5 Ways to Make Your Classroom Student-Centered
I am once again writing about one of my favorite subjects — student-centered learning environments! Thanks to the folks at Education Week, I’d like to share 5 steps that can help teachers create a student-centered classroom environment for students in any age group.
- First thing to consider when creating a student-centered classroom environment is “how does the classroom environment promote interaction among learners?” This is a pivotal first question because it should help teachers understand their role in the classroom. Since student-centered classrooms demand full student participation, this question should help teachers understand the need to “give up absolute control” inside the classroom.
- When creating a student-centered classroom environment, teachers should also consider the “kinds of assessment tools used to evaluate student performance.” The best kinds of assessments, in a student-centered environment, are the kinds of assessments that access student knowledge while also providing a space for a student’s creative expression.
- Teachers must also consider how they engage students in the learning process when creating a student-centered classroom environment. I believe the best way to engage a student in the learning process is to know and understand a student’s “passion and interest.”
- Flexibility as well as the ability to share authority in the classroom is another clear sign of a student-centered classroom environment. Student-centered classrooms allow students “to add to the conversation instead of always listening and taking in information.” “Shifting perspective [for teachers] means … deciding whether to think and act as facilitators who empower (and learn from) our students—or as the people guarding the vault.”
- Finally, teachers must consider whether students experience a joy of learning within the classroom. This is essential because it determines a student’s ability to fully invest in the learning process. Questions to consider: do students feel safe taking chances in the classroom … do they feel safe enough to fail … do they feel safe trying again? I believe a student-centered classroom environment offers students the best opportunity to take academic and social risks (in a safe and nurturing environment).
All of our classrooms can be thriving student-centered learning spaces if we take these 5 easy steps. tlb