Student-centered teaching methods shift the focus of activity from the teacher to the learners. These methods include active learning, in which students solve problems, answer questions, formulate questions of their own, discuss, explain, debate, or brainstorm during class; cooperative learning, in which students work in teams on problems and projects under conditions that assure both positive interdependence and individual accountability; and inductive teaching and learning, in which students are first presented with challenges (questions or problems) and learn the course material in the context of addressing the challenges. Inductive methods include inquiry-based learning, case-based instruction, problem-based learning, project-based learning, discovery learning, and just-in-time teaching.
Student-centred learning is about helping students to discover their
own learning styles, to understand their motivation and to acquire
effective study skills that will be valuable throughout their lives. To
put this approach into practice, teachers need to help students set
achievable goals; encourage students to assess themselves and their
peers; help them to work co-operatively in groups and ensure that they
know how to exploit all the available resources for learning.
Learning is thus more a form of personal development than a linear
progression that the teacher achieves by rewards and sanctions. Errors
are seen as a constructive part of the learning process and need not be
a source of embarrassment.
The main principles of student-centred learning are:
- The learner has full responsibility for her/his learning
- Involvement and participation are necessary for learning
- The relationship between learners is more equal, promoting growth, development
- The teacher becomes a facilitator and resource person
- The learner experiences confluence in his education
- The learner sees himself/herself differently as a result of the learning experience.