Giving Compass' Take:
- The authors explain why learner-centered education methods offer interventions that will improve learning design and respond to learners' individual needs.
- How can donors support evidence-based practices in education that indicate successful results for learning development?
- Read about the effects of student-centered learning.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Effective educators have long known that one-size-fits all approaches to teaching and learning are insufficient. Through extraordinary effort, they have figured out ways to differentiate and personalize learning for their students. They have done so despite an industrial-era education paradigm that makes it very difficult to do so. Over time, some of their efforts were named, systematized, and scaled.
Today, building on these approaches, some believe (count us among them) that a shift to an entirely new education paradigm is within reach. Harnessing new technologies, aided by advancements in transportation and communication, and required in order to adequately respond to deep and disruptive social, economic, environmental, and political forces, we envision a fundamental shift in how learners experience their education. Specifically, we envision moving from a school-centric, industrial-age model akin to factories and assembly lines, to a learner-centric, networked-age model characterized by lateral connections and flexibility. In short, we envision learner-centered education.
But what does the movement towards learner-centered education mean for the many methods for designing learning and differentiating support to students developed in recent decades?
In this piece, we identify some of the most-broadly adopted methods developed by educators to differentiate support, improve learning design, and meet the individual needs of learners. They include Response to Intervention (RTI), Positive-Behavior Intervention Systems (PBIS), Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). Then, we seek to compare learner-centered education to these approaches, exploring the implications for each. Ultimately, we will make the following arguments:
- Learner-centered education is about a paradigm shift, not a specific methodology.
- Learner-centered education requires learning design that is flexible and adaptive, similar to or expanding upon the principles of UDL.
- Learner-centered education may include specific methodologies for differentiating support (e.g. RtI or PBIS), but it is more likely to extend and/or replace them.
- Learner-centered education is additive to and inherently strengthens existing systems-level approaches such as MTSS.
- Learner-centered education is fundamentally adaptive and outcomes-focused (rather than technical and process-focused).
Read the full article about learner-centered education by Katie Martin and Devin Vodicka at Getting Smart.