Student-Centered Learning

Quin, Ezra, and Owen participate in genius hour in teacher Melisa Hayes’ 2nd grade class at Avery Elementary School in Hilliard, Ohio.
Quin, Ezra, and Owen participate in genius hour in teacher Melisa Hayes’ 2nd grade class at Avery Elementary School in Hilliard, Ohio.
Maddie McGarvey
Executive Skills & Strategy 'Genius Hour' Lets Kids Take Charge: Would Einstein Have Liked This?
Teachers open doors for students to fuel their curiosity and pursue passion projects, but educators warn against making it a free-for-all.
Madeline Will, November 5, 2019
10 min read
Teaching Video How One Principal Transformed His School With Student-Centered Learning
When Principal Hamish Brewer came to Fred M. Lynn Middle School in 2017, the school was considered one of the most challenged in Prince William County, Va. The school had lost its accreditation. Forty percent of students at the school are English-language learners and 87 percent are low-income. But through a series of changes—both philosophical and practical—Brewer and his team are turning the school around. With a laser-focus on the needs of students—including how the school looks and feels—the school has earned back its accreditation in just over a year and a half.
March 25, 2019
3:00
Special Report What Student-Centered Schools Look Like
What does it take to assure that a school serves the student—rather than the other way around—in everything from engagement and security to clean air and the lunch schedule? This special report takes an in-depth look.
March 13, 2019
Teaching A Student Advises His Teachers on How to Improve
Zion Freeman saw positive changes in his history class after a conversation with his teacher on how to make the lessons more engaging and collaborative.
Denisa R. Superville, March 12, 2019
2 min read
Lila Berg, a 6th grader in Wayland, Mass., said her advisory group has helped her form friendships with other students and provides a source for academic help.
Lila Berg, a 6th grader in Wayland, Mass., said her advisory group has helped her form friendships with other students and provides a source for academic help.
Gretchen Ertl for Education Week
Teaching New 6th Grader Finds Friends, Support in Advisory Group
Lila Berg was starting middle school in a new town, making the often rocky transition to 6th grade potentially even more fraught.
Evie Blad, March 12, 2019
1 min read
Principal Betsy Gavron of Wayland Middle School, in Wayland, Mass., takes part in an un-birthday celebration for the school’s 6th grade advisory group, which sets aside unstructured time for students to build relationships and bond with each other.
Principal Betsy Gavron of Wayland Middle School, in Wayland, Mass., takes part in an un-birthday celebration for the school’s 6th grade advisory group, which sets aside unstructured time for students to build relationships and bond with each other.
Gretchen Ertl for Education Week
Student Well-Being How Schools Can Make Advisories Meaningful for Students and Teachers
Advisory periods—that common block of time in middle and high school schedules intended to strengthen relationships in schools—often feel burdensome to teachers and useless to students. But some schools are finding ways to make advisories matter.
Evie Blad, March 12, 2019
8 min read
Future of Work Opinion 20 Signs of Progress at Singapore American School
A look at the progress seen at Singapore American School when it comes to prepping students for life and college and 20 signs of progress in talent development, care and guidance, and high impact teaching.
Tom Vander Ark, November 7, 2018
9 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion Five Reasons Author Visits Are More Than Just Cool
Reading a book and meeting the author is not just a cool event to shake up the regular school routine--it's a powerful learning opportunity that can affect students academically and personally.
Ariel Sacks, October 31, 2018
9 min read
Teaching Opinion Randy Ziegenfuss on Teacher Leadership and Student-Centered Learning
Tom chats with Randy Ziegenfuss about his journey as an educator, his time at Salisbury and his podcast, "Shift Your Paradigm."
Tom Vander Ark, October 17, 2018
4 min read
Future of Work Opinion The Evolution of the Denver Public Schools Portfolio
Denver Public Schools is the district to watch when it comes to portfolios. Tom shares how the DPS portfolio model is the one to watch.
Tom Vander Ark, October 8, 2018
6 min read
Teaching Opinion The Promise & Challenge of Student-Centered Learning
From the role of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to policy levers each state should have, Tom takes a deep look into the promise, and challenge, of student-centered learning.
Tom Vander Ark, September 24, 2018
13 min read
Teaching Opinion Listening to Kids and Designing from Scratch for Timeless Learning
After 32 years as an Albemarle County educator, Pam Moran sat down with Tom Vander Ark to reflect on her career and discuss her latest book.
Tom Vander Ark, August 29, 2018
6 min read
Teaching Opinion Why We Might Consider Teaching Less This Year
We really don't need to be in the front of the room talking--pointing at a slide, rapidly firing questions at students and cold calling to make sure they are paying attention--in order to be "teaching." We know this, yet we still do it so much of the time. Just take a quick walk through the halls of your school and peek into each classroom. Where is the teacher? Who's talking?
Ariel Sacks, August 8, 2018
3 min read
Teaching Opinion Tips For Selecting a Book For the Whole Class
There is little more difficult than trying to engage a whole class of students in reading a novel that is a poor match for the group. There are things teachers can do to influence the experience in one direction or another, but a great deal rests purely on the book itself...Once we have some possible titles in mind, we need to think through our decisions very carefully, going in with as clear an understanding of what might work really well about the book and what might be challenging or disappointing about it. Below is an excerpt adapted from Whole Novels For the Whole Class: A Student Centered Approach (2014) about five key factors I weigh when I select a book for my whole class to read.
Ariel Sacks, July 26, 2018
5 min read