The Importance of Student Centered Learning

Fostering Curiosity, Confidence, and Character

A student centered classroom moves the focus of instruction away from teachers and back onto the students. This educational strategy helps students to deeper their understanding of their own strengths as learners, empowering them to love learning.

Student Centered Learning:

  • Empowers students to take ownership in their learning, which in turn makes them into lifelong learners
  • Puts the student in the driver's seat of their education
  • Puts the students' interests front and center
  • Helps students and teachers better identify and overcome challenges
  • Makes the role of the teacher into a facilitator
  • Makes learning more fun because students are pursuing their interests
  • Have a greater role in classroom decision making
  • Make engaging, real-world connections that help students absorb the content.

Student Centered Projects

At Whitby, students are empowered to take the lead in their learning through key projects including:

Primary Years Programme (PYP) Exhibition:

The PYP Exhibition represents a significant event in the life of every PYP school and student. The Exhibition is an opportunity for all Grade 4 students to synthesize the essential elements of the PYP and share them with the whole school community.Students are required to engage in a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that will lead to taking action on a topic that they are passionate about. 

Our 2015 Exhibition theme was "Who We Are", which encouraged students to inquire into the nature of the self. Over the course of four months, students discovered how mindfulness and well-being impact their learning. See How Students Took Action from their Learning

8th Grade Personal Project

At the beginning of Grade 8, students - individually or in small groups - must identify a goal to address a need in the community based on their personal interests. After months of research they present their findings to parents and students, and determine how to take action on the given topic.

Recent student-chosen topics include the economics of football, impact of sleep on middle and high school students, illiteracy in Africa, animal abuse, and raising awareness for deforestation with photography.

Impact of Student Centered Learning

Through hands-on learning opportunities and ongoing assessments, students feel a greater sense of responsibility for their learning, allowing them to take the lead in their learning and develop creative problem solving skills. When students feel they have a role in decision-making, they are empowered to know that their thoughts and actions can make a difference. 

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