Student-Centered Learning in a 21st Century Classroom


The Vermont Transformation calls for Vermont educators to focus on student-centered learning.  What is it? Student-Centered Learning in a 21st Century Classroom is complex and multifaceted. I believe it is important for all educators to periodically review their understanding of what it is.

Most educators, when asked, can describe their understanding of student-centered learning. Is it a limited understanding? When attempting this it is important to consider the following:

-          Is your definition limited by past experiences?

-          Is it based on current best practice models and strategies?

-          How effectively does it incorporate the use of 21st century tools?

-          Do you know what you don’t know?


Often times, using their present instructional model, teachers have taken technology as far as they can. A model based on true student-centered learning is the next step many must take to extend and expand learning opportunities supported by effective technology integration.


We will re-examine our beliefs around, and our understanding of, student-centered learning with the goal of expanding and extending our understanding of SCL in a 21st century context.

-          Practices & Strategies

-          Classroom & School Culture

-          Curriculum

-          Environment


Curriculum & Instruction

-          You can’t deal with one without the other... SCL is impacted by, and impacts, both curriculum and instruction

-          SCL must be purposefully integrated. It doesn’t happen automatically

-          SCL will look different at various grade levels... yet it will be remarkably the same throughout K-16


Understanding and Implementing SCL are two very different things. Understanding is a lot less difficult than implementing. Systems often get in the way of SCL. But systems can change.


Let’s start by examining our present understanding of student-centered learning.  Go to Stage 1 on the sidebar.