Looking Back: The First Year of the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative

By Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative
November 1, 2017

The Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative launched last November with over 100 researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and funders coming together to break down silos and advance the field. To celebrate our first birthday, we thought we’d share a run-down of what we’ve been up to since then. Hope you enjoy – and don’t forget to sign up and be the first to know about new resources, grant opportunities, and our latest research!


Civics Needs a Makeover NOW – How? Keep It Student-Centered, Stupid!
by Distinguished Fellow Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg

Percent voted with college degree vs without high school credential

Currently, only 23 percent of high school seniors are proficient in civics, according to the National Assessment of Education Progress, and just one in five young citizens voted in the 2014 midterm election. How do we ensure that young people are sufficiently prepared and motivated to participate in civic and political life? Keep it student-centered! [Read on]

A School Leader’s Student-Centered Resources for Next Gen Educators
by Distinguished Fellow Arthur Baraf

What’s out there for educators who want to hit the ground running with student-centered instruction as they begin their careers? In this three-part series, Arthur Baraf, Distinguished Fellow and principal of the Met High School, recommends 14 of his go-to resources from his 17 years as an educator. [Read on]

How Can We Abolish the Phrase ‘I’m Just Not a Math Person’?
by research team member Daisy Sharrock, High Tech High Graduate School of Education

So how can we teach differently? How can we create learning cultures that nurture students’ inherent mathematical curiosity and encourage them to engage deeply with mathematical concepts? And what are we doing that gets in the way? Daisy Sharrock from High Tech High Graduate School of Education shares insights from their in-progress study with the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative. [Read on]

Courtesy of Daisy Sharrock and EdWeek

Behavior Management Tools Might Not Be Best for Student-Centered Learning
by Distinguished Fellow Kim Carter

“High-quality learning is often messy. It can be noisy and nonlinear and full of surprises. That may be why many of us seek to control it.” But what if efforts to control classroom behavior actually worked against educational goals? [Read on]

Transforming Schools Through Student-Centered Culture
by advisor Alison Hramiec

School reform starts by transforming school culture, and reforms flourish when we allow adults to be creative and compassionate human beings. [Read on]

Boston Day and Evening Academy celebration


How to Engage with School Partners? Tips for Researchers from One Project in Maine
by research team member Karen Shakman, Education Development Center

Education researchers must engage with schools in a way that allows educators to feel like true collaborators as opposed to “lab rats” being observed. How can we better work with educators as opposed to working on education issues as we study their implementation? [Read on]

Why School Leaders Must Support and Encourage Student Voice and Activism
by Distinguished Fellow Arthur Baraf

This year-long project at the Met High School grew from students’ interests, students’ leadership, and students’ desire to engage their world as agents. These issues are truly “life or death,” and their education became a way to understand and affect it. [Read on]

Met High School Social Issues Day


Do I Have a Voice? Student Ownership Drives Engagement Among Urban Youth
by Distinguished Fellow Jennifer Fredricks

Though research repeatedly suggests the importance of ownership experiences in students’ decisions to engage, our actual practices in schools often fail to capitalize on this knowledge. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that where value is lacking, engagement will drop. [Read on]


Student-Centered Learning Podcast

Podcast Image

Distinguished Fellow Arthur Baraf sits down with educators, students, and sometimes even himself to tackle the latest in student-centered learning. We may be biased, but our favorite episodes feature Arthur’s fellow Fellows sharing their expertise and talking candidly about their work.

  • Deconstructing a Myth of Student Engagement, “Hands on is Minds on,” with national expert Jennifer Fredricks [Listen]
  • Our Students Aren’t Civically Engaged! What any teacher can do to promote civic learning and agency, with Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg [Listen]
  • Developing a Culture of Student-Centered Learning in Your Classroom, with Mary Bellavance [Listen]
  • How to improve project-based learning through a focus on “problem finding,” with Frank LaBanca [Listen]


What We’ve Done, Where We’re Going [Recording]
Research Director Eric Toshalis kicks off the second year of the Research Collaborative by highlighting its exciting progress, future plans, and opportunities for engagement.

Measuring Non-Cognitive Skills to Meet ESSA Requirements: What We Can Learn from Research on Student Engagement [Recording and Resources]

Distinguished Fellow Jennifer Fredricks defines student engagement, reviews the importance of measuring it and how others have done so, the benefits and challenges of these methods, and provides recommendations for the measurement of student engagement in an accountability plan.

Owning the Learning: Using Assessment to Personalize Instruction and Bolster Student Agency [Recording]

Student-centered methods of assessment have been implemented in powerful ways such that schools and districts across the country are now demonstrating how these approaches can be used to personalize instruction. Research Collaborative advisor Jim Pellegrino details how such these strategies help boost student learning and change school cultures.

Encouraging and Sustaining Competency-Based Learning Environments: Lessons from New Hampshire [Recording]

Paul Leather, Research Collaborative advisor and former New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner of Education, zeroes in on what works, and, just as importantly, what doesn’t when implementing competency-based education at the system and classroom levels.

Personalizing Instruction to Achieve Equity: Teaching Students to Change the Game [Recording]

Gutierrez 2007

Dr. Rochelle Gutiérrez, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, demonstrates how educators can rehumanize mathematics learning and establish assessments that serve as both a window and a mirror.

Coming Up

November 2017: Research Collaborative Seminar featuring Jorge Ruiz de Velasco and Marisa Saunders [Register]

November 7, 2017, 4:00 pm-5:00 pm ET

Connect with Marisa Saunders and Research Collaborative advisor Jorge Ruiz de Velasco, editors of “Learning Time: in Pursuit of Educational Equity” (Harvard Education Press, 2017), as they explore the intersections of student-centered learning and expanded learning opportunities. Register now to join the discussion of how education time can be expanded, reimagined, and reorganized as a resource for student-centered learning and in the service of equity.

October 2018: Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative Convening

Look for a save-the-date email in January 2018!

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