Creating a Student-Centered Classroom

May 16, 2013


In the Classroom

We’re all familiar with the traditional classroom model: a teacher stands at the front of the room imparting knowledge while students listen quietly at their desks. We’re also familiar with the reality of the situation; as the lecture progresses, a scan of the room often reveals glazed eyes, unsolicited conversation, and, now more than ever, the surreptitious tapping of fingers across a mobile screen.  No matter how clear the teacher’s lesson might be, it’s obvious that students simply aren’t getting it.

One approach that seeks to change this traditional model is student-centered learning, which encourages students to seek and analyze information on their own, rather than looking to teachers as the sole source of knowledge. Instead of being talked at, students engage in conversation about the topic. Instead of handing out information, teachers act as educational guides, offering learning tools that allow students to form their own conclusions and, ultimately, take responsibility for their own education.

But how can teachers create this kind of learning environment? We’ve provided a few resources to inspire you.

1. Teaching methods  North Carolina State University offers a host of articles on student-centered teaching methods, including active learning, cooperative learning, and inductive teaching and learning.

2. Five strategies for math and other subjects A secondary math teacher offers specific strategies for creating a student-centered classroom, including an actual lesson plan he’s used for his geometry students.

3. Student-centered discussion This video follows an AP English teacher and her students step by step as they sustain a rigorous class discussion about a short story.

For more ideas, check out our post on Project-Based Learning.

Do you facilitate student-centered learning in your classroom? What results have you seen?

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All Comments (1)

zoe May 20, 2013 at 3:52 pm



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