Learner-Centered Approach

Did you know that the amount of research supporting the effectiveness of Learner-Centered approaches in the classroom is growing?(http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/a-learner-centered-approach-affects-student-motivation/)  It makes sense, does it not? Have you ever been to a class where the instructor talks at you the entire time? There are no questions, no probing of the learner, and no interaction at all. Well, times have changed. Perhaps you could give the flipped classroom a try as I spoke about in my last blog. How about doing a little Role Play or Scaffolding in your classes. There are plenty of opportunities to make your class more about the learning.

An example of how I use Role Play in my class is when we talk about real life situations. I guide my students through the process of consulting with clients (in role play scenario, their peers). Consultation is a very important part of a hairstylist’s career. Role play gives the learners a chance to get comfortable asking clear, concise questions. It enables learners a chance to practice retrieving the proper information from the clients, which is vital to making the client happy.

I use scaffolding as a learner-centred approach in my classroom. This involves me the instructor modelling the skill and thinking for students, then doing progressively less for the student as they understand more and more. This is a great approach when students are taking clients for the first time. Initially students are nervous to walk up to clients and start the consultation process. They come to me for guidance and support. After a couple of times, the students feel more comfortable, their confidence level grows and they consult with the client and formulate a plan before they even need to speak with me.

Could you incorporate some learner-centered approaches in your classroom?

Flipping The Classroom

There are many opportunities in my classroom to invert the learning, also know as the flipped classroom. I would start by taking a point in my class where confusion is a certainty. When teaching the braiding module in my class it takes a lot of practise and patience. I would take this opportunity to have the students watch a couple of “youtube” videos on how to create braids. I would also have learners pick a picture off the internet of an up-do that has a braid incorporated that they are interested in recreating. This would give them an opportunity to preview a lesson on braiding and be a little more comfortable when I demonstrate and before having them practice on mannequins. Having the students bring their own inspiration for a braid will help motivate them to keep practising. They will then have the foundation to create the look of their choice.

Another great opportunity to flip the classroom would be when boredom strikes. Definitions and technical terms of language in cosmetology can be dry when talking about skin conditions and hair terms. No one likes to sit and watch one person read out a bunch of terms and explain them. I would have each student pick and research three terms on their own at home. It could be off the internet or from the text book. Each student would have to find a visual to go along with their definition. Finally, I would have them all present their terms to the class the next day. This flipped experience would allow them to fully comprehend their own terms. This would also help them appreciate the other student’s presentations, enabling them to concentrate on the other terms being presented.

Where are the opportunities for you to flip your classroom?

Web Quest

Here is the link to a Web Quest that I feel I could develop for one of my cosmetology classes http://zunal.com/webquest.php?w=246369 . The Web Quest is simple but explores some of the beauty avenues that can be explored while introducing cosmetology. To begin I would delete the Shoe topic and replace it with a Current Trends topic. I would then replace the topic of clothes and broaden it to Fashion. Three Web sites that would compliment my Web Quest would be1)Behindthechair.com, 2) Modernsalon.com 3) Bumbleandbumble.com. All three websites are great for how to video’s on the latest fashions and styles. Behind the chair will take pictures from red carpet and give a demonstration to enable stylist to recreate the look. The first two website also present current trends in regards to hair, make-up, nails, and anything fashion related. I also added the bumble and bumble website because they are a “University for hair”, you can take courses at the Bumble University once you have received your certification and hone your abilities. They do many shows for New York fashion week and teach editorial and higher fashion work. They are a great resource for educational videos and knowing what is happening in the high fashion world.

I would also need to find some more pictures from the past and present to represent the history of hair and how trends have changed over time. I would give students the task of picking a trend that they are interested in and finding its origins. I would provide a clear process for them to follow and give guidance to their search. I would also include the website thehistoryofthehairsworld.com to help in that task.

36 Core Teacher Apps for Inquiry – Student-centered approaches

I chose this article to read because I am interested in finding more educational resources that are available on line. I was personally afraid of all of the technology and a bit of a “nay” sayer before I educated myself with regards to it. There are many  apps out there that can make learning fun, educational and interactive. For example, in my Introduction to technology class, we used an I-movie app to make a movie (presentation) on how to connect your classroom with Apple T.V. Using your i-phone, i-pad or computer. We were required to research and learn about all these products and how to connect them all together as well as demonstrating it. We also had to figure out how to use the I-Movie app on the device of our choice. The fact that we could put our personalities into the presentation and choose how we were going to teach the lesson to the class, made it exciting and fun. The article is stating that with these apps, students have many different avenues of “discovery type” learning through technology. The apps are a learning tool that utilize student’s collaborative, critical thinking, and technical skills. These apps are great and I can not wait to try more of them! With an I-pad for a tool as opposed to a text book, there are many options the teacher can control to help make every student’s learning experience more individual and meaningful. I believe if students had access to I-pads, their interest level would immediately be sparked, as opposed to the traditional,  “open up to page 45 in your text books”.

So let me ask you,  are you interested in making your student’s learning the best it can be?  Could your teaching methods use some technological advancements?

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