TeacherVision - Lesson Plans, Printables and more Free Trial  Member Benefits  Sign In    
Click Here
Apr 18, 2015
Search:   
We have merged TeacherVision's international content onto one website. Educators around the world can use TeacherVision.com to browse an extensive library of teaching materials. You can still find relevant content for Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States in our Educators' Calendars.  [x] CLOSE
|
 

Learner-Centered vs. Curriculum-Centered Teachers: Which Type Are You?


Page 1 of 2

The difference between learner-centered and curriculum-centered classrooms is philosophical. Philosophy drives behavior, so when it comes to your teaching style, it is important to have a deep understanding of your own belief system. Your view of learning, students' roles, and teachers' roles determine the method by which you teach. Use this article to place yourself on the pedagogical continuum by considering:

  • The types of activities you create
  • The layout of your classroom
  • The way students learn with you
  • How you prepare for class
  • How to make the most of your style
Pedagogy

Teachers who adhere to learner-centered classrooms are influenced strongly by constructivism. Constructivism holds that prior knowledge forms the foundation by which new learning occurs (Piaget and Inhelder, 1969). Because people and their experiences are different, they arrive at school with varying levels of proficiency. A student is challenged according to his or her individual zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1986). The difference between a student's actual developmental level and his or her potential is the zone of proximal development (ZPD). Good instruction matches each child's ZPD.

Teachers who adhere to curriculum-centered classrooms are influenced greatly by the standards-based movement. All students are taught the same body of knowledge. Regardless of variations in developmental levels, all children are exposed to the same content in the same time period. The objective is to ensure that there will be no academic gaps in what is taught.

Learner-centered classrooms

Learner-centered classrooms focus primarily on individual students' learning. The teacher's role is to facilitate growth by utilizing the interests and unique needs of students as a guide for meaningful instruction. Student-centered classrooms are by no means characterized by a free-for-all.

These classrooms are goal-based. Students' learning is judged by whether they achieve predetermined, developmentally-oriented objectives. In essence, everyone can earn an A by mastering the material. Because people learn best when they hear, see, and manipulate variables, the method by which learning occurs is oftentimes experiential.

Learn more about the structure of learner-centered classrooms.

Curriculum-centered classrooms

Curriculum-centered classrooms focus essentially on teaching the curriculum. The teacher determines what ought to be taught, when, how, and in what time frame. The curriculum that must be covered throughout the year takes precedence. These classes often require strict discipline because children's interests are considered only after content requirements are established.

In this framework students are compared with one another. Student success is judged in comparison with how well others do. A fixed standard of achievement is not necessarily in place. In these classrooms grades resemble the familiar bell curve.

Learn more about the structure of curriculum-centered classrooms.



 Previous   1   2   Next 

Highlights

Children's Choice Book Awards
We love books! Encourage students to vote for their favorite children's book, author, and illustrator of the year at Funbrain and Poptropica. Teens can make their picks too. Read the complete list of nominated books, as well as related activities, and get voting!

Videos
Do your students love videos? We have a growing collection of videos (including related activities) for holidays and events, including: Earth Day, women's history, Memorial Day, Independence Day, slavery & the Civil War, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, and American History. Enjoy!

April Calendar of Events
April is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Library Week (4/12-18), Volunteer Week (4/12-18), Poison Prevention Week (4/15-21), Earth Day (4/22), Tell a Story Day (4/27), International Jazz Day (4/30). Plus, celebrate Deaf History Month (3/15-4/15), Mathematics Education Month, National Poetry Month, and Youth Sports Safety Month!

Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com, will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.

Poptropica Teaching Guides
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.


Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

Sign up for a free trial and get access
to our huge library of teaching materials!
Start Trial