How to Facilitate Student-Centered Instruction

23 Ways to Facilitate Student-Centered Instruction

1. SUPPORTS METACOGNITION

Learner-centered instruction helps students think about their teaching during learning events.

2. WHAT DO THEY LIKE?

Interests and affinities are assessed through inventories and pre-testing

3. STUDENTS MAKE DECISIONS

Kids have a say in what, when, and how they learn.

4. PROVIDE STRUCTURE WHEN NEEDED

Some students need more support and direction.

5. GAMIFY IT

Activate the mechanics that foster super-engagement.

6. TEACHERS LISTEN & OFFER CHOICES

Students feelings and affinities are cultivated and incorporated into a choice-based curriculum.

7. SHIFT AWAY FROM WHOLE CLASS DISCUSSION

“Emphasize small and independent inquiry groups.” (Source: TEAL Center)

8. SHIFT FOCUS

Shift from focusing on what much be taught to what must be learned. (Source: Barbara L. McCombs & Jo Sue Whisler)

9. ​ASK THE BIG QUESTION

How can you make students forget the clock?

10. KEEP IT REAL

Use authentic activities and primary sources.

11. CHANGE ROLES

Let kids teach themselves, other kids, & you.

12. ACTIVITIES PROMOTE EVERY STUDENT THINKING

Reflective writing, think-pair-share, debates…

13. PBL

Students inquire and solve authentic problems.

14. GAIN ATTENTION WITH “HAVE YOU EVER?”

Ask kidsto raise green paper if they have done the thing you are asking, or red paper, if they haven’t. “Have you ever ...?” Qs can be connected to the subject you are teaching. (Source: Tarja Mykrä)

15. DIVERSITY-SENSITIVE CURRICULUM

Diversity of the student population is considered when selecting relevant texts and experiences.

16. TEACHERS SEEK OTHERS’ WISDOM

Instructional coaches, PLCs, admin., fellow-teachers, students, are consulted: “How can I make this lesson better?”

1​7. USE 21st CENTURY TOOLS

Students learn to read and create digital texts. Social media is leveraged.

18. LEARNER-CENTERED TEACHERS DON’T…

Emphasize coverage, which leads to memorization.  

19. DON'T PRIORITIZE GRADES OVER LEARNING

Neglect to explain the course learning goals.

20. LEVERAGE TECH

Ignore student concerns. (Source: Maryellen Weimer via Gloria Wright)

21. DIG INTO THE CONTENT

“Use methods, processes, and vocabularies intrinsic to specific content areas.” (Source: Francisca Sanchez)

22. VARY APPROACHES

  • - Case method instruction
  • - Team-based learning
  • - PBL
  • - Observation
  • - Dialogue and reflection (Source: Diane Harkins)

23. SOLICITS STUDENT FEEDBACK

Teachers ask, “How can we make the learning experience more helpful? Engaging?”

Todd Finley

Edutopia Blogger and Asst. Editor || ECU Ed Professor || Founder of Todd's Brain at www.todd-finley.com || Books: Dinkytown Braves and Rethinking Classroom Design.

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