Learning theories support the use of student-centered instruction to foster engagement, critical thinking skills, problem solving strategies, and transfer of information.
What is Student-Centered Learning?
Student-centered learning involves a shift in the classroom dynamic. Rather than teachers being in control of all aspects of the class, students gain ownership over their own work by being involved in the design, implementations, and assessment of learning activities.
Allows students to share in decision making
Promotes leadership and interest-based learning
Teaching and learning are personalized (learning needs, interests, aspirations, cultural backgrounds, etc.)
Learning is flexible and can occur in and beyond the classroom
Project Based Learning (PBL)
"Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge" (Buck Institute)
"Student-centered assessments ask open-ended questions that force learners to reflect and synthesize what they have learned. They demand that students access higher orders of thinking" (Powell).
Encourage & Facilitate Collaboration
"Student-centered classrooms are big on collaboration, which means they don't usually have rows of desks facing a teacher lectern or desk. Instead, desks or tables are arranged so that it's easy for students to collaborate on projects or on analyzing readings (rather than listening to lectures)" (Powell).