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Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice (Wile01) Hardcover – 5 Apr 2013
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From the Inside Flap
In this second edition of the classic work Learner-Centered Teaching, Maryellen Weimer--one of the nation's most highly regarded authorities on effective college teaching--offers a comprehensive introduction to the topic of learner-centered teaching in the college and university classroom. This thoroughly revised and updated edition includes the most current examples of practice in action from a variety of disciplines and contains new information on the research support for learner-centered approaches. Weimer also includes a more in-depth discussion of how students' developmental issues influence the effectiveness of learner- centered teaching.
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.
The book 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. Learner-Centered Teaching provides a theoretical foundation for the learner-centered approach and outlines a positive way to improve teaching.
This second edition clearly shows how the learner-centered approach equips students with skills needed for a life of learning and how these approaches lead to learning that is transformative for both students and teachers.
From the Back Cover
Praise for Maryellen Weimer's "Inspired College Teaching"
"The thoughtfulness, personalization, and consideration Maryellen Weimer demonstrates in discussing the experience of faculty members, her ability to identify issues that are shared and solvable, and her suggestions and solutions to commonly experienced stressors and difficulties in college teaching are major strengths of this volume. . . . In a way, it is a 'workshop between book covers'--or perhaps several workshops!"
--Laura L. B. Border, director, Graduate Teacher Program and Collaborative Preparing Future Faculty Network, University of Colorado at Boulder
"A book by Maryellen Weimer always displays her wonderful grasp of the literature on college teaching and learning, her ability to tell good stories, and her wit and wisdom. This one is no exception."
--Nancy Van Note Chism, professor, Indiana University School of Education, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Praise for "Enhancing Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning"
"In her characteristically research-based, direct, and practical style, Maryellen Weimer provides a much-needed guide, critique, and road map of the scholarship of teaching and learning. Weimer's new book will be of use to teachers, researchers, and administrators alike and nicely complements her "Learner-Centered Teaching" and "Classroom Research," by Cross and Steadman."
--Thomas A. Angelo, director, University Teaching Development Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
"Yet again, Maryellen Weimer has made a perfectly timed contribution to the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning. "Enhancing Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning" does indeed shed clarifying light on the exciting new emphasis on scholarly approaches to teaching. In her distinctively conversational and clear style, Dr. Weimer maps out the nature of pedagogical literature--how to read it and how to contribute to it. . . . This book is the perfect next step in the journey to understand the benefits of scholarly teaching."
--Gary Poole, director, Centre for Teaching and Academic Growth; founding director, Institute for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, University of British ColumbiaSee all Product description
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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.