Learner/Learning-Centered Teaching

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning at Ferris State has historically advocated for a learner-centered teaching approach. My personal teaching and learning philosophy is aligned with many if not all of the basic tenants of this approach. Rather than adopt the commonly used term “learner-centered” teaching, much of which I agree with, I prefer to use the term learning-centered teaching. My purpose or hope in making this distinction is to take the definition (at least for myself) a step beyond the current definition. The “learning-centered” environment does not make the learner the only participant of central importance in the learning environment as the “learner-centered” environment implies. The learning-centered teaching environment is inclusive of, and yet broader than the learner-centered environment. In my opinion, this distinction is important because the learner should not have more power or more importance than the facilitator of learning who in most cases is more qualified to structure the learning. Rather, the learner and facilitator should share equally in the responsibilities for learning, but should not exceed their expertise or capabilities.