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ERIC Number: EJ1015211
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Commentary: What Does "Student-Centered" Mean and How Can It Be Implemented? A Systematic Perspective
Costa, Manuel Joao
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v41 n4 p267-268 Jul-Aug 2013
Student-centered education is in the air. It is present in many reform agendas for higher education across every discipline and is shortlisted as an important goal for teaching and learning in many reports and recommendations of professional agencies and scientific societies. There is wide consensus that moving from teacher-centered to learner-centered courses, classroom designs, and assessment programs is the best way forward for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) Education. The move is particularly essential in BMB introductory courses, if one considers, for example, that in the United States "Lecture format is emphasized in at least 80% of classes at all levels." Defining what characterizes a student-centered BMB course is therefore necessary and urgent. The concept of student centeredness needs to be operationalized so that faculty can better use it. Student centeredness is easier to understand than to define. It is ultimately the consequence of certain ways of teaching--for example, teaching that "focuses" on student learning, or that puts "students at the center" of the educational process, or that makes students "active and responsible learners." The definition of such ways of teaching--learner-centered, learning-centered teaching, or student-centered learning--are imprecise. From a more pragmatic point of view, finding an operational definition looks just as problematic. Indeed student centeredness is multidimensional, as it relates to course design and implementation, selection of relevant curriculum suited to the likely class needs, organization of course materials and delivery of classes complying to current knowledge about adult learning, assessments that steer learning, and achieving a sustainable motivation and engagement of students. The two resources discussed herein (Weimer's "Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice" and Blumberg and Pontiggia's "Benchmarking the Degree of Implementation of Learner-centered Approaches") are very useful for those who wish to reflect, analyze, and research the level of student centeredness in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education (BAMBED).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A