Students at the Center Newsletter
Research supporting student-centered approaches to learning continues to mount, deepening interest and excitement from both educators and policymakers. This month we bring you studies pointing to the importance of motivation, engagement, and student voice in education and reinforcing the need for culturally contextualized curricula. We also offer a forecast on the future of learning and a rich resource for schools and districts working to implement proficiency-based education.
graphic_media In the News
Study Gives Insight on Effective Teaching Practices for Native Students
Diette Courrégé Casey, Education Week
A new study from the Harvard University Native American Program assesses the effective teaching practices being used at Early College High School in Lumberton, NC, and Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, AK, two superiorly performing public schools with a high percentage of American Indian/Alaskan Native students. The study associates the inclusion of cultural curriculum with positive academic outcomes for these students. A similar need for culturally conscious curricula and instruction methods are identified in both
Literacy Practices for African-American Male Adolescents and Latino/a and Black Students and Mathematics.

Building Change Through Public Education
Nick Donohue, KnowledgeWorks guest post
Nellie Mae Education Foundation President and CEO Nick Donohue responds to KnowledgeWorks' Recombinant Education forecast, which calls for a regeneration of the learning ecosystem. Donohue likens the education system to an orchestra in which each player works toward individual excellence while remaining in harmony with the group to achieve a common goal. "Transformational change is possible if we all play our part to achieve the system we all desire."

'Active' Student Engagement Goes Beyond Class Behavior, Study Finds
Sarah D. Sparks, Education Week
A new study published online in Learning and Instruction (forthcoming print edition, December 2013) explores the facets of student engagement that go beyond student behavior. Like Motivation, Engagement, and Student Voice, the study acknowledges that a student's level of engagement is variable and that introducing meaningful choices aligned with the student's personal goals or interest increases motivation.
graphic_papers Featured Students at the Center Products

Motivation, Engagement, and Student Voice Toolkit
This professional development series is designed to accompany and help put into practice the ideas in Eric Toshalis and Michael Nakkula’s Motivation, Engagement, and Student Voice and their "Prioritizing Motivation and Engagement" chapter in Anytime, Anywhere. The activities and materials in this toolkit will help educators understand and apply the concepts explained in the research. The activities are designed to facilitate the development of a mindset that encourages a critical analysis of what participants believe, what they do, and what might need to be changed to fully realize the potential of student-centered teaching.

Anytime, Anywhere: Student-Centered Learning for Schools and Teachers
Anytime, Anywhere highlights teaching practices that apply what we know about how the brain learns, how to motivate and engage all students, and how to use digital tools to help them learn, assess, and express what they've learned in powerful new ways. Anytime, Anywhere synthesizes current research and adapts for practice key components of student-centered approaches to learning.

We invite you to order a copy and encourage your colleagues and networks to do the same. Use the discount code AAAP13 to save 20%!
graphic_tools Tools and Resources
A Glimpse into the Future of Learning (Infographic)
This infographic tells the story of KnowledgeWorks' third forecast on the future of learning: "Recombinant Education: Regenerating the Future of Learning." Comprised of 12 key insights with accompanying graphics, it points the way toward a diverse learning ecosystem in which learning adapts to each child instead of each child trying to adapt to school.

Getting to Proficiency
This new website from the Maine Department of Education provides resources, tools, and guidance for district administrators, school leaders, and educators who are working to implement proficiency-based systems of teaching, learning, assessing, grading, and reporting that support all students demonstrating achievement of state learning standards.
Project Overview
Students at the Center explores the role that student-centered approaches can play in deepening learning and preparing young people to meet the demands of the 21st century. Students at the Center is a Jobs for the Future project, generously supported by funding from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

To learn more about the project, visit

What We're Reading
Off the Clock: Moving Education From Time to Competency
Fred Bramante and Rose Colby
This text for educators, policymakers, parents, and community members provides a comprehensive approach to implementing a large-scale competency-based reform initiative. This book's core idea is that student achievement should be based on mastering competencies instead of "seat time."

Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined
Scott Barry Kaufman
Ungifted sets out to show that the way we interpret traditional metrics of intelligence is misguided. Scott Barry Kaufman explores the latest research in genetics, neuroscience, and psychology to challenge the conventional wisdom about the childhood predictors of adult success. He argues for a more holistic approach to achievement that takes into account each young person's personal goals, individual psychology, and developmental trajectory.

Join the Students at the Center Movement
We are looking for contributors! If you have student-centered learning tools/resources or ideas for a blog entry, please contact us.

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Tweet @jfftweets, using #plearnchat, #edchat, about how you are using student-centered learning strategies in the classroom!

Leave your thoughts and comments on the Students at the Center website. We would love to hear about what is happening in the field.

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