Student Answering the Math Problems

What is a Student-Centered Classroom? Is it Really Effective?

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Updated 9:04 pm

When knowledge is not the sole element of success, education needs to “evolve” so that students can develop themselves in the most extensive aspects. In light of their importance, classrooms that focus on student engagement are adopted globally as they have proven to be more advantageous than their traditional counterparts.

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Is Student-Centered Classroom Really That Effective?

Definition of “Student-Centered Classroom”

A student-centered classroom or student-centered learning environment is a model of teaching which emphasizes students’ independence in the process of gaining knowledge. In other words, students are more involved during lessons, while teachers mostly guide or help them by giving assessments or advice.

Compared to the conventional education model in which teachers are the focus of the class, the learner-centered approach is increasing in popularity in this 21st Century because it provides students with several crucial skills such as decision-making abilities or leadership skills which the traditional classroom approach can hardly generate.

How Student-Centered Classrooms Works

There are various forms of student-centered models, but according to Analysis of Educational Data in the Current State of University Learning for the Transition to a Hybrid Education Model, they usually constitute 7 factors demonstrated in the below image:

Online education model; student-centered learning. | Download Scientific  Diagram
Villegas, William & Palacios, Xavier & Roman Cañizares, Milton & Luján-Mora, Sergio. (2021). Analysis of Educational Data in the Current State of University Learning for the Transition to a Hybrid Education Model. Applied Sciences. 11. 2068. 10.3390/app11052068.

Aligning to these core components, an educational system can employ diverse measures to construct a student-centered curriculum. Teachers of different subjects can have distinctive take in making their lessons more creative.

One such school in San Francisco, The City Arts and Technology High School, the curriculum which put an emphasis on social justice and empowerment had students in history class prepare educational posters on a criminal justice topic of their choice. Then, students created propaganda for their fliers and topics by directing videos, opening gallery walks, or selling merchandise.

During subjects such as English or Literature, teachers can organize debating sections in which students will state their arguments about controversial notions, “whether school uniforms are mandatory” for example. This model of classrooms is embraced by many students as it is an opportunity to deepen their understanding of a problem through multiple scopes.

These are a few examples of a student-centered lessons that are applicable on an international scale. Students need to gain an active role while learning for a class to be efficacious.

Effectiveness of Student-Centered Model

“Change is the end result of all true learning.”

Leo Buscaglia

In the traditional model, one teacher is usually surrounded by a class of around 30 students who listen silently, trying to absorb all of the wisdom from their teacher’s 45-minute monologue speech. Students in this model are considered to study in a one-sided way, often mentioned as “passive learning”, as neither can they interact with their teachers through questions nor they can communicate with their peers for further discussion on debatable topics.

This highly limits students’ creativity and activeness in class, while creating a distance between teachers and students. For instance, one study also has reinforced the statement in “Taking Science to School by the National Research Council“Teaching content alone is not likely to lead to proficiency in science, nor is engaging in inquiry experiences devoid of meaningful science content.”

In contrast, the student-centered model has proved to be beneficial to both learners and educators. During classes, students will have opportunities to work as a team on projects which specifically improve their collaboration abilities and the relationship between children. When soft skills are growingly demanded in the workplace, students with earlier exposure to collaborative activities will gain more confidence to manage the situation, thus having more chances to take up leading roles.

Furthermore, the emergence of COVID-19 viruses also has positive influences in catalyzing the integration of student-centered models on a global scale as schools have shifted from face-to-face learning to virtual and online classes which forced students and teachers to adapt to the abrupt but necessary transformation.

While adapting to distance learning, students will have to be responsible for supervising their own learning progress and academic achievements. This might be hazardous for young learners, yet it is crucial to raise their independence and prepare them for later changes. Furthermore, because students now have more freedom in choosing what they want to learn besides compulsory subjects, they can have more experiences outside schools and time to learn other asynchronous courses, namely Master Class, Coursera, and edX.

Project Sprouts would love to have you be a part of our community and help us to help worthy children in North Vietnam. At Project Sprouts, we can seek to make a difference in the lives of needy children by giving them school supplies and encouraging them to continue their education; we can give them winter coats, boots, and blankets to help them stay warm during the cold winter months.

You can find out more about Project Sprouts by clicking here or go to our give now page to donate by clicking here. As we are a grassroots organization, all funds go to help those in need.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a student-centered classroom?

A student-centered classroom is an educational approach where the emphasis is placed on the individual needs, interests, and abilities of students. In this environment, students have a more active role in their learning process, making decisions about what and how they learn.

2. How does a student-centered classroom differ from a traditional one?

In a traditional classroom, the teacher is typically the central figure, delivering lectures and directing the learning process. In contrast, a student-centered classroom shifts the focus to the students, allowing them to explore topics independently, collaborate with peers, and take ownership of their learning.

3. What are the key principles of a student-centered classroom?

Key principles include personalized learning, collaboration, inquiry-based learning, self-assessment, and student choice. Teachers act as facilitators, guiding students rather than dictating the learning content.

4. Is a student-centered classroom effective in improving student outcomes?

Yes, research suggests that student-centered classrooms can lead to improved student engagement, critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

5. Are student-centered classrooms suitable for all grade levels?

Student-centered approaches can be adapted for various grade levels, from primary to higher education. The specific methods and degree of student autonomy may vary based on age and developmental stage.

6. How do teachers transition to a student-centered teaching approach?

Teachers can transition by attending professional development workshops, seeking mentorship, and gradually incorporating student-centered practices into their teaching. It often involves rethinking lesson planning and classroom management.

7. What are the challenges of implementing a student-centered classroom?

Challenges may include resistance to change, time constraints, classroom management issues, and the need for resources and training. Overcoming these challenges requires commitment and support from educators and administrators.

8. Can technology play a role in a student-centered classroom?

Yes, technology can enhance student-centered learning by providing access to diverse resources, facilitating personalized learning pathways, and promoting collaboration through online tools and platforms.

9. How does assessment work in a student-centered classroom?

Assessment in student-centered classrooms often includes a mix of formative and summative assessments. It may involve self-assessment, peer assessment, and project-based assessments that align with individualized learning goals.

10. Are there any success stories or examples of student-centered classrooms?

Many educators and schools have successfully implemented student-centered approaches. For example, Montessori schools, project-based learning initiatives, and flipped classrooms are notable examples of student-centered education models.

How Can Education Help Fight Poverty?

The United Nations’ 4th Sustainable Development Goal – Quality Education has emphasized the importance of education in combating not only poverty but also other societal issues.

Learning how education can support impoverished people will help you understand why the world needs education and what the mission of Project Sprouts is

You can read more by reading How Can Education Help Fight Poverty? by clicking here

What Is Distance Learning? How Does It Affect Poor Students?

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of schools in Vietnam, as well as the world, have switched to Distance Learning to safeguard students’ health. This urgent transformation has impacted every aspect of children’s lives, both negatively and positively. Distance Learning also opens many questions regarding education inequalities and children’s cyber safety.

Then, What Is Distance Learning? You can read more by reading What Is Distance Learning? How Does It Affect Poor Students? by clicking here

James Johnstone
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