Students at the Center Newsletter
Student-centered approaches to learning continue to gain momentum in the news and in the classroom. This month we bring you articles and resources that resonate across all three areas of the Students at the Center research: Learning Theory, Applying Student-centered Approaches, and Scaling Up Student-centered Approaches to Learning.
graphic_media In the News
Tips for Transitioning to Project-Based Learning
Kelsey Sheehy, USNews
Manor New Technology High School in Manor, Texas doesn't use textbooks or offer Advanced Placement classes. Instead, it relies 100% on project-based learning. Students complete 65 projects per year, each of which is aligned with state standards and taps into the local business community. Project-based learning is a powerful student-centered approach that improves student engagement and incorporates 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving. Taking the reader inside six other high schools widely regarded as exemplars of deep learning, Teachers at Work unpacks project-based learning and other teaching practices and school structures at the heart of student-centered learning. 

More Positive, Not Punitive, Classroom Management Tips (Part II)
Larry Ferlazzo, Edutopia
You can never have too many positive, not punitive, classroom management strategies in your toolbox. This blog, along with Part I, offers six tactics for positive classroom management. Ferlazzo identifies the power of choice and ownership in the classroom. There are many things we can do in the classroom to help our students feel like they have power—for example, involving them in decisions on issues like seating or even room arrangement. Motivation, Engagement, and Student Voice authors synthesize research on achievement motivation, school engagement, and student voice, concluding that the more educators use student-centered approaches to reinforce student agency, the more motivation and engagement are likely to rise.

The Brain Science Behind Learning
Personalize Learning
This commentary delves deeper into the principles behind Students at the Center's Brainy Approaches to Learning infographic and explains how the brain science behind learning supports the concept of personalized learning. The infographic illustrates research from the report Mind, Brain, and Education that answers the questions: What does brain research tell us about how we learn and how learning, in turn, shapes the architecture of the brain? What is the connection between the stress of poverty and the impact of emotions on learning?

Moving Beyond Grouping
Clare Bertrand, Students at the Center
In the June 9 article, "Grouping Students by Ability Regains Favor in Classrooms," the New York Times reports that “ability grouping has re-emerged in classrooms all over the country” and cites increases in the percent of teachers grouping students by ability. In moving beyond grouping by using student-centered approaches to learning, educators can ensure that students feel empowered by their learning and not defined (and sometimes dismissed) because of their differences. 
graphic_papers Featured Students at the Center Products
Curricular Opportunities in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning Edition
Curricular Opportunities in the Digital Age emphasizes the limiting nature of print and the need to embrace technology to create better student-centered opportunities for learning. To illustrate this point, the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) created a digital version of the article for Students at the Center. The UDL version is an accessible format that applies the UDL principles to transform the static, print article into an interactive learning experience. As you read in this UDL environment, you experience exactly the kind of "student-centered learning in the digital age" that the paper promotes and learn more about how each tool connects to UDL principles and pedagogy.

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
The Glossary of Education Reform for Journalists
This comprehensive online resource defines and describes widely used school-improvement terms, concepts, and strategies. The glossary features more than a hundred entries on education reform and K-12 public education in the United States, in addition to hundreds of related synonyms and abbreviations.

Redesigning America's High Schools: Fact Sheet
This U.S. Department of Education fact sheet highlights how the High School Redesign initiative will challenge high schools and their partners to rethink teaching and learning and put in place learning models that are rigorous, relevant, and better focused on real-world experiences. The initiative promotes many student-centered approaches to learning, including personalized learning opportunities and strategic use of learning time in meaningful ways.
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:
Self-Driven Learning: Teaching Strategies for Student Motivation
Larry Ferlazzo
In this lively, research-based book, award-winning educator Larry Ferlazzo tackles everyday classroom challenges with creative instructional techniques to help middle- and high-school teachers develop self-motivated and high-achieving students.

Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask their Own Questions 
Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana, Foreword by Wendy D. Puriefoy

Make Just One Change features the voices and experiences of teachers in classrooms across the country to illustrate the use of the Question Formulation Technique across grade levels and subject areas and with different kinds of learners.

Join the Students at the Center Movement
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