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Education is Life itself

John Dewey (1897) famously suggested that “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself”.

This saying rings loud and well especially in today’s context.

The concept of student-centred learning (SCL) can be seen dating back over a 100 years, at the turn of the 20th century when great educational theorists, like John Dewey and Lev Vygotsky, came up with new ideas that students should be responsible for their own learning and learning is a social activity. They posited that having an education was more than just gaining knowledge within the classroom but extends to outside the classroom as well.  In other words, learning in the classroom must be connected to life’s experiences.

Student-centred learning is founded on a whole array of constructivist learning theories that state that knowledge is constructed rather than given. This mindset change from the traditional teacher-centred classroom may take some effort to operationalise, as it requires a shift of control from the teacher to the student, from focusing on teaching to learning, from learning content to process learning and experiential learning. In today’s context, students must learn to be independent learners and become owners of their own knowledge. The focus should be on creativity and innovation, rather than knowledge recall and exam marks. These are the skills required to remain relevant, especially in the era of IR4.0.To support the development of these skills, the use of technology is important. Technology becomes seamless and part of the learning process. It is crucial to use technology to enable the learning activity and not configuring the learning activity around the technology. Structuring the course content into a series of learning experiences and by changing the assessment structure from exams to more tasks-based assessments, will provide a better engaging learning environment to the students.

The video link provides more details on student-centred learning:

Also, watch this TEDx talk for inspiration to move towards SCL and to have more confidence in our students to find their own passion in learning.