Student Centred Approaches: The End of Flip

I haven’t been teaching long…officially only 7 years.  But in that short time I have already seen educational fads abound–project based learning, problem based learning, ifat tests…and the lists goes on.  I was attracted to The Flip: End of a Love Affair because of its title.  I’m at the end of my love affair with fads and jargon…but I’m not at the end of my love affair with good teaching and learning.  I love what I do and I love being in the classroom.  I want my students to really learn the material rather than memorize it, but I don’t love deciphering what is the next best thing and trying to fit my teaching into that.

This article explores one teacher’s experience with moving towards student centred education, and what that really means.  The emphasis must be placed on the students’ ownership of and responsibility for their learning.  The educator’s responsibilities lies in having well thought out, well written, clear outcomes,  guiding student work in achieving those outcomes, as well as teaching students how to evaluate the quality of the resources they are finding on their own.

This teacher allowed students to work through outcomes at their own pace, negotiating how they would show her what they learned.  While I find this to be an interesting idea, I’m not sure how it would work in practice.  At the College, with the emphasis on standardized course outlines, would a teacher be allowed to create individualized education plans for each student?  And yet, what a great way to really place students at centre the of the learning.

Another benefit to this type of education was that students learned not only the course material, but the so-called soft skills of research, critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving.  What more can a teacher ask?


2 thoughts on “Student Centred Approaches: The End of Flip

  1. I, too, after taking all the other CAE courses find myself boggled by all the latest teaching fads, especially since many of them are geared towards grade school rather than adult education.

    I feel fairly confident that, in my department at least, I would not be allowed to create individualized student outcomes, save for perhaps a student on probation who must perform to an academic action plan in addition to course outcomes.

    Lastly, wouldn’t it be fantastic to be able use this type of education to teach those soft skills you refer to? Critical thinking, research and problem solving skills have been waning in the past few years’ intakes (in my program, at least). These soft skills are exceptionally difficult to teach!


    1. Soft skills are the most difficult to teach, at least for those of us who are considered subject area experts. I have an idea about how to teach my subject matter, but not necessarily those skills that support being a good employee. And yet, those are the skills that employers are asking for in ever-increasing numbers. If this manner of teaching leads students towards gaining those skills, then I am all for it!

      Liked by 1 person

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