The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, in partnership with the RAND Corporation, has been working hand in hand with teachers, school leaders, and researchers to develop a set of criteria that detail the characteristics of high-quality, student-centered learning in classrooms, schools, and districts — a Student-Centered Learning Continuum (SCL Continuum). This continuum represents a research-based definition of student-centered learning, and is based upon a year of work with RAND’s education team, who conducted a thorough review of literature and tools used to measure student-centered learning and consulted experts in the field. We hope this definition provides clarity about the innovative ways in which classrooms, schools, and districts approach student-centered learning.
This resource is a product of the Foundation’s commitment to student-centered approaches over the past eight years—an important tool that we believe will be of use to the field. We are still learning about the connections between student-centered approaches to learning and advancing equity in the field of education.
Because every context is different, we don’t believe there is a purposeful path every learning environment needs to follow to high-level SCL; progressions towards SCL are more fluid in practice.