Jobs for the Future (JFF) recently released three papers as the beginning of a series in its new project “Students at the Center: Teaching and Learning in the Era of the Common Core.” The first three papers focus on:

  1. What student-centered teaching and instruction looks like
  2. How school districts can approach student-centered learning; and
  3. The brain function behind effective learning. (See Tom’s review of Mind, Brain & Education)

“The Students at the Center project is an urgent reminder that in order to meet higher expectations, we must all pay attention to the most fundamental issues of how students learn and how best to teach them,” said Nancy Hoffman, vice president at Jobs for the Future. “The series demonstrates that in order to improve outcomes, states and districts must set the conditions for students and teachers to learn from each other; to access rich, engaging curricula; and to build active learning communities.”

The ambitious project, which was funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, focuses on putting students’ interests, needs, and strengths at the center of the classroom in order to improve achievement, completion rates, and close race and income gaps. According to the research, which emphasizes that all students are capable of 21st century skills and knowledge, student-centered practices help teachers create meaningful connections with students in order to develop individualized instruction for each student.

JFF developed a website, located at studentsatthecenter.org, that serves as a resource to educators, parents, administrators and policymakers around the research, best practices and focus of the Students at the Center project. The second group of papers will be released March 28; the final three papers will be released April 11. Click here to learn more.

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