The most important consideration for a school is to make sure students graduate with the skills they need to succeed in the future.
When facilities are purposefully designed around the idea of a student-centered learning environment, student success is inevitable.
Student-centered versus teacher-centered
The traditional model of teacher-centered learning was the structure followed for years. In this context, a teacher imparts their wisdom to students in a one-way system. One flaw of this structure is that the education provided is often limited by the teacher’s knowledge and life experience.
In a student-centered learning environment, students collaborate with their instructors, who take the students’ thoughts, opinions, and learning style into consideration while teaching. This leads to a number of benefits for students.
Below, we explore three benefits of a student-centered learning environment.
1. Students take an active role in their education
It can be a challenge to teach a child when they aren’t excited about what they’re learning. In a student-centered learning environment, rather than being taught at, students collaborate with their teachers and learn together. Students establish a relationship with their teacher where they can bounce ideas and questions off one another, something which would be more challenging in a teacher-centered environment.
Research suggests student-centered learning should be introduced at the earliest stages of the education process and illustrates that a passive learning environment is unsuitable for students.
Passive learning, which is more commonly recognized as lecture learning or rote learning, provides fewer opportunities for assessing student comprehension, may be boring for many students, and leads to a less involved learning experience.
The benefit of a student-centered educational philosophy, with pillars such as flexibility and interdisciplinary learning, is that students make decisions when it comes to their education.
Schools like the International School of Beijing (ISB) that take a student-centered approach do so in part by designing facilities around this principle, with open and flexible learning spaces, outdoor learning environments, hands-on learning, and more.
2. Earning admission to a great post-secondary institution
A great student-centered school should be able to provide the knowledge and skills a child needs to move forward in their career.
When programs are student-centered, your child will be better prepared for the challenges of the university of their choice.
Student-centered learning environments inspire inquiry in students, which research has shown is key to developing a lifelong love of learning.
When schools have a philosophy of centering the focus on student learning, as ISB does, they incorporate methods into the curriculum such as mediating discussions between students and guiding lessons as opposed to dictating them. These schools also offer flexible learning environments to inspire choice in students and teaching staff.
3. Development of key character traits
By providing students with the tools they need to succeed, they are able to develop important life skills that they will carry with them.
Research has shown students who learn in student-centered environments are more confident, are better able to articulate their thoughts and opinions, are better leaders, and find joy through educating themselves.
These benefits, in addition to a world-class education, are essential to ensuring your child has the best opportunities provided to them to be successful.
Now that you understand the benefits of a student-centered learning environment, it’s important to see where – and how – this philosophy is put into practice. Click here to discover six characteristics of an innovative school campus and how they help student learning.