What Is Student-Centered Learning & Why Is It So Effective?

by | Sep 19, 2022 | Academic Innovations, Experiential Learning, Homepage News

One of the things that makes a Willow education so different and so effective is our studentcentered approach. What is student-centered learning, and how does it work? Our new eBook helps explain this philosophy and its impact on classroom design, lesson planning, and, most importantly, your child! Click here to download it for free now!

Defining student-centered learning

Student-centered learning is a progressive educational approach that places children at the center of their own education. Guided by experienced teachers, this approach guides students to choose their activities, engaging in individual exploration at their own pace while working towards the benchmarks and goals teachers have set forth.

“The beginning of a school year should be more structured than the end of the school year,” Willow Lower School Director Sally Zeiner explains. “For example, students don’t come in ready to be in charge of their whole day in first grade. Teachers take off the training wheels slowly and gradually increase students’ freedom as they develop the necessary skills.”

In this model, teachers create a classroom environment where students can easily access what they need for all of their projects and subjects, encourage  collaboration, and work with students one-on-one to help them build their understanding at their own pace. Students’ passions are nurtured, and they are able to build confidence without competition.

Student-centered learning builds key life skills

In student-centered classrooms, children develop executive functioning (EF) skills that usually aren’t emphasized in traditional school settings. EF skills include planning, adaptable thinking, self-control, working memory, time management, and organization. When children have ownership of their learning, they decide what they want to work on first and how. Students find materials, build checklists, solve problems, and decide, (with their teacher’s help), when they’re ready to move on.

Want to learn more? Download our eBook! Click here to download our free eBook today. See student-centered learning in action by visiting Willow! Click here to request a personal tour with our Director of Enrollment Management, Lisa VanderVeen.

Learn how to encourage Executive Functioning at home when you request our guide. We will email it to you immediately

Director of Enrollment Management Lisa VanderVeen is here to help! Contact her at (908) 470-9500, ext. 1100 or via email.

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