This week we organize the first in a series of workshops on student-centred approaches for science lecturers and Ministry of Education officials in Cambodia.Integrating student-centred approaches has received support from the Ministry of Education in recent years. It has been integrated in the revised curriculum for teacher training and teacher trainers are regularly stimulated to move away from rote-learning and adopt a more active approach.Below I include the presentation I gave during the opening session, which provides some background on the concept of student-centred learning as an introduction to the more practical sessions of the workshop.
A main point in the presentation is that student-centred learning is not the same as working in groups. It means that students take more responsibility over their learning. Some techniques that are introduced in this workshop focus on self-assessment, critical thinking, identifying misconceptions and active reading & writing, all techniques that can be done as individual activities.This workshop is only the first step in a change process. Curriculum and assessment remain overtly content-oriented. Follow-up activities are necessary to guide and stimulate teacher trainers, but are time-costly. School directors, ministry officials and inspectors need to be convinced of the benefits as well, in particular in a hierarchical society as Cambodia.