Although learner-centered instruction has become increasingly popular, some may wonder what its effects on students from the non-western cultural group have been. A recent study published in European Journal of Psychology of Education investigated the effects of learner-centered instruction on the learning behaviors and academic motivation of Chinese students.
Three hundred and ninety-four junior-high-school students from two schools in South-eastern China formed the experimental-group in this study, while 368 junior-high-school students from another two schools of matched background participated as the control group. Teachers in the experimental group received two months’ training in learner-centered instruction from university specialists, while teachers in the control groups continued teaching as usual, using the traditional teacher-centered approach. Students were assessed by measuring the perceived instruction behaviors of their teachers, their academic motivations and learning behaviors before and after the two-months’ training. Students in the experimental group were no different from the control-group students in the pre-test. The post-test results were compared, and the findings were as follows:
- Students perceived teachers in the experimental group were more facilitating, used more supportive assessment, and learner-centered teaching methods than the control-group teachers, but no difference was found in individualization and empowerment.
- Students who received learner-centered instruction showed a higher level of intrinsic motivation, preview, attentional behavior, participating behavior, responding behavior, extrocontrol behavior, and interactive behavior than the control group students.
- However, students who received learner-centered instruction were no different from the control-group students who received traditional teacher-centered instruction in extrinsic motivation, review homework, autonomous, independent planning, and managing, as well as reflective behaviors.
The authors concluded that the learner-centered approach had a more considerable influence on Chinese students’ learning behaviors inside the classroom than on their behaviors outside the classroom. However, it was not likely to support students to become autonomous and self-directed learners.
Source (Open Access): Cheng, H. Y., & Ding, Q. T. (2020). Examining the behavioral features of Chinese teachers and students in the learner-centered instruction. European Journal of Psychology of Education, Advanced online publication. DOI: 10.1007/s10212-020-00469-2