We recommend that educators spend time watching, reading, and thinking about “Core Elements of Teaching Practice in Student-Centered Learning.” In this project, produced in collaboration with Jobs for the Future and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s “Students at the Center” initiative, Kathleen Cushman and Barbara Cervone of What Kids Can Do documented practices in six high schools that value student-centered learning. Cushman and Cervone interviewed and observed teachers, students, and administrators, producing more than 200 short video clips of students talking about their learning.

As Cushman and Cervone note, “From our research, a collection of core elements came to the fore. We named the elements from the vantage point of practitioners who enact them daily–who may be unaware of their research base but are acute observers of their visible impact.” These interdependent core elements are:

> Strong relationships with students

> Personalization and choice in curricular and instructional tasks

> Appropriate challenge levels for each learner

> Supporting students’ social and emotional growth and identity development

> Anytime, anywhere, and real-world learning

> Technology that is integral to teaching and learning

> Clear, timely assessment and support

> Fostering autonomy and lifelong learning

Cushman and Cervone offer further analysis of these elements with added description and video examples; we’re grateful for their inspiring and practical approach and for the research results, which demonstrate the impact that student-centered teaching can make.

Click here to access “Core Elements of Teaching Practice in Student-Centered Learning.”

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