Section 2: Active teaching and learning and learner-centred education


This section focuses on learner-centred education (LCE) and active learning. What does active teaching and learning mean in practice? How do teachers and teacher educators learn new techniques?

The ten activities in this section will help you understand how to use active teaching approaches in your own practice. You will be provided with tools and examples that you can use to help you develop into a more effective teacher educator.

You will start with thinking about what LCE means to you and then complete a quiz that addresses some of the common misconceptions about LCE. You will think about what teachers need to know about active learning and how to teach their subject, and therefore what you as a teacher educator need to know and to be able to do.

Activity 2.1: Active teaching and learning and LCE

Timing: (Allow approximately 30 minutes)

Many African policy documents set out an expectation that learners will be ‘actively engaged’ in learning, and some specifically mention LCE.

What do you understand by the term LCE? Write down your ideas in your study notebook.

  • Write a short statement by completing the following sentence: ‘LCE is important because…’.
  • Do you think your current style of teaching is learner-centred? What are the reasons for your answer?

In the next activity you are asked to complete a quiz, which comprises of statements about LCE. These statements are based on some of the common misconceptions about LCE. You will be asked to indicate whether you think each of the statements is true or false. The quiz is important because it will help you to think deeply about what LCE really means.

Activity 2.2: True or false on LCE?

Timing: (Allow approximately 15 minutes)

What do you know about LCE? Try this quiz [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   to check your learning. Your score here will go towards your final certificate and badge for completing the course.

You may like to use a downloadable version of this quiz with teachers or student teachers.

You could do the activity as Think, Pair, Share. This is a very powerful technique because it allows learners to talk about their ideas; it provides a safe space for them to test their thinking and get feedback; and as a teacher if you move around the room while they are discussing their answers you will find out who needs more support and who understand the work.

  • Think: Teachers complete the activity on their own. Encourage them to try to answer as quickly as they can to avoid over-thinking their responses.
  • Pair: Teachers talk over their responses with a colleague. Which of their answers were the same? Which were different? Each pair shares their agreed answers with another pair.
  • Share: As they talked through the reason for their answers and listened to their colleague(s), did they change their mind about any of the statements?

Reflecting on learner-centred education