As an educator, I am constantly seeking ways to be innovative, more authentic, and more engaging in my teaching. Through exploring various learning theories and examining the way that students and adults learn both in and beyond the classroom, it became clear to me that I was focused entirely too much on what I was doing as an educator, rather than what I should be encouraging my students to do. Enter student-centered learning. This concept, which empowers students to take ownership of their learning and shifts the teacher to a facilitator or coach aligns with multiple learning theories which suggest that individuals learn best when they are personally engaged in the content, motivated to learn, find the learning authentic or personalized, and have the opportunity to transfer skills and information across subject-matters. Student-centered learning achieves all of these goals, allowing learners to grow in meaningful ways.
In my personal theory of learning, available here, I explore the various theories of learning that support a student-centered model. My goal is not to focus on the classroom or teaching, but rather, I aim to explore why learners learn best in student-centered environments and how the structure of learning impacts the success of a learner. As a companion to my theory of learning, I have also created an infographic, designed to support teachers in establishing a more student-centered mindset. The infographic contains basic information about the benefits of student-centered learning as well as ideas for implementing these ideas in the classroom. Finally, I wanted to provide handy references for teachers who would like to know more or continue exploring learning theories or student-centered learning; I included a link to a Youtube playlist and Google folder containing such resources.
My hope is that this collection of resources will inspire educators and learners alike to embrace a student-centered mindset, increasing both engagement and achievement.
An offline version of the infographic (without active links) can be found below. For a live version, please click here.