Why the Center Approach?
from The Mentor Center
Sue Stonski wrote:
Would someone please explain why all classrooms use the "center" approach in setting up their classrooms? This might be good for children who have good self-control, but many don't yet, and I seem to hear plenty of other moms, including myself, who hear, on a daily basis how their child can't "focus", but there is so much going on in the classroom I doubt many adults could focus, as well. What was wrong with the old-fashioned rows of desks, where everyone followed the teacher? I realize I am showing my age, but I have 3 children in school right now, and the 2 girls don't have too much trouble, but the boy has too much opportunity to talk. This would be gone if they were in a traditional seating pattern. I would love to hear from both teachers and parents....could you please mention your (gasp) age? I think there might be a pattern to the replies!
Posted by rth:
No style of teaching is inherently good, whether it's sitting in rows or using centers, but centers can be good for students. Each teacher must take into account the needs of the students and what teaching methodology is best for helping those students to achieve the expected learning goals. The instructional & management styles of the teacher are also an important factor.
Some of the pluses of centers are:
- They allow teachers to meet the needs of children at different ability levels and with different learning styles.
- Centers allow children to practice cooperative work skills.
- Centers provide activities for self directed practice & learning.
- Centers give teachers more time to work with small groups and individuals.
When working at centers, children often do need to learn more self control and time management, but these are not a negative aspect of centers. If the teacher controls the children's actions by walking up and down the rows and not allowing any movement or talking, the children are learning to be controlled, instead of learning to use SELF CONTROL.
I've been teaching for 30 years, so that should help you to know my age.
Visit the Archives of Online Meetings for harvesting additional Center Ideas.
Browse the latest posts from the Classroom Centers Chatboard: