Chapter 9: Making Learner-Centered Teaching Work
Attending: Bill Yang, , Discussion leader
Barbara Nixon, Recorder
Margery (Marney) Collins
Virginia DeRoma [Happy Birthday!!]
Bill provided the group with a brief outline of the chapter.
Principles of successful instruction improvement
Techniques vs. approach
- Techniques: piece by piece, “trick” in detail
- Approach: a system or a set of principles, plans
- Approach change systematically (not like Pin the Tail on the Donkey)
- Approach change incrementally
- Plan to tinker
- Set realistic expectations for success
Taking a Learner-Centered Approach
- Study the new approach
- Develop deeper and more accurate self-knowledge
- Alter attitude toward assessment
- Sophisticated learners want specific, focused feedback
- Self-regulating learners make data-based assessment an ongoing activity
- Experienced learners ask the right questions
- Sohisticated learners make selective choice about peer involvement
Below are some additional comments made by members of our group:
Offering choices to students/learners creates angst.
Students feel uncomfortable making choices. Many seem to want us to tell them what to do.
It’s okay to do a few little things regarding learner-centered instruction; no need to try everything in one semester.
We should provide guidelines to our students for what we’re looking for in class discussions.
A goal for student discussion could be to have them move from simply stating personal opinions to sharing their informed opinions. (Virginia recommends McKeachie’s Teaching Tips.)
TA –> ATA: An old way of doing a class lecture was discussing Theory first, then Application. A newer, perhaps better way, is ATA. Share an application, discuss theory, then discuss more applications.
We could consider treating our classrooms like restaurants. Allow students to choose from a menu of options (assignments, exams, etc.) to create a healty diet (reach instructional goals of the class).
How important is attendance anyway? (Big discussion about this, with no real consensus.)
Faculty members need to walk the talk when it comes to classroom/conference decorum. Discussion about presenting at a conference to peers & how challenging it was.
Finally, I’d like to ask all members of our Reading Roundtable to share two or three things they’ve done or plan to do as a result of learning more about Learner-Centered Teaching. Please post your ideas as a Comment to this blog posting.