Another dot in the blogosphere?

Granularity of being learner-centred

Posted on: December 4, 2013

Granularity by velmc, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  velmc 

Ask just five well-informed people what it means to be learner-centred and you are likely to get different perspectives.

For some, this might mean using instructional strategies that get the learner more involved in the processes of teaching and learning. Examples might include think-pair-share or a jigsaw method. The learning tasks may be problem-based, case-based, scenario-based, game-based, etc.

This is a fine level of granularity. This is the operational detail of being learner-centred.

Zoom all the way out and there is the mindset of focusing on learning and the learner instead of teaching and the teacher. This might manifest itself in experiences instead of lessons, being demand-driven instead of supply-driven, and orienting to more just-in-time instead of only just-in-case instruction.

That is a coarse level of granularity and a philosophical orientation.

You would think that the coarse grain should reveal itself in the finer details. But I have noticed people who claim to be learner-centred but behave otherwise.

Why? It is easier to make claims than to back it up. Theory is not practice. A description is not a prescription. Being well-informed is not the same as being well-practiced.

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