So, I think that student centered learning is a very efficient and unique way to run a school or a class, and I have several ideas as to how we can jump start/continue student centered learning.
One of which is age responsibility. You do need to think about how much responsibility you can give younger kids, like kindergarteners. I think a kindergarten teacher could definitely try asking the kids what they think, to start. Maybe not giving them control, but like when someone defends their case, they talk, you listen. And sometimes what they have to say influences you towards a specific or alternate direction or decision. Like ask them if they like that they are doing something, or asking if something sounds like I good idea.
Also maturity. I have seen first hand how some kindergarteners act, and how some 5th graders act. Some kindergarteners act like 2nd or 3rd graders, some 5th graders act like 2nd or 3rd graders. And then some 5th graders act like 6th or 7th graders, and some kindergarteners probably act like toddlers that can’t share, though I have never seen a kindergartener act as such.
Then really just activity, or content. What are you teaching, what is being taught? Is it something that is mandatory, like MAPS or WKCE? Or is it something flexible, like thinking about if science should be today or tomorrow.
I am completely aware that sometimes things aren’t really flexible, say in middle school, which is why one of the easiest ways to have more student centered learning is to do more projects. In my Social Studies class we do lots of research projects, which we can make almost completely our own. The teacher can give us a partner, a topic, a minimum and maximum of information, but the content is still very open.
Right now we are doing the 13 original colonies. Our teacher is giving us our colonies and our partners, but we get to pick the format, the color, the exact details, the pictures… you get the idea.
Projects are just fun ways to gather and present information.Presentations are (can be) very organized. One detail per slide, like for example, if you are making a presentation on the building of Jamestown (my last project) you could have the materials on one slide and the location on another. Easy!!
And you can do it in any class.
For Literacy you can do presentations on books. (and include author info, theme, summary…)
For Math you could do the steps to a math problem (though that may only be for either a very hard problem or to sort one out by yourself)
For Social Studies, and History, put up the information on a specific topic. (building of Jamestown, founding of Delaware, First President…)
I feel I have been droning, so to recap, student centered learning is simple to achieve, and easy to keep around. Student centered learning is really a fun way to involve and engage students.
And thank you for sticking to this blog all the way to this point.
And since I just blogged about ways to sign off literally 20 minutes ago,