build a better learning environment. Student centered learning is one way of doing so!
Here're the amazing benefits of this teaching approach...
1. Stimulates Engagement
Don't forget to achieve your teaching objectives; you must check how your students are performing. Are they learning? What difficulties are they facing?
With your students' zero engagement, you will fail to judge where they stand and won't find any answers to the above questions.
However, a student centered learning environment can help you encourage students to participate in the tasks and activities. For instance, you can ask your students to read a chapter and prepare it for a debating session. When the students realize that they've to speak in front of everyone, they would work hard to gather their point of view and plan a heavy-hitting discourse.
This tactic is far better than the long and boring lectures of the teachers. Plus, it will ensure that the students work, learn, and participate.
2. Fosters Teamwork
One of the major reasons why you need to focus on student centered learning is that it promotes peer communication and strengthens teamwork skills.
When students are allowed to communicate with their peers, they tend to learn more. This is how...
Students share their ideas and develop their opinions about their peers' beliefs. Further, they also share their perspectives with everyone and try to convince their classmates that their ideas are perfect.
To be precise, this type of learning environment improves students' communication and cognitive skills, which helps them become a better version of themselves in the future.
3. Strengthens Problem Solving Skills
The teacher-centered classrooms are based on a one-way system where only teachers are expected to share and transfer their knowledge to the students, and no student is allowed to talk or share their opinions.
The case with student-centered learning is different. Students are encouraged to articulate their thoughts and ideas. This ultimately nourishes their problem-solving skills. Students attend classes/sessions and try to find smart solutions to different problems.
That said, teachers can conduct quizzes and other challenging classroom activities to judge students’ problem-solving skills. Apart from that, adding different complexity levels to activities is highly recommended. Why? Such tasks would create a real-life environment for the students to solve problems that can reappear in their lives in the future.
4. Students Start Remembering More!
Yes! You read it right!
In traditional classrooms, pupils usually sleep. And the sleepy heads of these bored students don't allow them to focus and even memorize anything. In fact, the traditional cramming-based classrooms cause frustration and lead to procrastination.
Student centered learning involves creating content and mind-opening activities. This stimulates students' interest and encourages them to remember the solutions for years and utilize them in future scenarios.
5. Takes Their Confidence to the Next-Level!
Children who learn in a student centered learning environment are far more confident and better leaders than those who grow up in a traditional classroom management system. This is what research says!
Remember the old saying, "Practice makes a man perfect?". Well, this is exactly the case with students. They need to try whatever you're teaching them practically. Otherwise, they won't know how to use any strategy in practical life effectively. In fact, they won't have the confidence to try that even for once! Boom! Sounds like students who don't get to learn in a friendly environment will be failures in the future!
However, a student who has already practiced a strategy during his school years won't fear implementing the same strategy in real life. In other words, group projects and unique learning styles can make students super-confident.
6. Helps in Reducing Disruptive Behavior
Students who are forced to learn something are the most frustrating ones. They start misbehaving, which disrupts the learning process and creates chaos in the environment.
Well, why don't you hook your students' attention by using amazing tasks instead of offering them those boring how-to-be-a-good-student lectures?
You can achieve maximum attention of the students by simply using engaging content and an effective strategy. The pupils won't get bored and won't even find extra time to involve themselves in misbehaving activities.
Student centered learning is mandatory in education. Not only does it help to reduce disruptive student behavior, but it also strengthens confidence and self-esteem.
After reading all the above points, you might be wondering how to create a super-effective learning environment. Well, this is what we're going to discuss next!
How to Create a Healthy Student Centered Learning Environment? 5 Secret Tips
It's not rocket science. Just follow the tips discussed below, and you'll be good to go...
1. Say No to Old Teaching Methods!
Believe it or not, traditional classroom techniques will kill your students' creative, cognitive and problem-solving skills. So, first, eliminate all these fatal teaching approaches.
Don't bombard your students with the knowledge and experiences of your life. Let them talk and share their opinions with everyone.
Moreover, instead of conducting essay-based Q/A, we recommend you stick with project-based exams. You can also change the classroom setting and take your students out for real-life experiences.
2. Know Your Students Well
How would you make your students learn something if you don't know what they want to learn? Or how they want to learn?
Well, understanding your students is important. Check which strategies are working for them and which are not. Below are some tips that can help you know your students well:
- Create cumulative records of the students (use online templates).
- Be friendly and have fun with your pupils.
- Conduct in-person meetings with individual students.
3. Leverage the Power of Digital Technology
As we all know, technology is taking over everything. You will be left surprised to hear that 56% of the kids have smartphones.
Means? Integrating technology in the classroom to grab student attention has become more important than ever before. You can use games in your classroom that are closely related to your subject, such as MathMan, Spell Buzz, Scrabble, etc., or you can show interactive and informative videos during your lectures.
Moreover, using PowerPoint slides is a good idea. All these options are amazing ways to grab your student's attention and keep their minds open during sessions.
4. Integrate Project-Based Activities
Project-based tasks prepare students to solve real-life problems. The students work on actual models and investigate complex challenges. This student centered learning framework offers incredible benefits to the students.
To choose project-based activity for your pupils, you've to follow certain steps, which are listed below:
- Know your students and list down your goals.
- Reach out to experienced teachers for tips and suggestions.
- Identify the skill or topic you want your students to learn.
- Devise activities in three parts, i.e., brainstorming, main activity and post activity.
5. Don't Rule Over Your Students!
If you're serious about creating a student centered learning environment, be a kind, loving and friendly teacher.
Students feel comfortable articulating their problems to the teachers. To become a better teacher, attending classes or online courses is best. Moreover, you can also ask students for feedback about your performance. Once you start learning students' perspectives, you can easily figure out what you should do to become a better teacher.
Whether you're conducting TOEFL exams in Hong Kong or teaching Math online, without a student-centered learning environment, you'll fail to be a great teacher!
Hence, consider all the tips discussed above when you plan to conduct a lecture. After all, a comfortable environment plays a huge role in engaging students during lectures, developing their socially acceptable manner, strengthening their learning abilities, and developing their social skills.
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