Friday, 9 January 2015

learner-centered teaching by Maryellen Weimer

This past summer I read Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice by Maryellen Weimer and highly recommend it. It provides research evidence for the efficacy of learner-centered teaching and then provides concrete advice and examples about how to change our teaching to become more learner-centered:
  1. we need to understand our role as educators to be facilitators of learning rather than dispensers of knowledge, 
  2. we must share power with students inside of our classrooms giving students opportunities to voice how and what they learn but to not abandon our educational responsibility, 
  3. we must re-conceptualize the role of the content in our courses as a vehicle for developing learning skills in our students,
  4. students must be made responsible for their own learning, and 
  5. students need to become involved in the assessment process. 
The book ends with advice about how to deal with student and faculty resistance to implementing learner-centered teaching and suggests that it is best to consider the developmental stage of students and faculty to determine the degree and type of learner-centered activities used in our courses. And if a convert to learner-centered teaching practices, to implement change incrementally and not whole-scale. Otherwise we, as instructors, and our students risk burnout.

I greatly enjoyed this book. The Jossey-Bass URL is:,miniSiteCd-JBHIGHERED.html