From Teacher-Centred to Student-Centred Learning
Ilona Taimela, an Education Consultant and former teacher from Finland, said that student participation is the premise of education in her country, and it is governed by their legislation. The students participate in curriculum development, together with planning and evaluation of one’s own learning. They even make the school discipline rules. She highlighted that when students are given responsibilities and learn about it, they become responsible people and active citizens.
Finland’s education system ranked high on both life satisfaction and reading performance in the 2018 PISA results. It’s also the happiest country in the world according to the United Nation’s World Happiness Report. Taimela attributed this to children being given the joy of being themselves, to design their own paths and being responsible in collaboration with other stakeholders.
- TWGHs Wong Fung Ling College creates maker experience through design thinking
- Heung To Middle School (Tin Shui Wai) nurtures empathy and a growth mindset through the application of design thinking in its entrepreneurship education
- St. Margaret’s Co-Educational English Secondary and Primary School provides self-directed learning by setting aside a genius hour for students to work on projects they are passionate about
- St. Bonaventure Catholic Primary School organises design challenges for students to practice design thinking and design doing
- Tin Shui Wai Methodist Primary School uses design thinking for service learning
- Hong Kong and Macau Lutheran Church Ming Tao Primary School has teachers who participate in a “Shadow a Student Challenge”
Rashad said HTH was founded on the philosophy that education had to reclaim the loss of joy as it relates to young people’s holistic experience. HTH injected rigour into the learning experience through student engagement, giving them ownership and encouraging them to find their purpose. Students follow their dreams and passions with courage and fun. Project Based Learning is integral to the HTH learning experience, with the following learning flow.
Rashad emphasised that student-centred learning would require a shift from a suppressive to a liberative school culture. It will also need a different kind of leadership to support teachers, one that can lead with a compelling and collective vision through culture and team work – a culture that is not about having the right answers, but that asks the right questions.