An investigation into the methods of Student Centred Learning used in the primary classroom and the benefits that Student Centred Learning can have for students.
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While there has been a lot of research carried out internationally on SCL, there has been little or no studies carried out in primary schools in Ireland and in specific, Co. Donegal. This is an exploratory project which aims to address this gap in literature. The literature review identified what theorists have said about SCL. It also looks at previous studies carried out on SCL. The research question for this dissertation is “What methods of SCL are used in the primary classroom and what are the benefits of SCL for students’? To help me in answering this question, I have set out four objectives: to establish what Student Centred Learning is; to find out what methods of Student Centred Learning are being used in primary school classrooms; to find out what the benefits of Student Centred Learning are for students and to find out what methods of assessment teachers feel are important for SCL. To carry out my research I sent out questionnaires to 400 teachers in primary schools in Co. Donegal. The research found that teachers in primary schools in Donegal use a wide variety of SCL methods. These include paired work, group work, free play, structured play, inquiry based learning and activity based learning. It also found out what benefits teachers feel SCL have for students. Some of these include increased self esteem, motivation, increased interest in learning and deeper learning. While the research found mostly positive facts, there is still room for improvement with regards to SCL in the primary classroom. In the final chapter of this dissertation, I set out some recommendations for improving SCL in primary schools, such as improving policies on SCL and letting students have an input into the decision making of what they learn and how they learn
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