When teachers use more of learner-centered teaching in class, the learning skills and strategies of students develop or increase significantly because teachers can provide more opportunities for the enhancement of the learning skills and strategies of the students.
By Ayush Bansal, Co-Founder, Foxmula
Since eternity, we have been taught to follow the footsteps of our teachers. Although much of an individual’s success in life is dependent upon finding the right mentor but the role of a mentor is laced with several connotations. Some feel that a mentor’s role is to provide the right resources in the hands of the mentee, reducing much of the mentee’s efforts whereas others feel that a mentor’s duty is to help the mentee realise her own strengths and work upon her weaknesses.
Students as teachers
Sad but true, our Indian state of education hinges on rituals of schooling making the entire experience of learning centred on just one goal – how to get good marks in examinations. Though exams are seen as being ‘functional’ because they process and filter people, yet the evaluation criteria is focused mostly on rote learning. This fails to arouse the child’s innate potential, her analytical and critical thinking abilities. We all are familiar with teachers explaining a concept in a class of students hurriedly taking notes and memorising those before an exam to receive good grades. On the other hand, what if we utilised children’s natural affinity towards adventure and challenge to light a spark in their minds?
Making a classroom more prone towards a learner will activate their cognitive, intellectual, physical, artistic and emotional faculties. Few of the leading schools have started following this principle where a student is asked to suggest topics for course curriculum, given lesson overviews to conduct a class, graded on class participation and analytical power, persuasive skills to justify an opinion and so on.
Such a learning environment focused on the spirit of collaboration, community engagements, and mutual learning gives students a chance to become active participants in the learning process. It provides them with the avenues to become responsible learners equipped for college work, in their future careers and undertakings in life. The classroom serves as a venue for students’ academic growth.
Consequently, teachers play a vital role in the formation and learning of the students. They serve as facilitators in the process and in the delivery of curriculum and instruction. They are also the key to guide, prepare and equip the students with the skills to face the real world. Learner-centered teaching should be integrated and sustained in the faculty development program for teachers to be updated on the current learner-centered teaching strategies and techniques so that students are engaged in meaningful activities from which they develop their knowledge and skills for life-long learning.
Seeds sown to address the learning gap
The way teachers or trainers teach creates an impact on the development of child’s learning. In one way or another, the teaching approaches and strategies of the teachers influence the students’ learning skills and strategies. Thus, the teacher is encouraged to become more learner-centered in his or her teaching. The learner-centered approach is just apt for students to make them learn by doing.
Engage to evolve
It is very important that students are engaged and involved in their learning process so that they can adapt the skills and strategies for them to become responsible learners. It is imperative for students to develop their learning skills and strategies because these are life-long learning skills that they can use not only for higher learning but in their future endeavors in life.