- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (July 8, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0787956465
- ISBN-13: 978-0787956462
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 26 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice 1st Edition
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"By staying with the book the reader will discover the book's value as a guide to the current literature about learning and teaching." (Teachers College Record, 1/13/04)
"Expertly written by Maryellen Weimer 'Learner Centered Teaching' is an invaluable resource..." (The Midwest Book Review, August 2003)
From the Back Cover
In this much needed resource, Maryellen Weimer-one of the nation's most highly regarded authorities on effective college teaching-offers a comprehensive work on the topic of learner-centered teaching in the college and university classroom. As the author explains, learner-centered teaching focuses attention on what the student is learning, how the student is learning, the conditions under which the student is learning, whether the student is retaining and applying the learning, and how current learning positions the student for future learning. To help educators accomplish the goals of learner-centered teaching, this important book presents the meaning, practice, and ramifications of the learner-centered approach, and how this approach transforms the college classroom environment. Learner-Centered Teaching shows how to tie teaching and curriculum to the process and objectives of learning rather than to the content delivery alone.
Learner-Centered Teaching also offers well researched advice for educators who want to transition to a learner-centered approach in their classrooms and
- Identifies the steps to take to put into place learner-centered policies and practices
- Provides a theoretical foundation for the learner-centered approach
- Outlines a positive way to improve teaching
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Some reviewer here really missed the point of students working on class participation policy -- that's the best idea ever. We spend two class periods at the beginning of the semester in discussion about participation. About 95% of the students agree that professors always say (on syllabus or in class) that "participation counts" or "participation will be x% of your grade," but they never explain exactly what participation is or how they're going to grade it. My students create standards, which you'd be surprised are not wishy washy or loose. When asked to chime in, they are serious about their education and want a classroom that supports their learning. Every single class, on their own (without me saying a word) has outlawed cell phones and texting. Doesn't mean they don't slip up, but they have clear ideas about standards. If teachers would allow even the conversation about participation, they might get more buy-in from their students. Participation becomes a factor in their grades, worth 100 points: 50 earned by writing 5 pages or more assessing their own participation and up to 50 points that I use to grade their participation -- using the class policy. Students can opt into the Participation points or not. Rarely does a student opt out. That means everyone in my class is actively trying to participate all the time. And I don't have to prod them and they know the rules and what they need to do to earn the points.
Look, here is the bottom line, everything in life is optional. Really. Either you show up, or you don't. Before I changed to this approach, I would always have some students who would treat assignments as if optional, not do work, not come to class, think they could do make up work at the end and it would be fine. But now, actually telling them "everything is optional" -- lets the cat out of the bag. In my class, with the exception of two assignments, everything is optional. Can a student pass if he or she only does the required two assignments. Heck, no. The deck is certainly stacked. But here's the thing, a student who hates literature and doesn't really want to read all the books and doesn't want an A, can certainly find a way to learn enough to earn a "C" -- and isn't that okay? Heck, yes.
I give each student a complete list of assignments and due dates and point values for each assignment on a sheet where he or she can record points. I keep a copy of the same sheet. Students always know how they stand in the class. This has made me a better teacher because I return work within at least two class meetings. In fact, many students said last year that I was the best ever at getting work back. Well, I have to thank Dr. Weimer, even though she didn't really mention that in the book. But in order for the approach to work, professors need to step up and be involved, too. The two "rules" are great . Once the due date is passed, the work cannot be accepted. I always had a "no late work" policy, but now I don't hear whining and begging. The other rule is that in order to earn any points for an assignment or test, students must earn at least 50% of the points available. I ask the students, "why?" And they immediately tell me, "so you don't get junk." Bravo. See? They know. They feel like they are being treated as adults, sometimes for the first time in school.
At the end of the semester, I ask students to assess this method of setting up the course. The letters can be anonymous or not. Doesn't matter. Overwhelmingly, the students love this approach. The line I get the most is, "I wish other professors would try this."
If you're looking for a scholarly work, this may not be what you're looking for, but if you want an easy-to-read practical guide to implementing learner-centered teaching practices, then this is perfect. One more thing, this book was written by and primarly for those who are teaching in university. With some adjustments, you may be able to use the recommendations in this book in a high school setting as well.