APA Learner Centered Principles

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APA Learner-Centered Principles Background In 1990 the American Psychological Association appointed a Task Force on Psychology in Education to assemble research and theory from psychology and education so that they could develop principles that could provide a framework for future school design and reform. As a result, they developed twelve fundamental principles about learning that were found to be an essential backbone and influence for all learners. This document was later revised in 1991 and now includes 14 principles. The major change involved adding principles that give attention to dealing with diversity and standards. (McCombs 1992). This research essentially integrated science and education to explain theories that have been taking place for centuries. (APA 1997) As a results educators and school systems alike use the 14 learner-centered principles as basic framework for education. This has brought into light the emphasis on learning and how children can learn not necessarily easier, but better. The thought process behind developing all of this was to provide schools with a design for learning that was productive and positive for children and teachers alike. These principles are not meant to stand alone, but be used together as an organized set of principles. (APA 1997) According to Lambert and McCombs, who research is recognized by the APA, the Learner-Centered principles assume that students: 1. Possess distinct perspectives or frames of reference, contributed by their cultural history, the home environment, interests, goals, beliefs, and ways of thinking. 2. Demonstrate individual differences, including emotional states of mind, learning rates and styles, stages of development, abilities, and feelings of efficacy. 3. Construct their own knowledge within a process that makes learning realistic, meaningful, and personally engaging.
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