Human-Centered Learning

When we talk about student-centered learning and diversity, some people feel left out of the conversation. Frequently, those who feel left out are ones who have gotten through education without much concern. That is, they don’t experience negative stereotyping, or pressures to identify themselves differently, or encouragement to act in a way contrary to their personality. No, they are privileged by their society.
What do we need to do as educators to include all people in diverse student-centered learning? We need to treat all students as humans. When we eliminate stereotype threat, when we encourage students to be the best students they can be, when we help students understand their own values to the class and to academia writ large, then, we help all students become better learners.
It’s what I’d like to think of as human-centered learning, which a colleague (who likes to remain relatively invisible online) used in a comment on an earlier post of mine. All students benefit from encouragement in the classroom, and, as Claude Steele writes in Whistling Vivaldi, it closes the race and gender gaps in the classroom.
And for my classroom, that’s an admirable outcome, where every student has the real opportunity to find success.

About j.d.grunert

Historian, Science and Technology Studier, Librarian, Academish
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One Response to Human-Centered Learning

  1. Miko says:

    When people think about discrimination, they only focus on certain aspect such as race, sexual orientation, or religion, but discrimination can take several other forms. That is why everyone should be sensitive towards the topic. People can be discriminated because of age, research interests, lack of certain skills, etc.
    And in addition, the more students get to leave their comfort zone and take new challenges, outside of what they know, the more they are aware that focusing on stereotypes is counterproductive, and with all honesty, very passe. Teachers and institutions should not only include a statement on their syllabi about inclusion, they should also give opportunities to students to see what is really out there and how today’s world really is.

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