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Teacher-centered vs student-centered approach

Cigdem Göle

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The idea of student-centered classrooms is based on students' engagement with classroom activities

and experimenting and exploring throughout their learning processes instead of teacher being the only source.

I don't think there are many teachers who argue against the student-centered approach. However, I sometimes

have difficulty in achieving it due to the expectations and needs of the students.

I'd like to know what the teachers on the forum think about the subject.

Is your classroom teacher or student-centered?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've recently retired after 35 years in secondary classrooms icluding much experience of special needs and then several years as State President of our teachers union and I think any good, experienced teacher willl tell you that a good classroom is a mixture of both and a bad classroom is only one or the other. There are times -and a good teacher will soon learn when - that a child-centred approach is the best and works well, when the students will learn best by being involved in and responsile for their own learning. On the other hand there are times when you the teacher have the best knowledge and can pass that on succinctly, ecnomically and interestingly to students without them having to waste time finding out for themselves. There are times for eacher lectures, teacher demonstrations and there are times for child centred learning and application of that learning. Don't let anyone tell you that you should be practising just one style or the other. The balance of the two will depend on many things - the make-up of your students (you may be explicitly teaching one group while another group is doing its own learning), the time of day, the subject matter, the purpose of the learning, the learning style of the student, etc etc. There is no one god-given method, it's all instinct, common sense, sound teacher training, good PD, ignoring the lunatic fringe of "experts" and learning to be comfortable with what suits both you and your students at any given moment.

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Thank you very much for your input. I've been a teacher for twelve years and all this time

the teacher trainers have told us the best way to use is the student centered approach. Yet, in time

I've come to the same conclusion you mentioned, the best way depends on the students' needs

and it's something quite changeable.

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