This paper aims to provide research evidence to support a solution proposed to an identified problem in education. It was determined that the disengagement of classroom students is a problem, and has been associated with a number of adverse academic and social outcomes. A student-centered approach to teaching is proposed as a solution, and has shown effectiveness in increasing motivation and engagement among students. This paper will give an overview, provide research to support the proposed solution, as well as discuss its implications for education.
The disengagement of children in school is an issue that affects all aspects of education. It has also been associated with negative outcomes in academics and in society. Student disengagement in the classroom is linked to academic failure and behavioral issues. Students who are disengaged in the classroom are less likely to develop positive relationships with adults and peers, and they are more susceptible to mental health issues. Although the issue of disengagement among students is widely recognized, attempts to combat it have been mostly unsuccessful.
It is possible that this failure to achieve success can be attributed to many of the traditional teaching techniques not being designed for all students’ needs and interests. Instead, these approaches are teacher-centered with an emphasis on information transmission from teacher to student. The approach may be successful for certain students but alienating for others.
Students-centered teaching approach is the proposed solution
A student-centered learning approach is one solution proposed to address the issue of disengagement among students. A student-centered learning approach puts the student in the centre of the experience. This includes a strong focus on collaborative and active learning as well on critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills. The teacher in a student-centered environment is more of a facilitator than a lecturer. Students are also encouraged to be responsible for their own education.
Students-Centered Approach to Teaching: Research Support
A growing body of evidence supports student-centered approaches to teaching in terms of their effectiveness at fostering student motivation and engagement. A meta-analysis that included 225 different studies concluded, for example, that student-centered learning was linked to higher academic achievement, motivation and improved attitudes towards learning. Other studies have found that student-centered teaching can promote the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as social and emotional skills such as empathy, self-awareness, and relationship-building (Astin & Antonio, 2012; Felder & Brent, 2009).
The fact that student-centered methods of teaching are more aligned to the diverse needs and interests among learners is one reason they may work. It is possible that students with different learning styles, or those from different socioeconomic or cultural backgrounds, are more engaged in learning which is meaningful and tailored to their individual needs. Students who feel valued and respected are more likely form good relationships with teachers and their classmates when they use student-centered methods.
In terms of both teacher education and classroom practice, the implementation of a “student-centered” teaching method has significant educational implications. To successfully implement the student-centered method, teachers must be well trained on the strategies and skills needed to support active and collaborative teaching, and the technology that supports personalized and differentiated learning. Teachers must also be willing to collaborate with parents and other community members to create and implement learning strategies tailored to students.