Learner centered approach for curriculum development


This page contains notes on learner centered approach for curriculum development. This topic is from subject Knowledge and curriculum and for students doing B.Ed. and preparing for competitive exams.

Meaning of learner centered approach for curriculum development

  • It is a method of teaching that shifts the focus of instruction from teacher to the student.
  • Here the aim is to develop the independence of the learner by making learner active in his learning path.
  • It focuses on skills that enable lifelong learning and independent problem-solving.
  • This learner-centered approach is based on constructivist learning theory that put emphasis on learner’s role in constructing meaning from new information and prior experiences.
  • In Learner-centered curriculum approach, students choose what they will learn, how they will learn and how they will assess their own learning. Here students take a more active role.
  • So, student-centered learning requires the student to be active, responsible participants in their own learning and with their own pace of learning.
  • Here the teacher acts as a facilitator of learning for individuals rather than for the class as a whole.

Curriculum and its importance in learner centered approach

The curriculum provides a lot of help and assistance to the learners.

  • The curriculum gives students a written detail about the types of learning experiences they need to acquire for completing the expected learning objectives.
  • The curriculum makes them familiar with the learning objectives. This way it makes the tasks of learning purposeful and goal oriented. This purposefulness makes them motivated towards learning as they are aware of the types of behavioral changes expected as learning outcome from the study of a particular subject or doing a certain activity to complement learning.
  • A properly developed curriculum is accompanied by the resource materials needed to supplement it. These resources include suggested experiments, learning activities, projects, assignments, references etc. . These materials are equally important for both teachers and learners.
  • A curriculum is a properly developed framework of the teaching-learning process. It includes learning objectives that should be known to the learners. When learners are aware of the learning objectives they can plan, execute and evaluate them for the realization of the learning outcome of the course being studied.
  • Hence a properly developed curriculum can help the learner in their learning process from beginning to end for the realization of the set learning objectives.
  • Realization of these learning objectives results in overall growth and development in all the aspects and dimensions of their personality.

Basics of learner centered approach

Following are the basic issues of learner centered approach or learner driven approach:-



  •  In this approach students clearly, express learning goals that are related to their real-life roles. So students help in the planning of curriculum.
  • It builds on what learners already know. This approach is relevant to the student’s real-life context.
  • Learner driven approaches draw upon constructivism. Constructivism is a theory of learning in which

    people learn when they relate new information and skills to what they already know, actively practice new information and get feedback on their performance.

  • In this approach, learners construct their own understanding from what they are exposed to in the classroom and what they have experienced in the rest of their lives.
  • To develop learner centered curriculum, the teacher needs to view learners as active inquirers who use previous experiences (both mental and social) to make meaning of the world.

Advantages of learner centered approach

  1. This approach to curriculum gives power to learners.
  2. Students see their needs clearly reflected in the classroom, which is very motivating.
  3. It creates a direct link between classwork and the learner’s needs.
  4. Learners can easily transfer new skills in day to day activities.
  5. It encourages learners persistence.

Disadvantages of learner centered approach

  1. It often relies on the teacher’s ability to create materials appropriate to learner’s expressed needs.
  2. It requires more skill on the part of the teacher as well as their time and resources.
  3. It is often difficult for teachers to make an acceptable balance among competing needs and interests of students.
  4. In terms of man, material and resources this approach could be a luxury that learners often can not afford.