In recent years, there has been much discussion about the "disadvantages" of teacher-centred learning. Researchers have been quick to disparage tried and tested traditions of teaching and learning in favour of experimental student-centred learning. There are, however, a number of benefits inherent in the former method, such as expert knowledge base, course planning and execution, disciplined teaching and learning and regulated evaluation and assessment.
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Ever since the earliest recorded instances of education, mankind has learnt with the master and apprentice model. The earliest Roman schools were conducted with the teacher (pedagogue), instructing the students in a teacher-centred setting. Through the years, many successful students have come from traditional settings. It could reasonably be argued that unrest in schools is largely a product of not enough teacher-centred learning. There is much to be lauded about the tried and tested methods because history has proven that products of this schooling have successfully governed the world until now.
In any classroom, there has to be a knowledge base. Teachers attend a university to receive degrees in their chosen field and become experts in that sphere of knowledge. It is acceptable then that the teacher who is already the expert in a subject should be the one to impart that knowledge to the students. In a teacher-centred classroom, that is exactly what is happening. If students have any questions on a topic raised by a textbook, the teacher is present as the "expert" to answer questions.
Planning and Execution
In a teacher-centred situation, the teacher is able to direct learning and plan how the course should proceed. In this way, teachers are able to guide the learning that is happening at the appropriate pace for students to be able to acquire new knowledge adequately. Every course that is taught will have to be evaluated, and if the learning is centred on the teacher teaching, the rate of learning will be apparent, and testing can be executed at the appropriate times.
Typical children and teenagers will often try to disrupt a classroom and for this reason they should be taught self-discipline from an early age. What better way to impart a sense of self-discipline than by the example of the disciplined classroom? Experience has shown in the last generation that children who are raised in a disciplined framework in elementary school do indeed learn better throughout their school life as well as having a balanced approach to life in general.
Evaluation and Assessment
At the end of a course of learning, there has to be testing and evaluation of the learning that has occurred. The benefits of a teacher-centred course is that the teacher will know at what stage students are in their learning at all times and will therefore be better able to assess their progress in a course and set tests accordingly. The benefits of teacher-centred learning are manifold, and in spite of the recent student-centred fads, history has shown that many schools are returning to the tried and tested methods.
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