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**STUDENT-CENTERED TEACHING**

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**TEACHING STYLES ACTIVITY EXAMPLE ONE**

The teacher was: Presenting facts without a context Doing the majority of the talking Directing the students every move Supplying most of the answers Not discussing his/her thought processes out loud The student felt: Interrogated Bored Not challenged Lost

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**TEACHING STYLES ACTIVITY EXAMPLE TWO**

IN EXAMPLE TWO The teacher was: Drawing on students’ experience Coaching the students towards finding the answers Modeling thought processes, rather than presenting facts Validating all students suggestions The student felt: Involved Curious Amused Capable of Participating Engaged

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**How was the 2nd teaching example student-centered?**

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**Student-centered teaching is:**

based on students' experiences (both their past experiences and the experiences you, as the teacher, provide in class); designed so that teachers model for students how to arrive at an answer rather than simply giving answers to students; structured so that learning is a process of discovery (the teacher develops activities wherein the students themselves arrive at answers, e.g. the comparison activity we just completed).

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**It means that lesson planning must:**

call students' experience and prior knowledge into play; involve teachers in modeling/discussing out loud the thought processes they go through to read, write, add, or subtract; encourage students to ask 'why' and to find the answers themselves.

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Sample Lesson Plan 1 Check out the following lesson retrieved from the science book for Grade 6 (Unit 5, Chapter 1: Chemical Compounds).

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**A home Made Indicator: the Red Cabbage**

Red cabbage juice is an indicator since it contains a pigment or a coloring agent. This pigment is found in many flowers, fruits and fall leaves, and is responsible for many of the reds, blues, and purples you see around you. It makes cornflowers blue, pumpkins orange, strawberries red, and cabbage purple.

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**A home Made Indicator: the Red Cabbage**

Red cabbage juice becomes red with vinegar Red cabbage juice becomes red in lemon juice Red cabbage juice becomes green with baking soda. Red cabbage juice becomes deep green with sodium hydroxide solution.

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**Suggest how the lesson plan could be made more student-centered**

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Activity Identify each teaching situation as 'teacher-centered' or ‘student-centered'

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A teacher instructing students about the solar system names the planets in order and has the class repeat the planet names. (Teacher-centered: children not asked to explore and relate their experiences)

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B. A teacher teaching about density places different substances (oil, food coloring, copper coin) in water and has the class predict and explain the behavior of these substances in water. (Student-centered because the students are asked to predict and explain the phenomenon on their own)

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C. A teacher teaching about combination of circuits draws a series and a parallel circuit on the board points to each circuit and writes “series” or “parallel” under it, and tells the class to repeat the words. (Teacher-centered; children mimic the teacher ONLY)

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D. A teacher conducting a lesson about gravity drops a ball to the floor in the class and then allows the class to guess why it falls to the floor. The teacher writes each answer on the board instead of correcting any of the answers. (Student-centered: students asked to guess why it is happening)

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E. A teacher teaching children about the body control starts the lesson by asking “what are the different body activities that the brain controls?” (Students’ answers may include: hearing, touching, thinking, breathing, tasting, talking…) (Student-centered because students are calling on their own experiences)

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**Short Game; three teams**

Answer the following ten questions

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**What is the difference between a child and a student?**

(No difference. Children should not have to stop being children in order to become students). Does a student who is just starting his/her 1st year of school know anything? (OF COURSE! A lot!—Discuss experiences provided by participants) What is the name of the teaching technique that builds on learners' natural curiosity and abilities? (student-centered teaching)

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**What are the characteristics of student-centered teaching?**

(Draws on what students know, teacher models thinking processes instead of just providing the correct answers, students are given the opportunity to compare/analyze information to come to an understanding) How do students feel if the teacher is NOT using student-centered instruction? (bored, confused) When students are bored or lost, how well will they learn? (NOT WELL)

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**What is an example of how a teacher can draw on students' experiences?**

(start the lesson by asking introductory questions that draw on what students know) What do we mean when we say the teacher must demonstrate/model her thinking processes? (teacher explains WHY she does what she is doing so students understand the logic of what's being done).

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Why does student-centered teaching have to include activities where children can discover answers for themselves? (Because children will remember better if their natural curiosity is utilized in school) In student-centered teaching, is the role of the teacher closer to that of a lecturer or that of a facilitator? (Closer to that of a facilitator)

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**STUDENT-CENTERED TEACHING**

SUMMARY: MAIN POINTS

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STUDENTS Vs. CHILDREN WHEN TEACHERS COMPARE STUDENTS and CHILDREN, they OFTEN FEEL STUDENTS SHOULD BE: Better Behaved Quieter Calmer Better Listeners

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**Traditional Teaching Strategies**

Teaching strategies and behaviors that require young children to sit still and listen for hours at a time do not capitalize on children’s native curiosity and intelligence. These types of strategies include: Teaching children by asking them to repeat or recite Teaching children by lecturing to them and asking them to copy information

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Consequences In general, these traditional strategies have at least 2 consequences: Teaching by lecture, repeating and reciting, is boring. Students are often distracted and irritable. Children fail to master concepts at hand. Rather than an active understanding of the concept, children memorize and repeat meaningless words.

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**Student Centered Teaching**

Teaching strategies that engage learners and help them use their native curiosity and energy are called student-centered teaching strategies.

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**Student-centered teaching occurs when the teacher:**

draws on students’ experiences in the outside world to introduce lessons and clarify concepts; models for students each step in a thinking process, (e.g. when teaching to read, the teacher speaks out loud to the students about the reading process ‘I am looking at this word and I am seeing the letters x, y, z, and I am pronouncing them out loud from right to left so that I can read the word….”) designs activities that allow children to make comparisons, to categorize information, and to discover answers on their own, rather than dictating correct answers to the students and asking that they memorize them.

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**Requirements Student-centered teaching requires that the teacher:**

Know about students’ culture, past experiences, interests Create new experiences for children in the classroom that are captivating for them Reflect on how to EXPLAIN thinking processes in simple terms Allow children to present guesses and theories about a topic that may not necessarily be correct, but are interesting and worthy of discussion.

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**Student-Centered Activity in Science**

Title: Black boxes and student involvement in science lessons

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Goal By the end of this session, participants will understand methods used to involve students in the learning process.

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**Objectives By the end of this session, participants will be able to:**

describe the elements of a student centered lesson; describe the role of the students in a student-centered lesson.

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**What do students learn from a black box activity**

What do students learn from a black box activity? (observation skills, questioning skills, team work, etc.) Why is this activity student-centered? Find topics from the Lebanese science curriculum where black box activities can be used.

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