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WHAT IS OUR GLOBAL AGENDA? A Look at Learner-Centered Teaching and Learning

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WHAT IS OUR GLOBAL AGENDA? A Look at Learner-Centered Teaching and Learning Barbara L. McCombs, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist University of Denver Research Institute – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: WHAT IS OUR GLOBAL AGENDA? A Look at Learner-Centered Teaching and Learning


1
WHAT IS OUR GLOBAL AGENDA? A Look at
Learner-Centered Teaching and Learning
  • Barbara L. McCombs, Ph.D.
  • Senior Research Scientist
  • University of Denver Research Institute
  • Email bmmcombs_at_du.edu

2
Purpose of Presentation
  • To describe my own journey in identifying global
    issues in learning and teaching
  • To describe what Ive learned about practices
    that improve motivation and achievement in
    several international studies
  • To identify some of what I think are the most
    important global educational issues in any
    learning context (on- or off-line)
  • To challenge participants to become involved in
    participating in a transformational redesign of
    educational systems

3
How the Journey Began
  • My family beginnings
  • Trying to understand natural love of learning
  • Researching different models of motivation
  • Finding research validated principles
  • Exploring how these principles translate into
    practice in the US and other countries
  • Seeing whats needed in new educational
    paradigms, including those using online learning
    technologies

4
Understanding Motivation
  • Learning as a natural process
  • Curiosity as a natural process
  • Motivation to learn as a natural process
  • What happens in schools?
  • Students cant follow their natural interests
    to inspire students they need to see relevance
    and meaning
  • Students cant make choices and be autonomous
    to engage students they need to have a say in
    what they learn and how they learn it

5
What Does the Research Say?
  • What is the evidence?
  • Where does it come from?
  • Is there any global confirmation?
  • How does the evidence translate into practice?

6
THE LEARNER-CENTERED PRINCIPLES AS A FRAMEWORK
FOR ENHANCED LEARNING AND MOTIVATION
  • Based on published research on learning,
    individual differences, and needs of learners
  • Include strategies responsive to and respectful
    of diverse needs of students as learners
  • Imply that programs and practices must include
    strategies consistent with the research-validated
    learner-centered psychological principles
  • Strategies focus on creating positive
    relationships, providing choice and control, and
    implementing approaches to building caring
    learning communities
  • Represent a paradigm shift or transformed and
    balanced view of cognitive, social, and emotional
    issues that focuses on learning and learners

7
WHY IS THIS FOUNDATION IMPORTANT?
  • A compelling rationale is needed to balance a
    focus on learners and learning.
  • There is an increased global recognition that
    educational systems must prepare students for
    life, productive careers, and to be learners for
    life.
  • There is growing research support that academic
    standards and content expertise are not
    sufficient to assist students in developing into
    knowledgeable, responsible, caring, and
    academically competent lifelong learners.
  • One of the primary benefits of basing practices
    on research-validated Principles that span over a
    century of research is that they are
    theoretically, empirically, and experientially
    grounded based on feedback from teachers and
    other educators.

8
BACKGROUND ON DEVELOPMENT OF LEARNER-CENTERED
PRINCIPLES (LCPs)
  • The original document was developed in 1991-92
    and disseminated in 1993 in response to changes
    in national educational policy that ignored
    knowledge base on learning and learners.
  • The LCPs emerged from an intensive review of a
    century of research on learning, motivation,
    development, and individual differences in
    learning.
  • This document was revised in late 1997 as new
    knowledge became available and new concerns with
    national educational policy surfaced.
  • As current research has continued to define
    evidence-based practices, a new APA Task Force is
    creating a set of tools for communicating
    evidence based practices that are developmentally
    appropriate for pre-K-12 students.

9
APA LEARNER-CENTERED PSCYHOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES
  • 14 principles divided into 4 domains or factors
    influencing learning and achievement
  • Imply a holistic look at learners, their needs,
    and the contexts/practices that best meet these
    needs across the age span
  • See separate handout of Table 1 for a listing of
    all 14 principles
  • Can also download full version at
    http//www.apa.org/ed/cpse/LCPP.pdf

10
METACOGNITIVE AND COGNITIVE FACTORS
  • Learning is a natural process
  • Learning is personal constructions of meaning
  • Learning is relating personal meanings to shared
    knowledge
  • Learning is facilitated by higher-order thinking
    processes
  • Learning is facilitated by environmental factors,
    including culture, technology, and instructional
    practices

11
MOTIVATIONAL AND AFFECTIVE FACTORS
  • Motivation is a function of internal beliefs,
    values, interests, expectations, emotions, states
    of mind
  • Motivation to learn is a natural process when
    beliefs and emotions are positive and when
    external context is supportive
  • Motivation-enhancing tasks facilitate
    higher-order thinking and learning processes as a
    function of perceived relevance and
    meaningfulness as well as optimal difficulty and
    novelty

12
DEVELOPMENTAL AND SOCIAL FACTORS
  • Learning is influenced by unique genetic and
    environmental factors
  • Learning is facilitated by developmentally
    appropriate experiences and materials
  • Developmental differences encompass physical,
    intellectual, emotional, and social areas
  • Learning is influenced by social interactions,
    interpersonal relations, and communication with
    others

13
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES FACTORS
  • The same basic principles of learning apply to
    all individuals
  • Learners differ in learned and genetic
    preferences for how they learn
  • Individuals unique perceptions, learned beliefs,
    and prior learning experiences provide a filter
    for learning new information and interpreting
    reality
  • Setting appropriately high and challenging
    standards and assessing the learner and learning
    progress are integral parts of the learning
    process

14
WHAT DOES THE LEARNER-CENTERED FRAMEWORK ADDRESS?
  • The Learner - perceptions, needs, motivation
  • Learning Opportunities - types of teaching and
    learning experiences that can meet learner needs
    for success, belonging, autonomy
  • Learning Outcomes - including affective,
    cognitive, social, and performance domains
  • Learning Context - climate for learning,
    including expectations, teacher and technology
    support, time structures, adaptability to student
    needs, and a focus on fostering positive learning
    communities

15
Learner-Centered Model A Holistic Perspective
Learner
Learning
Knowledge
Learner
Learning
Integration of Factors Impacting Learners and
Learning
Learning
  • Cognitive and Metacognitive
  • Motivational and Affective
  • Developmental and Social
  • Individual Differences

16
Translating the Learner-Centered Principles into
Practice
  • Selecting a theoretical framework that captures
    the LCPs
  • Person-centered
  • Phenomenological
  • Identifying evidence-based practices consistent
    with the LCPs
  • Measuring the efficacy of person and practice
    variables in predicting important learner outcomes

17
Evidence Based Characteristics of
Learner-Centered Teachers
  • acknowledge and attend to each students
    uniqueness
  • understand learning and motivation to learn
  • create a positive climate that feels safe and
    secure
  • assume that all students want to learn and
    succeed
  • are knowledgeable of subject matter
  • provide choice and personal responsibility for
    learning
  • have confidence in their ability to teach and
    reach different students
  • provide high quality explanations while
    encouraging students to think critically and
    independently
  • provide opportunities for active learning and
    student engagement in learning
  • see themselves as co-learners and partners with
    students in sharing responsibility for learning

18
Evidence Based Characteristics of
Learner-Centered Practices
  • The emphasis is on methods that address the whole
    learner and his or her academic and non-academic
    needs and students are partners in co-creating
    learning experiences, climate, and community.
  • Practices at the classroom and school levels
    begin with strategies for getting to know each
    learner and forming a safe, inclusive learning
    community before academic learning begins.
  • Teachers see themselves as learners and
    co-learners with students and each other, and as
    facilitators rather than directors of student
    learning.
  • Success is measured by academic and non academic
    outcomes and by sustaining attitudes of ongoing
    learning, change, and improvement.

19
Learner-Centered Professional Development Tools
  • Help teachers engage in their own self-assessment
    process
  • Encourage teachers to reflect and think
    critically about their beliefs and practices
  • Allow teachers to examine educational theories
    and practices in light of their beliefs and
    experiences

20
THE ASSESSMENT OF LEARNER-CENTERED PRACTICES
(ALCP) Tools for Creating Learner-Centered
Classrooms
  • TEACHER SURVEYS - for increasing awareness of
    impact on students
  • Teacher Beliefs and Assumptions about learners,
    learning, and teaching
  • Teacher Characteristics related to effective
    teaching
  • Teacher Assessment of Classroom Practices in
    areas most related to student motivation and
    achievement
  • STUDENT SURVEYS - for identifying students not
    being reached
  • Student Assessment of Classroom Practices in same
    areas as instructor assessments
  • Student Motivation, Interests, Learning Strategies

21
Characteristics of Learner-Centered Tools
  • What they are
  • Non-threatening
  • Tools for learning and change
  • Opportunities to share expertise
  • What they are not
  • Evaluations of competence
  • One-size-fits-all strategies
  • Cookbook teaching procedures

22
RESEARCH-VALIDATED DEFINITION OF
LEARNER-CENTERED
  • Reflection of the learner-centered Principles in
    the programs, practices, policies, and people
    that support learning for all learners
  • Balances the concern with learning achievement
    and the concern with diverse learner needs
  • Is a complex interaction of qualities of the
    teacher in combination with characteristics of
    instructional practices as perceived by
    individual learners
  • Meaningfully predicts learner motivation and
    levels of learning and achievement at different
    developmental levels (grades K-3, 4-8, 9-12)

23
LEARNER-CENTERED CONCEPTS
  • CHOICE
  • RESPONSIBILITY
  • RELEVANCE
  • CHALLENGE
  • CONTROL
  • CONNECTION
  • COMPETENCE
  • RESPECT
  • COOPERATION
  • RELATIONSHIPS

24
DOMAINS OF LEARNER-CENTERED CLASSROOM
PRACTICES FOR GRADES K-3
 
Facilitates Thinking and Learning Skills
Provides Motivational Support
Creates Positive Relationships
25
DOMAINS OF LEARNER-CENTERED CLASSROOM
PRACTICES FOR GRADES 4-8 AND 9-12
 
Adapts to Individuals
Encourages Higher-Order Thinking
Honors Student Voice
Creates Positive Relationships
26
 DOMAINS OF LEARNER-CENTEREDCLASSROOM
PRACTICESCOLLEGE LEVEL
Provides for Social Needs
Encourages Personal Challenge/Responsibility
Facilitates the Learning Process
Adapts to Class Learning Needs
Creates Positive Relationships
27
STUDENT MOTIVATIONAL OUTCOMES FOUND WITH LEARNER
CENTERED PRACTICES
  • take responsibility for their own learning
  • engage in learning for understanding vs. grades
  • achieve high academic and personal standards
  • engage in independent learning activities
  • seek out further information about topics of
    interest
  • persist in the face of learning challenges
  • continue to refine their skills in chosen areas
  • go beyond minimal assignments

28
STUDENT ACADEMIC AND BEHAVIORAL OUTCOMES FOUND
WITH LEARNER-CENTERED PRACTICES
  • High levels of classroom achievement on indicator
    such as grades and test scores
  • High levels of classroom and school attendance
    and engagement
  • High levels of social and emotional skills
  • High levels of lifelong learning skills
  • Low levels of disruptive classroom behaviors

29
What Defines Learner-Centered Classrooms and
Schools?
  • Learner-Centered is in the eye of the
    beholder
  • Wont look the same from day to day, class to
    class, school to school
  • Depends on needs of individual learners, the
    culture of the school, and characteristics of the
    community

30
A Universal Systemic Framework
  • An ecological framework for learning one that
    defines the complex factors affecting learning
    from inside and outside the learner
  • A living systems framework one that defines the
    domains of system functioning

31
Conceptual Framework Domains of Living Systems
TECHNICAL
ORGANIZATIONAL
PERSONAL
32
Findings from International Studies
  • England Looked at relationships between
    learner-centeredness as assessed by the ALCP
    surveys for upper elementary and secondary
    students and students lifelong learning skills.
    Found that students in more learner-centered
    classrooms had higher lifelong learning skills on
    6 of the 8 dimensions measured.
  • Ireland Looked at elementary students
    development of self-regulated learning and
    motivation skills as a function of how
    learner-centered the teachers practices were
    using the ALCP surveys and measures of
    self-regulated learning. Found significant
    relationships between learner-centeredness and
    students self-regulated learning and motivation.
  • Philippines Looked at the practices of college
    instructors with the ALCP surveys. Found that
    the more learner-centered instructors had
    students with the highest motivation, attendance,
    and learning outcomes.
  • Spain Looked at practices of high school
    teachers in learner-centered vs. non-learner
    centered classrooms as assessed by the ALCP
    surveys. Found that student s in more
    learner-centered classrooms had higher
    self-regulated learning skills.

33
What Ive Learned
  • Research-validated principles apply to a number
    of cultures and both on-line and off-line
    learning environments
  • It is productive to look at what unites versus
    separates us as a global culture
  • Learner-centered practices enhance a range of
    desired student outcomes
  • Schools that align themselves with
    learner-centered principles create new
    communities and cultures of learners

34
What Does this Imply for a Global Agenda?
  • We need to identify those common issues for
    teachers and students that contribute to optimum
    levels of learning and engagement
  • We need to identify areas of collaboration that
    can cross-validate common issues and solutions
  • We need to study how common issues play out
    differently in different cultures and groups
  • We need to understand the role of different
    values, purposes of education, and philosophies
  • We need to identify online and offline learning
    designs that prepare students to be innovators
    (creative lifelong learners and collaborators)
  • We need to work on new policy implications that
    have global perspectives

35
Conclusions
  • We have many exciting challenges and
    opportunities to build research validated
    principles into the design of new educational
    systems
  • We have much to gain by collaboration
  • We can set the course for a transformed global
    educational system
  • We can inspire students at all levels to become
    involved
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