Supplementing Western Perspectives of Learner-Centered Instruction With a Daoist Approach Towards Authentic Power Sharing in the Classroom

David M. Jeffrey, Renee M. Clark


Learner-centered teaching (LCT) has one main focus – learners and learning! With learner-centered teaching, the traditional roles of the instructor and learners change. In this paper, we draw various parallels between learner-centered instruction and ancient Chinese wisdom based on Daoist perspectives to further promote and support learner-centered teaching among instructors, in particular college instructors. Daoist wisdom is a philosophy based on living in peace and harmony with the way everything is in nature, and it encourages sharing of power with students, which ultimately engenders trust. This paper will present and discuss the key characteristics of learner-centered instruction alongside ancient Daoist perspectives that align with and promote and support this type of instruction. These learner-centered characteristics include 1) the instructor as a facilitator of learning, 2) sharing of power and control with learners, 3) student participation and responsibility for learning, 4) collaboration among learners, 5) higher-order skills instruction and development, and 6) evaluation for learning purposes. This paper is organized based on these interrelated and interdependent characteristics of LCT and their relationship to ancient Daoist perspectives, which can support instructors in applying learner-centered instructional methods.

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International Journal of Contemporary Education

ISSN 2575-3177 (Print)   ISSN 2575-3185 (Online)

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