In the age of the Internet, students are clamoring for immersive and participatory learning experiences, but how can teachers share autonomy without losing control of their classrooms? In an effort to address this important question, this article suggests three mentorship modes that educators can employ in order to effectively engage with today’s interactive learners. Lecture-based instruction is a single mode form of teaching in which information is disseminated by a lone authority-figure. In contrast, learning-centered mentorship is a three-mode process in which autonomy is shared and authority flows in multiple directions at once: bottom-up (modeling), laterally (collaborating), and top-down (organizing and supervising). This work draws on research and theories related to student-centered pedagogy, as well as the trial and error experimentation of the author and interviews with successful participatory educators working at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy in Chicago, a school devoted almost exclusively to problem-based and project-based learning.

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