NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ819780
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-1354-0602
Lived Meanings: What Teachers Mean when They Say They Are Learner-Centered
Paris, Cynthia; Combs, Barbara
Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, v12 n5 p571-592 Oct 2006
While the term "learner-centered" is invoked in many curriculum standards documents, packaged curriculum materials, mission statements and criticisms of educational practice, there is little agreement on its meaning. Shallow understandings and conflicting practices abound. And rarely do the meanings ascribed to the term take into account the meanings of thoughtful teachers who live learner-centered approaches daily in their work. Here we introduce lived meanings of learner-centeredness found in the personal and professional histories of experienced teachers. Data were gathered in interviews that took the form of focused conversations which yielded elaborated stories and reflections that suggest that learner-centeredness is a concept that cannot be captured in finite, static, unquestioned definitions. The teachers' lived meanings are expressed in fine-grained detail, are embedded in particular settings and the teachers' own personal and professional histories, go beyond surface features of practice and are in motion and unfinished. Taken together, these lived meanings have the potential to challenge and deepen current understandings of learner-centered practices. Further, they have the potential to bring humanity, humility and integrity to the work of those who engage in these practices and of those who would support or criticize them. (Contains 4 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A