Student-centered learning or teacher-centered learning

Student-centered learning or teacher-centered learning which would make an effective learning experience? As the name itself, we could get an idea of both the approach. We should know which one is to use in the classroom for better performance. We want our students to enjoy the learning process and the classroom to be in control. You should know that the shift from a teacher-centered approach to a learner-centered approach will not completely eliminate the role of a teacher in the class. The student-centered is a process in which student is able to learn in a way which is most convenient to him/her. If you are ready to know more about these approaches and their pros and cons it would help you to determine which approach works best for you. So, let’s have a look at them

Teacher-centered education.

We all are familiar with this method of education. In teacher-centered education, teachers are the focus they are the main authority while the students are not able to have a conversation with each other, they are to just sit silently and listen to what the teacher is saying. It’s a method like filling an empty bottle, in this case, the students are the empty bottle and the teachers are filling knowledge into the bottle. The students are not allowed to discuss and learn. Students should perform the activities on their own. Now, this just an introduction to the teacher-centered approach. Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros

  • When the approach is teacher-centered, the classroom is well disciplined. The students are quite and you would have complete control of the classroom
  • Since the students would be learning by their own it makes the student be more independent and it helps them to take decisions on their own.
  • The teachers monitor everything and are able to correct every student
  • The teacher is able to impart their wisdom to the students
  • The students will never miss out on an important topic.

Cons

  • Since teachers are the main source of knowledge the students are limited to the knowledge provided by their teacher.
  • Students would be performing their tasks alone without collaborating with other students, this may affect their social skills and their communication skills.
  • Often the teacher-centered learning might not be very interesting. It’s seen that the students get bored and they lose their concentration and their minds tend to wander. This makes the students miss many important facts.
  • Students fail to express their ideas as they are restricted to listen and learn only.

Student-centered learning

Just like the name, the focus shifts to the students. It doesn’t mean that teachers are excluded they also share almost equal focus as a student. The change is that instead of just listening and learning it enables the students to interact with other students and also with teachers. Group work is a key feature of this method. This helps to improve their communication and social skills.

The role of a teacher is to guide, coach, and clear out the doubts of the students. Students learn by asking questions, discussing with others and comparing it to a real-life experience. Meanwhile, this all makes a student to take charge of their studies. This method promotes the method of learning from mistakes. That’s enough for an introduction, now let’s look at their pros and cons

pros

  • Students would be more interested in learning as they are able to communicate with their peer. Discussing and learning make the students energetic rather than being gloomy.
  • The students would be performing the task in pairs, in groups and sometimes individually based on the purpose of the task. This improves their communicative and collaborative skills.
  • As most of the control of the learning process is in the hands of the students, they are able to take charge of their own learning and are able to complete activities in groups or independently.

cons

  • One of the main disadvantages of this is that the classroom would be noisy and busy most of the time. The discipline of the class would be at the bottom.
  • As the students take over the learning process there is a chance that the students might miss some important facts.
  • There arises a problem with the introverts and the students who prefer to learn alone. Collaborative learning would be problematic.

Conclusion

Both the teacher-centered approach and student-centered approach has its own advantage and disadvantage. Recently many teachers have shifted to student-centered education. However, we cannot neglect teacher-centered education as it is an effective teaching strategy in different areas. I would suggest that let’s mix up these methods and provide with a more effective strategy. Where the students can work as a group and also be disciplined without making much of a noise. You know your students more than others so just do trial and error and figure out which works the best for you and your students. Just make sure that the students are also included and they are kept engaged. Make sure to use a balanced educational atmosphere.

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