The Difference Between Teacher, Student, and Learning Centred

Paul A. Kirschner

I found the following table on Leren & Innoveren [Learning & Innovation] a blog written by Martin Groenewegen van der Weijden, culinary teacher at the Albeda College in Rotterdam. I decided to share it with you (with his permission) as I find it interesting in that it attempts to bust the dichotomy between teacher-centred and student-centred by focusing on learning.


Teacher-centred Student-centred Learning-centred
‘traditional’ education ‘new learning  
The teacher teaches her/his subject lecturing in a classical setting The school offers interdisciplinary education and makes knowledge sources available for students The teacher provides learners with a mental model and guides them in actively working with the learning materials
The teacher determines the learning goals and criteria Students determine their own learning goals Learning goals are determined together based upon practical and societal experiences
Identification, definition and memorisation, automatization Metacognitive skills like information search, communication, collaboration Learning and transfer are central: identification, definition and memorisation, automatization, metacognitive skills
Aimed at lower-order skills Aimed at higher-order skills Aimed at lower and higher order skills
Instructional approach determined by the teacher Instructional approach primarily self-determined and self-organised by student Instructional approach is a mix and strongly dependent on student’s level and context
Lesson is for average student Lesson is tailored to individual Lesson is adapted based on deviations downwards, average, and deviations upwards
Assessment based on traditional testing Assessment based on peer and self-assessment Traditional and new forms of assessment; variation between formative and summative
Student expects that the teacher knows and controls Student has responsibility for self-direction and uses the teacher when necessary Alternation between control and self-responsibility
The learner as passive consumer The learner as active knowledge-seeker The learner as motivated individual
Educational approaches aimed at a student sitting in the classroom Educational approaches aimed at individual study and collaboration through ICT Educational approaches aimed at classical setting, individual study and collaboration
Teacher teaches (sage on the stage) Teacher coaches and facilitates (guide on the side) Teacher designs and makes education


4 thoughts on “The Difference Between Teacher, Student, and Learning Centred

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