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learningcentersinthecollegeclassroom



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Eastern Education Journal Vol 38 1 Spring 2009 pp 20 30 Dr Betty Higgins Dr Melinda Miller Sam Houston State University Huntsville TX 77340 Abstract Literature advocates the use of learning centers for early grades but often this learning format is rarely used above middle school level and certainly not at the university level Learning centers enable students to escape the role of passive learners by taking responsibility for their own learning This instructional method provides a social setting in which students collaborate with their peers and increases the possibility of enhanced learning This article describes the use of learning centers in two college classrooms as a means of demonstrating an instructional strategy that could be used by practitioners in the field and contrasts this format with an independent learning activity The description is followed by an examination of pre service teachers perceptions of the effectiveness of both strategies 20 Eastern Education Journal Vol 38 1 Spring 2009 pp 20 30 It s Thursday afternoon in a classroom where students are actively engaged in learning working on pre designated tasks There is a busy hum in the air as students agree disagree and work together to solve problems and complete tasks Where s the teacher Traditionally one would expect to see the teacher in front of the class presenting information while students sit in rows facing the teacher and listen carefully However in this classroom the teacher acts as a facilitator moving around the room observing monitoring and occasionally being asked to provide information or feedback As you picture these students what grade level are you imagining Would you be surprised to discover that this scene is set in a college classroom These college students work in centers to learn the content that usually would be taught by a professor in a lecture format Purpose of the Article This article describes how learning centers were used in two different college classroom settings and



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