Welcome to the Students at the Center Hub!

The Students at the Center Hub is a resource for educators, families, students and communities wanting to learn more about research, best practices, supportive policies, and how to talk about student-centered approaches to learning. The Students at the Center Hub is managed by Jobs for the Future and generously funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Help continue to improve by contacting us with feedback and suggestions.

Educator Competencies for Personalized, Learner-Centered Teaching

The development of the Competencies serves as a first step in identifying the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that educators need in order to create and thrive in effective personalized, learner-centered environments. Check out the recently released digital version here on the Hub.

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Our Framework

Personalized Learning

Personalized Learning

Working together, educators, parents, and students customize instruction as much as possible to students’ individual developmental needs, skills, and interests. Students develop connections to each other, their teachers, and other adults that support their learning. Read More »

Anytime, Anywhere

Anytime, Anywhere

Students have equitable options to learn outside of the typical school schedule and away from the campus. Whether that means studying on line, completing an internship over the summer, or taking advantage of some other out-of-school opportunity, they can receive credit for the knowledge and skills they master. Read More »

Competency Education

Competency Education

Students move ahead in the curriculum based not on the number of hours they spend in the classroom but, primarily, on their ability to demonstrate that they have reached key milestones along the path to mastery of core competencies and bodies of knowledge. Read More »

Student-Owned Learning

Student-Owned Learning

Students gain increased understanding of and responsibility for their own learning via frequent opportunities to decide such things as the topics they study, the books they read, the projects they pursue, and the curricular pathways they take en route to meeting college and career ready standards. Read More »

Resources by Type

Are you looking for examples of presentations; research only; or a particular video? Browse resources by type.

Resources by Principle

We've categorized resources to help you dive deeper into each of four main principles of student-centered learning.

From the Blog

June 22, 2016 | by JOHN J. FREEMAN

Three Key Components of School-Community Engagement

In Pittsfield, New Hampshire, community members have been involved in articulating our schools’ values, vision, and mission; in developing our… Read More »

June 17, 2016 | by JACKIE GONZALEZ, STUDENTS AT THE CENTER

‘Making’ as a (Student-Centered) Approach to Learning

The White House will celebrate the National Week of Making beginning today through the end of next week (June 17-23), inviting formal… Read More »

Upcoming Event

institute/conference

ISTE 2016

DENVER, CO

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Student-Centered Learning in New England

 

We're tracking schools and community-based organization across New England that are currently supporting and/or implementing student-centered learning practices. We need your help to keep this resource up-to-date, please let us know if you'd like your school or organization added.

 

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Maya stops by Steven's house after school.

"Is this your report card? It has a lot more information than mine does."
Semester evaluation

Steven's report card is competency-based. He tells Maya that his teachers explain their expectations and describe why he received each grade.

"My report card explains what I learned in each competency and where I need to work harder, so I know how to improve."

This teacher feedback also makes it easier for Steven's parents to support him. Steven's mom explains:

Steam Hand
"Ms. G's notes last semester clued us in to some trouble Steven was having in biology. He had to redo one lab, but I like that he has the chance to take extra time to understand the concepts. Steven likes that he can move ahead more quickly in subjects he’s better in."
"Wow! My school has been trying a lot of new stuff like this. I wonder if competency education is next."
Wow! My school has been trying a lot of new stuff like this. I wonder if we’re going to do competency education next.” This teacher feedback also makes it easier for Steven’s parents to support him. Steven’s mom explains: “Ms. G’s notes last semester clued us in to some trouble Steven was having in biology. He had to redo one lab, but I like that he has the chance to take extra time to understand the concepts. Steven likes that he can move ahead more quickly in subjects he’s better in.” Steven’s report card is competency-based. He tells Maya that his teachers explain their expectations and describe why he received each grade. “My report card explains what I learned in each competency and where I need to work harder, so I know how to improve” # $%&'$(# )*$+# %,&-*./0 # 12*(# 3 # -%*$/%+ # ./#%*)2#)'4&%(%/)"#*/+ # 12%$%# 3# /%%+# ('#1'$5#2*$+%$6#0'#3#5/'1#2'1#('#.4&$'7% ! “Is this your report card? It has a lot more information than mine does.” Maya stops by Steven’s house after school.
Learn more about Competency Education »
scroll to continue on Maya's journey

Maya's school has student-led parent conferences instead of traditional parent-teacher ones. She presents work from her classes and can talk openly about successes and difficulties.

"I'm proud of my writing assignment analyzing the ending of The Great Gatsby."
Notebook
"I'm still struggling in geometry, though."
Geometry Geometry

Maya's dad asks:

"What's been difficult about your geometry class?"
Tie Hands

Maya says she thinks she understands her teacher's lessons, but when it comes time to apply the concepts, she often gets wrong answers.

Her advisor gives Maya's problem some thought and asks:

"Have you explained to your teacher that this keeps happening?"
Clipboard Hand

After listening to her dad and her advisor, Maya comes up with her own solution to try.

"I'll talk to my teacher this week about how to make geometry work for me."
Maya says she thinks she understands her teacher’s lessons, but when it comes time to apply the concepts, she often gets wrong answers. Her advisor gives Maya's problem some thought and asks: “Have you explained to your teacher that this keeps happening?” After listening to her parents and her advisor, Maya is able to come up with her own solution to try: “What‘s been difficult about your geometry class?” Maya’s school has student-led parent conferences instead of traditional parent-teacher ones. She presents work from her classes and can talk openly about successes and difficulties. Maya’s dad asks: “I’m still struggling in geometry, though.” “I’m proud of my writing assignment analyzing the ending of The Great Gatsby...” “I’ll talk to my teacher this week about how to make geometry work for me.”
Learn more about Student-Owned Learning »
scroll to continue on Maya's journey

Maya and her geometry teacher meet after Maya's student-led parent conference. Maya has an idea:

"I think it might help if I could see how geometry is applied in the real world."

Maya thinks of her uncle, a carpenter. Together, Maya and her teacher brainstorm a set of questions. Maya connects with him via Skype.

Maya watches as her uncle explains his models and his designs. Seeing congruence applied in a real world setting helps Maya see the importance of exact measurements.

"I always start by taking the exact measurements of the room where the cabinet will go. I then build congruent scale models of the room and cabinet to see how the cabinet would fit. As long as my models are exact, I'll know my cabinet will fit perfectly."
Uncle
Blueprint Ruler
"I think I understand geometry better now. Can we talk again if I get stuck?"
Maya and her geometry teacher meet after Maya’s student-led parent conference. Maya has an idea: Maya thinks of her uncle, a carpenter. Together, Maya and her teacher brainstorm a set of questions. Maya connects with him via Skype. “I think it might help if I could see how geometry is applied in the real world.” Maya watches as her uncle explain his models and his designs. Seeing congruence applied in a real world setting helps Maya see the importance of exact measurements. “I always start by taking the exact measurements of the room where the cabinet will go. I then build congruent scale models of the room and cabinet to see how the cabinet would fit. As long as my models are exact, I'll know my cabinet will fit perfectly.” “I think I understand geometry better now. Can we talk again if I get stuck?”
Learn more about Personalized Learning »
scroll to continue on Maya's journey

Maya's classmates are inspired by her work with her uncle and want to try something new too.

"Can we show what we know instead of taking a test?"
Hands
"Maybe we could work with my uncle as part of our assessment?"

The students design a short project-based assessment with their teacher that incorporates the key elements of their geometry unit.

In Maya's uncle's workshop, the students examine and measure his scale models and corresponding full-sized cabinets to demonstrate the exact congruence.

Back in their classroom, the students show their teacher that they have mastered the concepts of congruent shapes and the importance of exact measurement in the real world. She is pleased:

"Great job! Getting out of the classroom seems to have deepened your learning. Let's consider more out-of-school learning opportunities."
“Great job! Getting out of the classroom seems to have really helped. Let’s consider more opportunities for out of school learning.” Back in their classroom, the students show their teacher that they have mastered the concepts of congruent shapes and the importance of exact measurement in the real world. She is pleased: The students examine and measure his scale models and corresponding full-sized cabinets to demonstrate the exact congruence. The students work to design a short project-based assessment that incorporates the key elements of their geometry unit. “Maybe we could work with my uncle as part of our assessment?” “Can we show what we know instead of taking a test?” Maya’s classmates are inspired by her work with her uncle and want to try something new too.
Our Framework

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