Monday, 31 August 2009

Student Centred Learning

In this news article “Jump to High School too big for some” differences in pedagogies are seen as contributing to students’ difficulties in adjusting to the transition to high school and advocates for a focus on maintaining a ‘middle school’ Yrs 7 – 10. So why is it that when you get to high school the teacher becomes the centre of learning and not the student? Why should we change to a focus on ‘middle school’ to ease this transition? Why not work on changing teaching styles to put students at the centre – where they belong.

“Kay Matheson, from Victoria University in Wellington, studied the differences in teaching between Year 8 (form two) and Year 9 (form three).

Matheson's study found Year 9 teachers were more teacher-centred than Year 8 teachers.

"The focus shifts from student-centred learning to teacher-centred learning," the study said. "This may be a contributing factor in the decline in mathematics achievement that has been shown to occur at this phase of education in New Zealand."

The study observed teaching at a secondary school and one of its feeder intermediate schools. Three teachers of mathematics at Year 9 from the secondary school and three Year 8 teachers from the intermediate school were videotaped, each for three lessons.

"In the type of statements used there were significant differences," the study said. "The Year 9 teachers used instructional and control statements more than the Year 8 teachers ... Year 8 teachers had a higher percentage of explanatory statements. The study found greater use of "confidence-building statements" by Year 8 teachers." read more

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