A number of relevant scientists report (Saulnier, Landry, Herbert in Wagner, 2008) that universities, especially in the U.S.A. have been developing student-centred learning. Within this approach teachers mainly focus upon what students should learn and emphasize why (Bransford, Vye & Bateman, 2002), they take into account the already existing knowledge of students (Bransford, Brown, Cocking, 2000; Protheroe, 2007), provide different opportunities for students to learn, often change teaching methods, help students who have troubles and consider their background. Teachers discuss with students which study activities lead to good results, expose students to looking for alternatives and trying to find their own solutions. Examination questions refer to real situation and do not lead to categorizing students with regard to their marks. Aslan in Reigeluth (2013) state that modern educational systems should address the needs of the contemporary students, facilitate the study process and prepare students for social life. Each educational system should look at each individual student as a student with special needs and should not require that all students learn in the same way.
This project intended to make a research of the student-centred and/or personalized approach in several European countries, prepare a handbook of good practices for teachers, publish several articles in peer-reviewed journals and thus contribute to revision and strengthening of the professional capacities of teachers, better attainment of students, to organizational culture of universities and to the modernisation of Europe’s higher education systems.
The first part of the project was performed by four participants from four European countries, three HEIs and one research SME and the second part by three higher education institutions: IBS International Business School Ljubljana, Slovenija, Kauno kolegija, Kaunas, Lithuania and Radom University of Economics, Poland.
The main activities of the project are a large-scale research on the theory and practice of the student-centred learning, a teachers' handbook on good practices from student-centred learning, three articles in peer-reviewed journals, dissemination of results and a short follow-up study.
The project methodology includes a large-scale research (survey of literature, development of the questionnaire for teachers, data analysis, guidelines, conclusions) and uses the research methods of the social sciences. The most important results of the project the research – research study, the handbook for teachers, several articles - contribute to a better awareness of the benefits of the student-centred learning and empower teachers and HEI managements to use this approach. The potential longer term benefits are spreading of the student-centred learning paradigm to more HEIs.