Magazine article Curriculum Review

Six Ways to Implement a Student-Centered Classroom

Magazine article Curriculum Review

Six Ways to Implement a Student-Centered Classroom

Article excerpt

It's classic classroom design: Rows of desks with students facing the teacher. But rethinking your classroom to make it more student-centered might not be as hard as you think. The following are six steps from Education Update that you can take to make students and teachers more engaged.

1. Declutter: Getting rid of extraneous materials can make the classroom much more manageable. Students and teachers can move around more freely and be able to quickly locate and access whatever they need.

2. Remove the Teacher's Desk:

"I don't like the idea of the teacher's desk, for the same reason I don't like a necktie," an instructional coach said to Education Update. "I feel like it represents an authoritarian role." Teachers need workspaces, he added, but they shouldn't be the focal point of the room.

3. Get Rid of Rows: Seating arrangements can make all the difference when it comes to collaboration. Although traditional "soldier rows" are ideal for tests, they compel students to "stare in the front [of the classroom] and not talk," said the instructional coach. He advised to test out different seating configuration apps and sit in the chairs to see how the setup feels. Can students see the board? Can they quickly turn to their peers and work as a team?

4. Allow for Seat Choice: One third grade teacher lets her students pick their seats every Friday, according to the Education Update article. At the beginning of the year, "you'll often see best friends sitting next to each other," she admitted. …

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