15 Examples of Student-Centered Teaching

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student-centered-teaching15 Examples of Student-Centered Teaching

by Terry Heick

15 Examples of Student-Centered Teaching–And 15 That Are Not So Much

On Sunday, we’re going to release a basic framework to begin to make sense of what “student-centered learning” mean in a modern classroom. (We’d have released it today, but Fridays are slow days in terms of traffic.)

We didn’t get too carried away and progressive with it–our goal was to help clarify for practicing teachers in existing K-12 classrooms a useful definition for student-centered learning. So I piggy-backed on our staff’s work (we’ll come back and update this post with a link then) with examples–15 examples of teacher-centered learning, and 15 examples of student-centered learning.

The text is shown below, but it reads better in the graphic as you can read both side-by-side for comparison’s sake. As always, comments and reactions are encouraged in comments below.

Teacher-Centered (Not-Student Centered)

  1. Being clear about how to do well in your class
  2. Admonishing students to “think”
  3. Helping students master content
  4. Helping students continuously practice and revise how they perform on one assessment form
  5. Creating curriculum and instruction around standards
  6. Handing students a rubric or scoring guide
  7. Letting students choose the project’s product
  8. Choosing “power standards” in a staff meeting in the middle of a summer PD with the other 4 teachers from your department or grade level
  9. Allowing students to choose from two novels that are unlike anything they’ve ever seen or experienced in their lives
  10. Worksheets, essays
  11. Giving struggling readers a few extra minutes to read a 17 page short story
  12. Starting class with a standard and target
  13. Giving an on-demand assignment even though you just finished a writing piece or unit
  14. Think letter grades
  15. Grading everything

Student-Centered (Not Teacher-Centered)

  1. Being clear about how you will promote, measure, and celebrate understanding
  2. Modeling for students how to “think”
  3. Helping students understand what’s worth understanding
  4. Diversifying what you accept as evidence of understanding
  5. Creating curriculum and instruction around a need to know
  6. Collaborating with students to create the rubric or scoring guide
  7. Letting students choose the project’s purpose
  8. Choosing “power standards” from your curriculum after meeting with both students, parents, and community members that voice their unique societal and cultural needs
  9. Letting students choose their own media form that reflects the purpose of the reading
  10. Choice boards
  11. Placing struggling readers in a lit circle that gives them an authentic role that they can be successful in, allows them to hear oral fluency and reading speed modeled, and keeps them from feeling “broken”
  12. Starting class with a story
  13. Using the on-demand writing prompt as the summative assessment
  14. Think feedback
  15. Choosing what’s graded carefully, and considering other work as practice
  • Joe deLarios

    It is amazing that we have been able to educate so many in the past without the aid of student centered learning.