Welcome to the Families’ Page. From here, you can link to background information about student-centered learning, what it looks like in practice, and what you can do to support effective student-centered practices in your local schools.
What does student-centered learning mean?
Student-centered learning is a term that has been around for a long time and means many things to many people. However, we use the term to refer to four specific practices that show strong evidence of success in preparing students for college, careers, and civic life:
So what’s different about this approach? And why is this the right time for student-centered learning to spread? We see four reasons:
- Improved research on learning & motivation: We now know more than ever before about how people learn, and today’s student-centered approaches are grounded in much stronger scientific evidence than was previously available.
- New technologies: Today’s digital technologies give students unprecedented opportunities to take control over their own learning, allowing them to study anytime and anywhere, rather than sticking to a rigid school schedule.
- New economic realities: The labor-market no longer rewards those who have learned to sit quietly, follow directions, and listen to the teacher. To succeed in just about any career, today’s young people must be active and independent learners.
- Political will & momentum: In past decades, schools were bound more strictly to traditional assumptions about what the classroom was “supposed” to look like (e.g., students sitting quietly at desks, while teachers deliver lectures from the front of the room). Now, however, Americans—and their political leaders—are becoming more willing to embrace new ways of organizing schools and meeting students’ various needs.
Why is it important that families get involved in promoting student-centered approaches to learning?
Current approaches to student-centered learning are meant to empower all young people to reach their full academic, professional, and personal potential. But teachers cannot do it alone—research shows that parents and guardians tend to be the most powerful advocates that children have, doing whatever they can to ensure that young people receive a quality education.
How can the Students at the Center Hub help you learn more?
- If you want to know more about the concept of student-centered learning, then check out these links: Students at the Center Framework
- If you want to know what skills and competencies an educator should have to lead a student-centered classroom, check out our Educator Competencies for Personalized, Learner-Centered Teaching
- If you need communications and public understanding strategies about sharing information about student-centered learning with members of your community: Check out this student-centered learning focused communications toolkit.