In our view, student-centered learning is a process of learning that puts the needs of the students over the conveniences of planning, policy, and procedure.
Like any phrase, “student-centered learning” is subjective and flexible–and only useful insofar as it ultimately supports the design of learning experiences for students. For example, arguing for a “student-centered approach” to creating curriculum frameworks that center the authentic knowledge needs of each student makes sense, while creating a “student-centered” classroom that gives students little choice in content, voice in product, or a human necessity for creative expression does not. Student-centeredness uses an actual person as an audience, and designs learning experiences backwards from that point.
With that in mind, here are 4 principles of student-centered learning to consider as you design curriculum and instruction.