Student centred learning · DMM Method
DMM is a modern pedagogical method that gives students extraordinary possibilities to learn, by transforming each student into being the main responsible for their own education. DMM is one of the main methods of the DNS programme.
Timewise the teaching and learning is divided into 4 quarters:
- Individual studies: 1/4 individual theoretical studies
- Group studies – 1/4 theoretical studies in collaboration with the team
- Courses: 1/4 of the time
- Experiences: 1/4 of the time
The whole content of the subjects are available online, via the One World University distance learning system, making it possible for the students themselves to decide what to study. Student centred learning, team work and practical experiences are at the heart of the DNS pedagogy.
Studies: ¼ of the time as individual studies, ¼ of the time as group studies
All subjects are divided into sections with topics and each section has at least 10 study tasks. Each task takes between 1 and 4 hours to complete. A task is constructed in the following way: First there is an introduction, that will tell the student, why this task is important and how to look at it. Then follows a directive, that tells the student how to solve the task, eg. “First you read these pages from this and that book, then you prepare questions, then you go for an interview, then you write a report and send it to the teacher for corrections and comments”. When the student has finished the task and it has been approved by the teacher, then they gets points for it.
As DMM is a student centred learning method, the student must solve a specified number of tasks and get a specified number of points every week. Every week starts with the student making their week plan. They can get help from the teacher, but ultimately they will learn how to plan and organise their own time – a major qualification for a teacher.
Completing study tasks in this manner accounts for 1/2 of the teaching and learning time at DNS. 1/4 of the time is done as individuel studies, and 1/4 is done as a team effort, where students choose and complete study tasks together as group projects.
Courses: ¼ of the time is used for courses by the teacher
DMM also consists of courses – held by the teacher. The courses are about overall interesting and exciting questions, intended to move and excite the student. The teacher is the host, but the courses are not meant to be imitating a normal class room situation, they are meant to be a time when the teacher is performing to the utmost of his ability, making it a special occasion of teaching and learning. The courses also have student centred learning processes as a focus point and must be of great interest for the student.
The instruction is in the form of “a course”, meaning that different activities can take place, depending on the plan and on the teacher, on the subject and on the state of the students. It can be an inspiring lecture, preparations for a debate, philosophical consideration, experienced based discussions, thought-provoking documentaries, practical projects, field visits to workshops of artists / artisans / entrepreneurs, practical actions of different kinds – at the school or in the neighbourhood – and much more.
The titles of the courses are inspiring, exciting and not necessarily related to the school subjects. The content is drawn from many parts of the world and comprises many of the great questions, events and discussions reflecting contemporary matters. The courses are the place in the everyday life of the school, where the students can lean back. The courses are well organised and effective. The students have at their disposal the teacher as a performer – and they can themselves use the experiences from the courses, when they plan their own studies. The teachers at the school also get the possibility to use their own personal example to illustrate high standards for what is good instruction.
Experiences – ¼ of the time of the program is used for own and common experiences
Experiences are not usually recognised as part of the school education. But in the modern world every school and education must understand, that experiences and the reflection on these experiences ought to have a physical place on the program as an integrated part of the learning process and its results.
It is a fact, that experiences in their own way essentially contribute to the accumulated results of the education. For the individual student, it is a brand-new understanding, that experiences can be planned, executed, documented, analysed and reflected upon as a full part of the learning process. The experiences contribute for the individual with some of the fuel of the mind that brings new life to a human being in its development. Experiences are an essential part of student centred learning.
Experiences make an impact, give associations, revive new interests, call forth understanding from new angles and they often bring to the student, which cannot only be called forth with techniques, studies and tests:
Students get to laugh and cry and strengthen the unity with their comrades. They experience dramatic moments. They see things, they never had the least imagination about. They suddenly consider quite new phenomena in their life. They are placed in many unforeseen events and achieve robustness. They get into the habit of accepting and utilising their whole personal spectrum, not only the study part thereof, in their own march forward towards new milestones in their life.
Experiences: some planned, some spontaneous
The experiences as part of DMM are divided into “own experiences” (personal experiences) and “common experiences”. The common experiences are fixed in the educational programme. They are there in the form of after hours sports, special events as conferences and open house arrangements, cultural and entertainment events at the school or in the community, periods with travel inside the country, periods of practice in rural schools and of doing community work – and much more.
The everyday life of the school is in this way installed with many refreshing breathing spaces, which are in a broad sense enriching the students. Studies and courses can be enhanced from this source. The experiences thus have vast effect on what the students get out of the programme and train them in being practically able to deal with life under many circumstances.
Content needs to reflect the activities at DNS
Studies, courses and experiences constitute the fundamental framework of the organisation of DMM. The student as an individual is a decisive driving force in their own education – this is exactly why DMM is a student centred learning and teaching method.
DMM is based on modern means of communication and information. All together these structures of the method are functioning as an organiser of the everyday life of the school – and as a channel for the contents of the education.
If the content is not intact, the method has no substance to communicate. It is therefore a decisive cause for the school and its teacher council to fill the fundamental structures with an inspiring content, so there will be a glowing interaction between the two: The Method and the Contents.
Student centred learning: Students assume control and responsibility
The DMM method revolutionises prevailing pedagogical thinking about school and “education”. Traditionally, education has been characterised by the teacher and the institution delivering the teaching, planning and implementation of it all, as well as assuming responsibility for the results.
The DMM method places each student firmly in a controlling position, with their own responsibility for what to achieve. It means, that the individual in a clarified and disciplined way always must be aware of themself as the person who must do the work and is the one to invest in getting as smart as they wants to be.
The responsibility is not with the school as a kind of societal common institution or with the teacher as the wisest person around, or as the person with access to the information. The responsibility rests with the individual student – who has full access to the information need, meaning the full curriculum in the form of study tasks. This is a big move into the modern times. No need to wait for teachers to deliver the lessons.
DMM is in this way not just a new pedagogical method like a range of other methods, that could be mentioned: lectures by the teacher, discussions in groups, etc. where every pedagogical method has partial advantages and disadvantages. The DMM instead puts the whole question about teaching and leaning on totally different pillars fundamentally by making the world and knowledge accessible for the student themself in a personal process, which is the condition for knowledge and experience to be useful and to be remembered.
Part 1 of 4: Individual studies of the curriculum subjects.
Part 3 of 4: Courses taught by teachers or others
Part 2 of 4: Group studies of the curriculum subjects
Part 4 of 4: Experiences
DMM is the short form of “The Science of the Doctrine of the Modern Method”.
The 1st Year of DNS
The International Field of Practice
…where you will travel to western Africa in your own bus.
- Travel overland to Guinea Bissau
- Do field investigations
- Learn about globalisation and capitalism
- Share your experiences back in Europe
The 2nd Year of DNS
The European Field of Practice
…where you will experience & influence a local community somewhere in Europe.
- Live in a European city with your team
- Learn from the working class
- Create campaigns to promote sustainability, peace & education in your local community
The 3rd Year of DNS
The School Reality
…where you will learn the trade of a Teacher
- Teach in a school
- Create projects with your students
- Learn about pedagogical theories
- Hone your skills to become Another Kind of Teacher
“We do not learn from experience, we learn from refelecting on experience.”
philosopher and educational reformer
The DMM method places each student firmly in a controlling position, with their own responsibility for what to achieve. It means that the individual in a clarified and disciplined way always must be aware of themself as the person who must do the work and is the one to invest in getting as smart as they wants to be.
What students will learn with DMM
- To plan an own process of development.
- To get a firm grip of the subjects – so they are learned.
- In a group setting receive inspiration and well based knowledge about many issues through the courses.
- To understand through the experiences, that learning is not just a linear thing, which is within a strict, mainstream school concept, but that learning is a part of the feeling of being alive of human beings as such.