Learner-Centred Approach in Training


Learner-Centred Approach in Training



As a trainer, recognizing the importance of aligning your approach with the needs of your learners is crucial. A learner-centred approach is the way a training process is designed to meet learners where and how they are or, in other words, to start from their needs and experience.

1. Importance of considering learner needs
Understanding and addressing learner needs is fundamental. Every individual comes with unique experiences, learning styles, and goals. Tailoring your approach to accommodate these differences enhances engagement and effectiveness.

2. Carl Rogers' person-centred approach to learning
  • Carl Rogers, a significant figure in humanistic psychology, proposed principles that influenced a lot how we understand non-formal education and training.
  • Trust in the learner’s potential: believe in each learner's inherent ability to grow and learn. This trust forms the foundation of an empowering learning environment.
  • Learner empowerment: shift the power dynamics by allowing learners to have a say in their learning journey. It encourages autonomy and makes learning more relevant and meaningful.
  • Facilitation over teaching: transition from a traditional 'teaching' role to a 'facilitator'. This change involves guiding, supporting, and providing resources rather than direct instruction.

3. Conditions for learner-centred facilitation
  • To implement Rogers' approach, consider these conditions:
  • Congruence: Be genuine and transparent as a facilitator. Authenticity encourages openness in learners.
  • Unconditional Positive Regard: show unconditional positive regard. Accept learners as they are without judgment, fostering a safe learning environment.
  • Empathy: understand and empathize with learners’ perspectives. This connection builds trust and facilitates deeper learning. Watch the video below from the author himself, sharing on how the empathic approach is helping another person to grow. The context is linked to the client-centred therapy, but facilitators will recognise a lot from Carl's approach.

4. Opportunities and benefits
Adopting this approach provides several benefits:
  • Internal locus of control: Empowers learners to take charge of their learning, enhancing motivation and engagement.
  • Self-directedness: Encourages learners to direct their learning paths, fostering lifelong learning skills.
  • Ownership over learning: When learners have control, they develop a sense of ownership, leading to more profound and impactful learning experiences.

5. Limitations
However, there are challenges:
  • Short training contexts: In brief training sessions (1-2 days), it can be challenging to implement a fully learner-centred approach due to time constraints.
  • Limited knowledge of learner needs: When training is organized by a third-party organisation, gaining in-depth knowledge about each learner’s needs can be challenging as you are not always in control of learner needs analysis process.
  • Constraints in making changes (based on emerging needs): there might be limited freedom of room to adjust methodology. duration, pace, etc.

Questions to ask when preparing the training:
  • How do I analyse the needs of my participants prior to the training?
  • How do I support participants in identifying their real learning needs?
  • How do I incorporate the needs in the training programme design?
  • How do I ‘meet where people are’ in the training process?
  • To what extent do I leave space in the training programme for participants to focus on their own learning goals and pursue them?
  • How do I create space for self-directedness in learning?

Activity content and badge issuing criteria aligned with the European Training Strategy (ETS) competence model for trainers to work internationally:

Competence in focus: Support learners in identifying and meeting their learning needs and overcoming any barriers
1. Knowledge of the dynamics of individual learning processes
2. Stimulating active participation and motivating and empowering learners

  • Skill to establish a supportive relationship with the learner
  • Skill to support and encourage/confront learners in a useful way
  • Ability to support learners to learn from each other’s differences

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This badge shows increased awareness about the importance of a learner-centred approach when facilitating learning in the context of non-formal education and youth work training.

The task for earning this badge was sharing an example of how one would apply a learner-centred approach in the training practice.

Activity content and badge issuing criteria are aligned with the European Training Strategy (ETS) competence model for trainers to work internationally.
Задание номер 1
Доказательства проверены: Один организатор мероприятия
Share an example of how would you apply learner-centred approach in your training practice.
What would you do practically?

The task is complete after one of the trainers reviews and approves the evidence.


#Support learners in identifying and meeting their learning needs and overcoming any barriers
#Stimulating active participation and motivating and empowering learners
Facilitating learning processes
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