Crowdsourced Data Supporting Student-Centered Learning

As the number of schools, districts and states committed to student-centered, personalized learning practices grows, so does the evidence base. On this page, you’ll find an evolving library of data points that describe the impacts of student-centered and competency-based approaches on student learning and other key outcomes.

The findings are searchable and are sourced from research studies, external evaluations and evidence collected directly by schools, districts and states using student-centered and personalized learning approaches.

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    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Number of Districts With 1:1 Computing Device Ratio Doubled in 2020

    In an EdWeek end-of-year survey the number of districts reporting at least one device per student rose from 41% before the pandemic to 94% percent in 2020, more than doubling.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Social-Emotional Learning Benefits Vulnerable Students

    A study of Chicago students showed the most vulnerable students benefit the most from attending schools that focus both on academics and social-emotional learning. SEL increases graduation rates for high and low-income students, with low-income students seeing the biggest impact. 

    Curriculum and Instruction

    Use of Adaptive Learning Software to Personalize Learning Increased Dramatically

    An EdWeek end-of-year survey shows the number of districts using adaptive learning software to personalize learning rose from 54% before the pandemic to 85% in 2020.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    District Leaders Rate Social-Emotional as Important as Academic Skills

    In a national survey of school counselors and district staff, 72.5 percent of district leaders indicated that building students’ social-emotional skills is as important as academic knowledge. Counselors have a critical role in delivering social-emotional learning.

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Affordability Creates Barrier to Students’ Internet Connectivity at Home

    A national study indicates two thirds of families without the internet connectivity needed for hybrid learning at home have access to broadband but can not afford service. Low-income, Black and Latinx families are disproportionately impacted.

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Race, Ethnicity and Income Continue to Impact Students’ Access to Broadband

    A study of broadband internet access data reveals that racial segregation based on historical housing policies still impacts students’ access to internet and learning at home.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Social-Emotional Factors Play a Role in Student Engagement

    The top five factors influencing student engagement all focus on the whole child. Creativity and self-expression was ranked highest, with 85% indicating a positive impact on engagement. Whole child factors ranked higher than factors like academic growth.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Higher Performing Schools Feature Close Teacher-Student Relationships

    Teachers at higher performing student-centered schools stayed with the same cohort of students for an average of 2.5 years, compared to lower-performing schools at 1.5 years and reported forming close relationships with 75% of students versus 50-75%.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Tailoring Learning to Student Interest Increases Motivation

    In a study of differences in teacher practice and technology use in student-centered schools, high-performing schools more frequently included students’ career goals and interests in personalized learning plans, increasing student motivation. The difference was statistically significant.

    Impact and Academic Outcomes

    Personalized Learning Increases Achievement Measured by Standardized Tests

    A study of high and low performing student-centered schools showed when personalized learning is implemented thoroughly, higher test scores result. 

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Positive Student-Teacher Relationships Lead to Better Health Outcomes

    Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health shows that student- teacher relationships have an even bigger impact on long term adult health than student-peer relationships.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Small Groups and Flexibility Lead to Positive Learning Conditions

    Surveys and interviews with educators during COVID-19 indicated smaller groups and flexibility in shaping learning environments around students’ needs led to stronger relationships. 57% could better support social and emotional well-being in small groups.

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