Creating Learner Centered Environment to Optimize Students’ Learning
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Creating a learner centered environment is what an educator can do to optimize the students’ learning. Previously the concept was not comfortable to apply for students; most of them were accustomed to teachers centered learning experiences. As students, they rarely had a choice, as what to learn and how to learn? Most of their time they were in conventional environment and pedagogies of learning; there was no difference found in school learning and college/university level learning. As university/ college teachers we should make endeavors to draw a line of difference in the ways conducting learning at college and university level. A learner centered environment is different. It is not that traditional way of taking down notes and passing tests to graduate to another level. It requires students to take on new responsibilities and roles that go far beyond cramming the texts and passing the same. It is an environment that permits them to take some real control over their educational experience and encourage them to make some significant choices about what will they learn and how will they learn. In a learner centered classrooms collaboration is the norm, not an occasional class activity. These changes may seem difficult for the students in the beginning but gradually they would realize that the chief aim of learning is to apply it and execute it, just following the age old traditional pedagogies, or I should say there was no pedagogy used in teaching and learning, it would be a difficult word to explain the system of the past .The situation in the past was that, only one system was followed to make the students learn; reading texts, explaining them, taking tests and evaluating at the end of the year or half. No emphasis was on value added or vocational guidance and its implementation. Therefore, it would not be easy for students to be comfortable with the new environment. It is up to us, their teachers who are suppose to help them understand and guide them to accept the changes offered .It is too unfamiliar and requires too many skills that many students do not possess. The most significant thing is to make the students believe that the changes done are to make their education executive and applicable in all senses. They will have to be explained why teaching has shifted from teacher centered to learner centered. They need to understand that teaching, like all professions, must allow research to improve its practice. They need to see that we are obligated to make changes in how we teach if research shows that those changes will improve our students’ opportunities to learn. As a great Victorian poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson quoted, “Old order changeth, yielding place to new…Lest one good custom should corrupt the world” (Morte, D’Arthur). This shift would definitely lead the students to become upgraded graduates leading teachers to be more flexible and accepting the changes.
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