GEC 211-ASSIGNMENT 3
EDWARD THANDIWE L AND NTABOTA TEBOGO
Discuss the impact of teacher-centered method on student’s learning outcome in a science classroom
Throughout recent decades, many studies have been conducted to discover operational variables that are interconnected to the classroom and consistently allied with student performance (Marzano, et al 2001). However research still remains inconclusive when it comes to bringing out satisfactory solutions on the nature of classroom interaction to find and hold on to (Reusser, 2001). A fundamental assumption is that the quality of classroom teaching and learning is in collaboration with the kind of instructional interaction conveyed (Wang, 1993), and this different interaction strategies have a clear consequence on the packaging, presentation and construction of curriculum knowledge on the learner (Barnes ; Todd, 1995). From the initiatives and reports that arose one common feature was found; that teacher centered approach to learning has diversely increasing impact on student’s needs and their learning outcomes. Hence the main aim of this essay was to discuss the impact of teacher centered method on students learning in a science classroom.
The teacher-centered approach is a teaching method that is associated predominantly with the transmission of knowledge from the teacher to the learner. Students focus and depend on the teacher to “give” them knowledge while they passively listen. Majority of the activities inside the classroom are done by the teacher. McDonald (2002) justifies this by explaining that teachers use this type of teaching approach mainly because they are driven to reach certain standards and habitually ignores the needs of the students to warrant coverage to those standards. Nevertheless a lot of impact result from this teacher centered method.
Teachers in a teacher-centered environment focus more on content than on student processing. This means that teachers are into finishing the material on the curriculum than on the student understanding. “It is difficult to believe in children’s capability if one lacks a sense of how to work with it”, argues McDonald (2002). Teachers who uses the teacher-centered approach do not take time to recognize the diversity of students in their classroom and choose the best teaching strategies that they can manipulate to try to make learning effective in all different kinds of students. Thinking is essentially the accountability of the teacher and students only have to memorize and recite material specified by the teacher. Learning does not occur at all because learners will only memorize facts that they need in order to pass the exams and forget everything afterward.
In addition, assessment teaching practices that are implemented in a teacher-centered approach are direct instructions that are based on facts. Teachers do not pose open-ended questions or work on problem-based projects (Reusser, 2001) hence learners are unable to correlate facts and concepts offered with their everyday applications hence fail to get the ‘big picture’ of science neither its relevance (Holbrook, 2005. Science becomes a “thing” that is mysteriously found at school and on the books.
Furthermore, teacher-centered method does not permit students to express themselves, ask questions, and direct their own learning (Wang, 1993). The teacher decides what learners should learn and how (Reusser, (2001). Students cannot critique anything and they do not even learn to collaborate with fellow students. Not only do their communication skills suffer but also their critical thinking abilities is lowered, they become too dependent on the teacher that they leave the role and responsibility of learning to teachers. They miss to realize that they are responsible for their own learning and they grow up depending on elders to decide everything for them. As such they cannot even trust their own cognitive thinking capabilities.
In conclusion, it is important for teachers to place students’ needs in the forefront and therefore try other approaches to learning that ensures that learning truly occurs such as the learner centered approach where students become actively part of their learning, interacting with one another and more interested in learning activities.
Barnes, D., & Todd, F. (1995). Communication and learning revisited: Making meaning through talk. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publisher Inc.
Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
McDonald, J. P. (2003). Teachers studying student work: Why and how? Phi Delta Kappan. 84(2), 121-127.
Reusser, K. (2001). Bridging instruction to learning – where we come from and where we need to go: A research strategy and its implementation in a cross-cultural video survey in Switzerland. Paper presented at the 9thEARLI conference, Fribourg, Switzerland.
Wang, M. C., Haertel, G. D., & Walberg, H. J. (1993). Toward a knowledge base for school learning. Review of Educational Research, 6(3), 249-294.