ResourcesSearch or view all
Student-centered teaching and learning (31)
Student-Centered Teaching and Learning focuses on the needs, abilities, interests, and learning styles of the students and has many implications for the design of curriculum, course content, and interactivity of courses. Accordingly, a prominent pedagogy will be teacher-as-coach, to provoke students to learn how to learn and thus to teach themselves, rather than the more traditional teacher-centered learning with teacher-as-deliverer-of-instructional-services, which places the teacher at its center in an active role and students in a passive, receptive role. This pedagogy acknowledges student voice as central to the learning experience for every learner and requires students to be active, responsible participants in their own learning. To capitalize on this, teaching and learning should be personalized to the maximum feasible extent. Decisions about the details of the course of study, the use of students’ and teachers’ time, and the choice of teaching materials and specific pedagogies must be unreservedly placed in the hands of the staff and students.
Transforming: Practice is reflected in student outcomes.
- Students take leadership in classroom, present their work, and facilitate groups. Students take ownership of their reading, writing, and learning to develop, test, and refine their thinking. Students engage in talk that is accountable to the text or task, the learning community, and standards of reasoning. Learning is negotiated and directed by students.
- The content and delivery of instruction is culturally responsive and respects and builds on the diverse resources and experiences of learners in the classroom. The school community uses best practices in language acquisition to support academic development and support in both English and native languages.
- Students work in flexible, cooperative groupings to solve problems and analyze texts to demonstrate understanding of a task or concept through multiple perspectives.
- The school supports the inclusion of all students, including English-language learners and special needs students, in regular academic classrooms through the use of best practices, such as dual-certified teachers, differentiated instruction, qualified aides, and individualized learning plans.
- Students consistently develop their own reasoning around concepts and ideas and can articulate the processes and thinking they engaged in while grappling with a task or idea. Students listen to one another as well as to their teachers, and they exchange different ideas to build upon and apply new learning and approaches to their own understanding of a concept or idea that increase in complexity.
- Students apply the habits of mind for reading, writing, and thinking in various genres and disciplines. Students make connections, pose questions, and explore solutions as a means to engage in real-world scenarios and application transfer. They apply knowledge to different contexts and scenarios.
- Talk and focus in all groupings use multiple strategies. Students use physical environment and discussions about group roles to explore various concepts and apply them to different scenarios or problems.
- Teachers plan the types of questions and prompts at multiple entry points throughout a lesson, which build students’ understanding of, and engagement toward, concepts and ideas and their application to real-world scenarios. Each teacher has clear and measurable objectives for what students will know and be able to do as a result of a lesson.
- The arts and vocational interests are included in academic curriculum, increasing students’ engagement, motivating students with a variety of learning styles to succeed in high school and pursue higher education, and developing students’ academic and intellectual growth.
- Schools value the health of all students, teaching them positive ways to bring balance to life’s challenges and a proactive, positive approach to wellness.
- Student work is collected in a portfolio representing a selection of performance. A portfolio may include a student’s best pieces and the student’s evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the pieces. It may also contain one or more works-in-progress that illustrate the creation of a product such as an essay evolving through various stages of conception, drafting, and revision.
- Students are assessed for process, group work, and product.
- Student voices are connected with adult allies (teachers, families, communities) toward the goal of improving student life, school culture, student communities, and students’ overall development.
- Examples of student-centered teaching and learning practices include advisory, service learning, internships, and project-based learning.
Developing: Practice is reflected in teacher planning and instruction.
- Thinking and discourse are thoughtful and extend ideas or develop new understanding.
- All students are challenged and supported in learning at their own level.
- Thinking and work is learning-based, not task-based.
- Teachers have clear and consistent expectations and supports for student learning, and students are clear as to what proficient work entails.
- Work is mostly rigorous. Students can articulate the how and why of their learning.
Early: Learning about and planning for the practice has become important to the teaching staff.
- Staff development has occurred or been planned around student-centered teaching and learning strategies.
- Teachers have begun to increase their expectations for student learning and engagement.
- Teachers have begun to recognize that they must connect learning outcomes to students needs.
- There is recognition that students need more support that they are receiving in the current practice and structure of the school.
- Work is still all task- or product-driven.
- Assessment is limited to work habits and does not address learning.
- Planning revolves around content, not student engagement and understanding.
In Our Own Hands Students from High Tech High describe their experiences.
We are currently hosting a forum dedicated to questions and discussions about the CES School Benchmarks.
- What Makes an Elementary School 'Essential'? Sidebars:Elementary School Networks for ChangeAn Essential Elementary School Explains Itself to Visitors Two Approaches to Knowing Students BetterEssential School Qualities in Other Elementary... March 14, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman
- Twittering About Learning: Using Twitter in an Elementary School Classroom Many years ago, when I first started teaching, a colleague showed me a great technique for communicating with families: At the end of the day, she used a 24- by 16-inch chart tablet to produce... July 21, 2009 by Jeff Kurtz - Instruction, Technology And Information Literacy
- Using Time Well: Schedules in Essential Schools Sidebars:Basic "4 by 4" semester block schedule.Intensive foreign language acquisition using the "4 by 4" semester block schedule. Three 100-minute classes a day on alternating days year-long.... March 14, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - Learning Structures, Scheduling
- Essential Schools' 'Universal Goals': How Can Heterogeneous Grouping Help? Once we expect every student to meet the highest goals, the reasons weaken for separating classes in ability groups. But what else has to change when schools stop tracking? How can kids so various... March 14, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - Learning Structures, Heterogeneous Grouping, Cooperative Learning
- Adventures in Web 2.0: Introducing Social Networking into My Teaching “As new technologies shape literacies, they bring opportunities for teachers at all levels to foster reading and writing in more diverse and participatory contexts.” –“A... July 21, 2009 by Honor Moorman - Instruction, Technology And Information Literacy
- Why Small Schools Are Essential Why Small Schools Are Essential Volume 13, Number 3January, 1997 SidebarsWhat Research Has Found About Small SchoolsPhiladelphia's "Small Learning Communities"Why Do Students Do Better in... March 14, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - Learning Structures, Small Learning Communities, Personalization
- Ten by Ten: Essential Schools That Exemplify the Ten Common Principles 1 2 3 4 5 6 ref="#7">7 8 9 10 Schools play out the Coalition's Ten Common... April 29, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - The Change Process, Democratic Practice, Common Principles
- Four Essential Elements of School Design When we at the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) talk about "school design," we refer not to the physical design of the school building (though that also deserves attention), but to decisions... March 14, 2002 by Kathy Simon - Learning Structures, Small Learning Communities, Scheduling, Heterogeneous Grouping, Peer Coaching
- What Good Schools Do When Their Students Don't Do Well Sidebars:Retention May Backfire, the Research CautionsAt This Summer School, Teachers Learn TooA Network to Help Out Mentor ProgramsBoosting Achievement by Reporting It BetterHow Do Kids See Their... May 10, 2002 - Instruction, Personalization
- Student Development: How Essential School Practices and Designs Can Help Sidebars:Middle Schools Reflect Essential School IdeasDo Boys And Girls Need Different Things in School?Confronting Moral Questions Within Academic DisciplinesA Coaching Approach to... April 30, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - Instruction, Essential Questions, Personalization
- Making the Good Essential School Better: The Essential Question of Rigor Sidebars:The Tuning Protocol: A Process for Reflection on Teacher and Student WorkIndicators of Classroom ThoughtfulnessWork in Progress: A School's 'Mastery Guidelines' When we put student work... April 29, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - Heterogeneous Grouping, Peer Coaching, Looking At Student Work, Teacher Collaboration & Learning
- Elements of Smallness Create Conditions for Success Since not all small school restructuring outcomes are equal, care must be taken to insure that these resources and efforts will be truly productive. The last thing small school proponents want to see... December 13, 2002 by Jill Davidson - Learning Structures, Small Learning Communities
- Essential School Pathways: Connecting Across Grades Sidebars:What is a School Pathway?How Can Pathways Move Innovation Into the Mainstream?Elementary Schools Form Networks for ChangePathway Summer: Teachers Try Out New Practices Across the... April 29, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - Learning Structures
- Digital Portfolios: Documenting Student Growth The digital portfolio process at Camino Nuevo High School (CNHS) offers an essential 21st century skill to our students. All students are trained in basic web design to build and maintain their... December 02, 2009 by Matthew Cramer - Instruction, Technology And Information Literacy
- What Makes for Powerful Learning? Students Tell Their Own Experiences What works best to engage, motivate, and challenge students to learn? In the midst of the national fervor to raise the quality of teaching and learning, educators or policymakers often forget to... June 19, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - Instruction, Personalization, Student-as-worker, Cooperative Learning
- Technology as a Fence and a Bridge Note from the author: Over the past few years I’ve become increasingly curious about the role of technology in the classroom. I’m interested in teacher attitudes toward new technologies... July 21, 2009 by Bryan Wehrli - Instruction, Technology And Information Literacy
- Math and Science in the Essential School Sidebars: Some Ways Math And Science Are Used McDonald's Claim Changing Words Into Graphs How Newton's Laws Shape Our Culture Order Out of Chaos For Further Reading Integrating math and science... April 30, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - Curriculum, Subject Integration, Cooperative Learning
- Dilemmas of Planning Backwards: Rescuing a Good Idea Some ideas make too much sense. One is the idea that we can improve schools by holding them accountable for the right outcomes. This is the idea behind the work of the National Goals Panel, behind... April 29, 2002 by Joe McDonald - Assessment, Planning Backwards
- The Process of Planning Backwards: Stories from Three Schools One outgrowth of the nine Common Principles that underpin the work of the Coalition of Essential Schools1 is the notion of planning backwards. It is a means by which a school can focus on the end... April 29, 2002 by Jody Brown Podl - Assessment, Planning Backwards
- Horace’s Legacy: Learning with Purpose, A Proposal to Add Two New Common Principles “Purpose serves as a principle around which to organize our lives.” -Anonymous There’s a story told about a farmer from Nebraska. It seems that every year the farmer grew amazing,... December 02, 2009 by Joe Greenberg - Common Principles
- Having the Courage To Act on Your Beliefs: Horace Interviews Marcy Raymond and Dan Hoffman on the Founding and Influence of Metro High School Metro High School, in Columbus, Ohio, is a public high school emphasizing math, science, and technology in a small, personalized learning environment. Originally conceived through a grant from CES... December 12, 2008
- Teaching in the Essential School Sidebars:Essential Math and Science : How Can It Work?Designing Assignments Across DisciplinesWhat About Teacher Education?Information and Resources It has become a truism in education that the... March 14, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - Instruction, Subject Integration, Student-as-worker
- Good Habits “Mr. —.” Before I looked up from my grade book, I recognized the voice. “Yes, Diana,” I replied. Diana had been in my advisory the previous year as a freshman. She and... December 02, 2009 by Sean Ottmer
- Distance Learning and the CES Common Principles Sometimes our classroom is quiet. You might hear the tapping of the computer keys and an occasional chuckle or a sigh. Two or three students sit at separate tables; one is focused on the laptop... July 21, 2009 by Jennie Hallisey - Instruction, Technology And Information Literacy
- Equity Drives Essential Schools' Push for Adolescent Literacy Sidebars:A Student Looks Back on His Reading LifeAcademic Literacy: Awareness, Skills, ContentHelping Students Learn How Good Readers Approach a TextThe Arts As a Natural Partner to... May 10, 2002 - Curriculum, Subject Integration, Student-as-worker, Projects & Units
- The Power of Service-Learning: One School’s Quest I had no idea when I started this experience how much real learning I would actually do. So much of the understanding of something is not found in a book or classroom experience. It was only when I... April 02, 2008 by Kim Huseman, Lawrence Kohn - Community Collaboration, Service-Learning
- Learning Technology Skills Through Social Entrepreneurialism The only complaint I heard at the ninth grade Applied Technology final exhibition was, “Only $3,000? But I want to make a donation to every organization!” I had to agree. It was a... July 21, 2009 by Jean Pendleton - Instruction, Technology And Information Literacy, Service-Learning
- How Right He Had It I began my professional life as a bilingual high school teacher in Boston before there was actually much formal “bilingual education” to be had. A small group of great teachers and a... December 02, 2009 by Larry Myatt - Ted Sizer, Horace's Compromise
- Always There Everybody seems to have a short memory, which is why we keep making mistakes in this country. This is supposed to be why we study history. The history of the education reform movement from the 1960s... December 02, 2009 by Dennis Littky - Ted Sizer
- Doing Something Real: Horace interviews with Debbie Meier on Community Service Deborah Meier began her teaching career as a kindergarten and Head Start teacher in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City. She was the founder and teacher-director of a network of highly successful... April 02, 2008 - Community Collaboration
- Katrina Volunteer From July 10 to July 31, 2006, I went to New Orleans as a volunteer with a non-profit organization called People’s Organizing Committee (POC). This organization’s main goal was to get the... March 27, 2008 by Julius Rainey - Instruction, Student-as-worker