What Are Student-Centered Approaches?
Video by Nellie Mae Foundation
In the illustration below, hover over each of the four principles of student-centered learning for more in-depth information.
- Learning is Personalized
Personalized learning recognizes that students engage in different ways and in different places. Students benefit from individually paced, targeted learning tasks that start from where the student is, formatively assess existing skills and knowledge, and address the student’s needs and interests.
- Students Take Ownership Over Their Learning
Student-centered learning engages students in their own success—and incorporates their interests and skills into the learning process. Students support each other’s progress and celebrate successes.
- Learning is Competency-Based
Students move ahead when they have demonstrated mastery of content, not when they have reached a certain birthday or completed the required hours in a classroom.
- Learning Happens Anytime, Anywhere
Learning takes place beyond the traditional school day, and even the school year. The school’s walls are permeable - learning is not restricted to the classroom.
Students engage with learning in different ways, so public schools need student-centered strategies to address the differences. Each student has unique talents and skills that shape learning – and we work to promote personalized learning that will give each student the critical thinking, problem solving and other skills needed to graduate from high school prepared to contribute to our communities and lead successful lives. Our public schools will use student-centered approaches to give students the skills they need to succeed after high school and participate in their communities.
Student-centered learning is personalized, engaging, competency-based and not restricted to the classroom. Students take greater responsibility for their learning and support each other’s progress, so every student gets the skills he or she needs to succeed and contribute to society. Student-centered learning engages students in their own success - and incorporates their interests and skills into the learning process. Rather than having educators hand down information, students can engage with their teachers and peers in real time – preparing them to participate in a skilled workforce later in life. Personalized learning recognizes that students engage in different ways, at different paces and in different places – and gives them the skills and tools to obtain the knowledge they need to stay engaged, learning throughout their lives. When every student is achieving at high levels, the rising tide will lift all of us towards a more equitable and prosperous future.*
Student-centered approaches to learning highlight four key tenets, drawn from the mind/brain sciences, learning theory, and research on youth development that are essential to students’ full engagement in achieving deeper learning outcomes:
* Nellie Mae Education Foundation Message Manual