Are University Lecturers Communicating to Learners as Individuals in Learner - Centered Classes?
Luke Carson (Ph.D.)

Teachers talk and students, as a group, listen. While educators have generally moved en masse away from such an understanding of good educational practice, classrooms often return to this format. However, current knowledge of the individual nature of the learning experience illustrates how learners in groups have different needs, are at different stages in their development (epistemologically, in terms of content specific knowledge, and learning skill development), and respond differently to the same stimuli. A case study of an in-service training exercise conducted with university language educators (N=40) is provided. It was designed to increase awareness of and reflection on teacher interactions with individual learners in classroom contexts. It illustrates how, when reflecting on interactions with students, the majority of teacher participants found a gap between their goals for and knowledge of individual students, and the messages actually communicated through their interactions with students. This paper also provides a model of teacher/student interaction, showing how the dialogue between the two parties can be at the centre of a positive learning experience, when the interactions between teachers and learners are individually appropriate and proximal. Waiting, watching, listening and engaging in dialogue are key educator practices for improved individualized classroom communications.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v5n3a3