Student-Centered Education Includes Everything
Student-centered education is a frame of mind that puts student needs first in every aspect of education. Student-centered learning enabled by school and classroom practice is at the core of it, but student-centered education is bigger than that. It entails state and local policy, governance, learning pathways, funding, family and community engagement—everything.
Here are some overriding principles:
- Educators and policy makers fundamentally believe that all students can learn and go as far as their dreams take them. They believe that sorting students out with a pass-fail mentality is antithetical to that premise.
- Equity and cultural literacy are engrained in education policy, governance, funding, and practice.
- Pathways and transition points are structured between and among education institutions so learners are well prepared for the next level and encounter minimum barriers (in curriculum alignment, capacity, cost, and access). Students clearly understand their options and opportunities along those pathways.
- Schools see themselves and operate every day as intentional learning organizations for educators as well as students. Administrators are primarily instructional leaders. Professional collaboration to improve student learning occurs daily, and eductors are accorded ample time for that purpose.
- Preservice preparation, recruitment, in-service professional development, compensation, advancement, leadership development, and support of educators are geared to create and sustain student-centered education.
- Schools and educators embrace and empower partners helpful to student learning, whether community-based organizations, businesses, or other education institutions.
- Education funding is focused on student outcomes more than enrollment.