Ferris State University professor Terry Doyle’s newest book “Learner Centered Teaching: Putting the Research on Learning into Practice” was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Selected New Books on Higher Education.”
In the book, published in October, Doyle makes the case that Learner Centered Teaching offers the best approach to teaching college students. He said he wrote the book to help faculty change their “teaching practices from a teacher-centered practice to a learner-centered practice.”
“I felt that there was a strong need to compile the research that supports this vital change in how teaching is practiced in higher education as a way to move this approach to teaching closer to the mainstream of higher education,” said Doyle, a professor in Ferris’ Developmental Curriculum Department.
In the book, Doyle discusses the gap between what teachers want to achieve and the strategies they use to reach their goals. To bridge the gap, Doyle said teachers who want to provide students with the best opportunities to learn must understand how learning takes place inside the brain.
“Choosing a teaching approach and designing learning activities should never be a trial-and-error process,” he said. “It should be based on what the best research on teaching and learning has to say about how humans learn best.”
During the past five years, Doyle visited more than 60 colleges and universities and spoke at more than 50 conferences on the topic of Learner Centered Teaching. He often was asked how to support a learner-centered approach and how to implement the practice; his responses are incorporated throughout the book. Nine chapters are devoted to teaching practices.
“I enjoy the writing process, but my real goal was to assist teachers in optimizing their students’ learning and success,” said Doyle, who was honored that his book was featured on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Dec. 16 list. “My real hope is this exposure will cause more faculty to read my book and become more learner-centered in their teaching practices and shared their enthusiasm for learner centered teaching with their colleagues.”
Doyle, who has taught at Ferris for 35 years, also is the author of “Helping Students Learn in a Learner Centered Environment.” He is co-authoring a book with Dr. Todd Zakrajsek called “Learning in Harmony with Your Brain,” which explains scientific research on the best ways to learn and remember information high school and college students are asked to learn every day.