Difference Between Teacher-Centered and Student-Centered Approaches

By: | Updated: Jun-22, 2022
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Education and learning might seem like a straightforward process to many. But in reality, there are several approaches one might take to achieve the same learning goal. Two of the most common approaches are the teacher-centered approach and the student-centered approach.

Even though both of these approaches have the same end goal in mind, which is to properly educate the students, they each have their own set of ideologies they follow. As well as their own set of pros and cons.

I will discuss both of these learning approaches as well as their benefits and detriments on the entire learning environment.

Teacher-Centered Learning Approach and its Pros and Cons

A teacher-centered learning approach is one where the teacher takes the lead on the topics of the lesson as well as the methodology of teaching. The teacher takes the key role and guides the class through various topics. And the lessons are mostly unidirectional.

In the current day and age, teacher-centered approaches are still followed in most educational institutions. But that doesn’t degrade the value of a student-centered approach. The aim is to educate the student. And both of these approaches get that right. There are other methods of acquiring knowledge in the current day and time. For example, absolutely free epistolary essays, which help the students become more knowledgeable. As well as helping them by providing an additional source of knowledge outside of school. These free services provide students with essay examples that help them out with their education.

Difference Between Teacher-Centered and Student-Centered


The experience of the teacher helps guide the students in a proper study direction. As the teacher has a greater firsthand experience on the topic, he/she may choose a piece with greater educational value, such as “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes.

Not only that, because the teacher has complete freedom of choosing the piece, he may also choose one, on which he has a firm grasp. So that he may properly discuss the ins and outs of the said novel or literary piece.

The teacher tends to be more confident in this type of educational approach. It also saves time as the teacher does not have to deal with unknown pieces provided by the students. If such a case arises, the teacher would first have to study the piece and then provide a lesson. This takes a significant amount of time. And leaves room for mistakes and information holes.

Student-Centered Learning Approach and its Pros and Cons

A student-centered educational approach shifts the focus from the teacher. To the student. Students are given complete freedom of the topics and lessons they wish to receive. And the teacher must comply with the student’s demand.

Difference Between Teacher-Centered and Student-Centered


The students are in charge of the curriculum or syllabus. This means they choose which novel or book they wish to read. Let’s say they do not wish to study “Flowers for Algernon”, but instead, they wish to study a modern piece. Like “The Martian” by Andy Weir.

As the students have chosen a piece they are interested in, they tend to be more focused on the lessons. But this degree of freedom has a bit of a downside. This sometimes requires the teacher to study a new piece. This might be time-consuming.

But it also opens up a field of discussion between the teacher and students. And learning becomes a two-way communication instead of a unidirectional system. Which is a plus for students.

As it also makes students more confident and less reliant on the teacher for guidelines. But a few downsides are also there. As all students might not agree on the same literary piece. And a discourse might arise. Also, there might be information gaps as the teacher might not have a firm grasp on the said piece.

Teacher-Centered Vs Student-Centered: Which is Better?

To be honest, there is no winner in this game. Both of these learning methods have advantages and disadvantages. The important aspect is that they both have the same aim in mind, which is to effectively teach the students.

Let’s take a quick look at the differences.

Teacher-Centered Vs Student-Centered

Differences Teacher-Centered Student-Centered
Student Focus/Interest Less More
Classroom Discourse Less More
Information Gap Unlikely Likely
Classroom Order More Less
Student Engagement Less More 


Education is an asset. It is key to a better life. Not only through financial wealth, but also through a better perception of the world due to knowledge. Yes, both of these learning approaches have their unique perks as well as drawbacks. But they both aim to educate the students.

As a result, the students and teachers must decide which approach they prefer. There will be no impediments in the realm of learning as long as a student is motivated to learn and a teacher is willing to teach.

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