A COMPARISON OF TEACHER-CENTERED AND LEARNER-CENTRED METHODS OF TEACHING READING COMPREHENSION AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS ON SS 2 STUDENTS
A COMPARISON OF TEACHER-CENTERED AND LEARNER-CENTRED METHODS OF TEACHING READING COMPREHENSION AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS ON SS 2 STUDENTS
Quality education in schools has been a topic of discussion everywhere. There are numerous questions concerning the issues and problems existing in the Educational Systems as to how we can resolve it and the best way we could to attain that kind of quality education we have been searching and longing for. Where do we begin and how do we respond to such? (Sally, 2010). Nevertheless, the goal of improving educational quality is agreed by all and stimulated further by the recent worldwide economic downturn and the need to counteract the impact of the crisis on economic growth and prepare for economic recovery. Most governments have set good guidelines and policies on education but what is lacking is the ability to implement such in accordance to the needs of every school, majority of which belong to the public education system.
There are four language skills which should be mastered, they are: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Listening is part of the communication process; the receiver’s responses have a direct impact on the direction of conversation. Speaking is an expression of ideas, opinions, or feeling to the other by using words or sounds of articulation in order to inform, to persuade and to entertain that can be learned through teaching and learning process. Reading is the process of constructing meaning from the written text.
- Background to the Study
Reading is a complex activity. The goal of reading is to construct meaning based on visually encoded information. It is a sensory, communication, language and interactive process (Olaofe and Masembe, 2006). Those who enjoy reading derive pleasure and satisfaction from it. Adigun and Oyelude (2003) observed that the skill of reading will not only assist learners in organizing their thoughts and jotting down important facts while reading, but also equip them to comprehend the entire text. Rivers (2011) propounds that reading is the most important activity in any language class, not only as a source of information and a pleasurable activity, but also as a means of consolidating and extending one’s knowledge of the language.
Reading is a receptive skill like listening and vocalizing what was stimulated, it also productive when it is done aloud. However, it is a mental process involving the interpretation of signs perceived through the sense organs. According to Longe and Ojo (1996) reading is the ability to transform the visual representation of language into meaning. According to Walker (1998) reading is an active process (not a product like history) in which readers shift between sources of information (what they know and what the text says) elaborate meaning and strategies, check their interpretation (receiving when appropriate and use social context to focus their responses).
According to Schunk, (2012), learning involves acquiring and modifying knowledge, skills, strategies, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. People learn cognitive, linguistic, motor, and social skills, and these can take many forms. At a simple level, children learn to solve 1+1, to recognize y in the word daddy, to tie their shoes, and to play with other children. At a more complex level, students learn to solve long-division problems, write term papers, ride a bicycle, and work cooperatively on a group project.
To Sequeira (2017) learning is about a change: the change brought about by developing a new skill, understanding a scientific law, changing an attitude. The change is not merely incidental or natural in the way that our appearance changes as we get older. Learning is a relatively permanent change, usually brought about intentionally. When we attend a course, search through a book, or read a discussion paper, we set out to learn! Other learning can take place without planning, for example by experience. Generally with all learning there is an element within us of wishing to remember and understand why something happens and to do it better next time. An important feature of learning is that it involves a complex interactive system including environmental, social, motivational, emotional and cognitive factors (Baron & Byrne, 2003).
According to Wikipedia (2019) teaching is the process of attending to people’s needs, experiences and feelings, and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things. They are grouping together teaching, learning and assessment – and adding in some other things around the sort of outcomes they want to see. To Caleb (2002), teaching is to cause the pupil to learn and acquire the desired knowledge, skills and also desirable ways of living in the society. It is a process in which learner, teacher, curriculum and other variables are organised in a systematic and psychological way to attain some pre-determined goals. In the view of Yiljep (2018) teaching is a process in which one individual teaches or instruct another individual. Teaching is considered as the act of imparting instructions to the learners in the classroom situation. It is watching systematically. It is believed that teaching in every respect is a serious business that should be seen as such. As a banker is governed by certain principles that distinguish him so is the teacher governed by certain principles which makes him distinct. Teaching is the process of inculcating in the learners the desirable knowledge, culture, skills, values and norms which will make him useful to himself and the society at large. Therefore, to promote the teaching-learning process, the teacher must determine the best, sufficient and effective method of teaching; the selected materials to create conducive learning experiences that will utilize the content associated with each objective (Dewe, 2019).
A teaching method comprises the principles and methods used by teachers to enable student learning. These strategies are determined partly on subject matter to be taught and partly by the nature of the learner. For a particular teaching method to be appropriate and efficient it has to be in relation with the characteristic of the learner and the type of learning it is supposed to bring about. Suggestions are there to design and selection of teaching methods must take into account not only the nature of the subject matter but also how students learn. In today’s school the trend is that it encourages a lot of creativity. It is a known fact that human advancement comes through reasoning. This reasoning and original thought enhances creativity.
The approaches for teaching can be broadly classified into teacher centered and student centered. In a teacher-centered approach to learning, teachers are the main authority figure in this model. Students are viewed as “empty vessels” whose primary role is to passively receive information (via lectures and direct instruction) with an end goal of testing and assessment. It is the primary role of teachers to pass knowledge and information onto their students. In this model, teaching and assessment are viewed as two separate entities. Student learning is measured through objectively scored tests and assessments. According to Jindem (2017) in Student-Centered Approach to Learning, while teachers are the authority figure in this model, teachers and students play an equally active role in the learning process. The teacher’s primary role is to coach and facilitate student learning and overall comprehension of material. Student learning is measured through both formal and informal forms of assessment, including group projects, student portfolios, and class participation. Teaching and assessments are connected; student learning is continuously measured during teacher instruction. To Barone (2013) the commonly used teaching methods may include class participation, demonstration, recitation, memorization, or combinations of these.
In contrast, in a learner-centered classroom, students are actively learning and they have
greater input into what they learn, how they learn it, and when they learn it. This means that students take responsibility of their own learning and are directly involved in the learning process. Learner-centered teaching style focuses on how students learn instead of how teachers teach (Weimer, 2002, and Wohlfarth et.al, 2008). In a learner-centered classroom, teachers abandoned lecture notes and power point presentations for a more active, engaging, collaborative style of teaching (Wohlfarth et.al, 2008).
Language education has metamorphosed through a long process of innovation though characterized with criticisms of worn-out method of teaching and learning. Nwogu and Nwoke (2002) are quick to say that no single method should be discarded because a particular method cannot solve the problem of language teaching and each is commendable.The 21st century teacher of English is expected to integrate teaching with technology because today’s learners are born in the world of technology (Jan, 2017). Moreover, they are surrounded by technology through the commonest devise of handsets and laptops which make communication global.
Therefore, in the 21st century, the needs of the learners are paramount. Gone were the days when emphasis was placed on learning the language alone. The current English language learning is more productive and closely link to national development. The imparting of knowledge is economy-based with instructions directed to skills they need to function effectively and communicate with the knowledge learnt.
To achieve this, the student-centred method is adjudged the most suitable to the development of individuals (Idogho, 2016). This is because learners are given the opportunity to assume different roles similar to what is practiced in different sectors of the economy. In the 21st century, the skills the teacher is expected to develop in learners must be geared towards critical thinking, creativity, communication, computer-based activities and collaboration.On the contrary, the teacher-centred method of teaching English features the teacher as the master and controller of instruction and skills inside the classroom. The learners are passive participants and always waiting for instructions and answers given by the teacher.
For many years, the traditional teaching style or specifically, teacher-centered instruction has been dominant in secondary schools in Nigeria. In a traditional classroom, students become passive learners, or rather just recipients of teachers’ knowledge and wisdom. They have no control over their own learning. Teachers make all the decisions concerning the curriculum, teaching methods, and the different forms of assessment. Duckworth (2009) asserts that teacher-centered learning actually prevents students’ educational growth.
In contrast, in a learner-centered classroom, students are actively learning and they have greater input into what they learn, how they learn it, and when they learn it. This means that students take responsibility of their own learning and are directly involved in the learning process. Learner-centered teaching style focuses on how students learn instead of how teachers teach (Weimer, 2002, and Wohlfarth et.al, 2008). In a learner-centered classroom, teachers abandoned lecture notes and power point presentations for a more active, engaging, collaborative style of teaching (Wohlfarth et.al, 2008).
During the last few decades, teacher-centered teaching style has been replaced by learner-centered teaching style in secondary schools (Weimer, 2002). Learner-centered instruction is most suitable for the more autonomous, and more self-directed learners who not only participate in what, how, and when to learn, but also construct their own learning experiences. The learner-centered approach reflects and is rooted in constructivist philosophy of teaching (Brown, 2008). In Constructivism, the learners are learning by doing and experiencing rather than depending on the teachers’ wisdom and expertise to transmit knowledge (Brown, 2008). Constructivism was strongly influenced by the writings of John Dewey who emphasized learning by doing and direct experience.
It is in the light of the above discussion that this study seeks to evaluate the teacher-centered method and the students-centered method of teaching reading and their implications on SS 2 students’ performance in Langtang North Local Government Area of Plateau State.
- Statement of the Problem
This study was inspired in response to the deteriorating performance of students in internal and external English examinations. The Chief WAEC examiner’s report 2017 and the researcher’s experience as teaching practice student for two academic sessions can attest to this fact. These poor performances according to Ajaja (2011) are occasioned by the very poor state of resources for teaching and learning English and the unchallenging environment under which the teaching of English takes place. Other researchers have blamed poor performance on very poor state of resources for teaching and learning English. This researcher therefore attributes this failure to the teaching methods used by the teachers of English which is mostly the traditional method of teaching also referred to as teacher-centered method.
This situation therefore calls for a search for a comparison between teacher-centered and students-centered methods of teaching reading and their implications on the performance of students in senior secondary schools in Langtang North Local Government Area.
- Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to compare the teacher-centered and learner-centered method of teaching reading and their implications on SS 2 students’ performance in Langtang North Local Government Area in Plateau State.
The following are specific objectives of the study:
- To determine the performance of students in reading who were taught with the teacher-centered method.
- To determine the performance of students in reading who were taught with the student-centered method.
- To find out the difference in the performance of the students in the teacher-centered and student-centered group.
- Research Questions
The study was guided by the following research questions:
- What are the performance of students in reading who were taught with the teacher-centered method?
- What are the performance of students in reading who were taught with the student-centered method?
- What are the difference in the performance of the students in the teacher-centered and student-centered group?
- Significance of the Study
The significance of this research cannot be overemphasized especially now that the world has become global village. For our nation to compete favourably with the wider world an adequate English teaching method needs to be adopted for the betterment of our students’ performance in reading. Therefore this research shall be of benefit to teachers, curriculum planners, government and students who are the centre of this research.
To the curriculum planners, the findings of this research will indicate loopholes in their curriculum design. Therefore they will come to know that the teaching method is a contributory factor to the under achievement of students in reading, hence they will advocate for a change in teaching method.
Teachers of English who are the mediators between the curriculum planners will benefit from this research as it will serve as an eye opener to the importance of using a good method to make English reading interesting and comprehensible among students.
Government who are the purse string of education will benefit from this study and they will make provision of adequate instructional materials and facilities for every school, if possible. PTA and proprietors in private schools will also do same in their various private schools.
Students who are at the centre of this research will benefit because the measures taken by the teachers, the curriculum planners and government, will be to their benefit. Hence this will drastically improve their performance in reading.
Finally, this study when completed will serve as a reference material to future researchers who will want to carry out research in the future in the same field.
- Scope/Delimitation of the Study
This study compares the teacher-centered and learner-centered method of teaching reading and their implications on SS 2 students’ performance. The study is limited to four selected senior secondary schools in Langtang North Local Government Area of Plateau State. These are two public and two privatesecondary schools. However, despite the fact that the study is limited to the selected schools and local government area, the findings can be applicable to other parts of the State and country at large. This is to say that the recommendations can be useful to other parts of the country.
- Operational Definition of Terms
Effect: A change which is as a result or consequence of an action or other cause.
Teaching: Is the act, practice or profession of a teacher which shapes one’s thought and action through giving instructions and or performing practices.
Learning: Learning is the act of acquiring new or modifying and reinforcing existing knowledge, behaviours, skills and values or it is a skill or knowledge acquired by instruction or study.
Students’ Academic Performance: This is the outcome or achievements of students after being exposed to instructions through various teaching methods by a teacher.
Teacher-centered Method: This is the traditional method of teaching in most senior secondary schools whereby the teacher assumes the centre of the class and dishes out instructions while the students listen and take notes.
Student-Centered Method: This is a teaching method whereby the learners assume the centre of the classroom or lesson. Here, the theoretical part of the lesson comes alive as they get to do the things themselves
- Format: ms-word (doc)
- Chapter 1 to 5
- With abstract reference and questionnaire
- Preview Table of contents, abstract and chapter 1 below
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