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A teacher of mine in this program once described traditional teaching methods in which the students sat in well-ordered rows and the teacher stood and handed out papers as the "spray and pray" method. The teacher sprayed the material and prayed it stuck. If the students scored well on test, the teacher was successful.
Learner-centered learning environments are founded on the principal that learning is an active process. Learning is an interaction between the student and text, involving the activation of prior knowledge and relating new ideas to preexisting schemata. Based on this paradigm learner-centered environments engage the student both personally and intellectually and provide the best method for meeting the needs of all learners.
In teacher-centered learning environments, the more traditional and widespread approach, the teacher is viewed as the focal point and leader of learning. The teacher is the authority, leaving the students in the passive role as receivers of knowledge, rather than active constructors of that knowledge. That knowledge is finite and discrete.
In teacher-centered learning the lessons are instructionally driven, leaving the students unengaged intellectually and emotionally. These traditional methods include memorization, completing worksheets, reading a text and answering predetermined questions - demonstrating knowledge of the "right" answer. In this form of learning there is limited activation of prior knowledge, and therefore students struggle to create personally significant meaning. This is because in teacher-centered learning the background, values and interests of the learner are nonexistent. ...
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