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Abstract

Student-centered learning is an increasingly popular approach that shifts the focus from the teacher to the student. The approach argues that we need to have a clear understanding of who our students are and what their needs are in order for us to provide quality education. This paper applauds the focus on the student but raises two concerns about absences in this approach. Firstly, student-centered approaches rarely consider the actual knowledge being taught and learnt. There is little consideration of how the disciplinary knowledge is constructed and what norms and values underpin such constructions. Secondly, student-centered approaches are often undertaken within the dominant autonomous discourse where student success or failure is seen to result from characteristics inherent in the student. She is understood as an individual rather than as a member of a larger social group and there is equally little acknowledgement of the socially constructed nature of universities and the practices within them.

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