Giving Compass' Take:

• Lauren Barack discusses the effects of student-centered learning — focusing on what students are interested in instead of sticking strictly to a set curriculum — on academic success.  

• Test scores at one high school in Massachusetts rose after a switch to student-centered learning, but could similar results be replicated elsewhere? What are some hesitations schools may have when implementing such a program? 

• Read more about the promises and challenges of student-centered learning.

At Massachusetts' Revere High School, a policy of student-centered learning means students study what they’re interested in — and not just what teachers think students should focus on during lessons. Students at the school who took an English class that studied the TV show “The Walking Dead” were more likely to take AP English as a senior than those who took a different English course, according to The Hechinger Report.

Since shifting to student-centered learning in 2010, children’s scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System English test at Revere High School rose dramatically: Just 50% of black students and 63% of Hispanic students earned a proficient or higher in 2009, but those numbers rose to 82% of black students and 77% of Hispanic students by 2017.

As a result, the school district is now one of six that is part of the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment, training teachers at schools around the state, and Principal Lourenco Garcia is also now the executive director of data and accountability for the Revere district to help push the idea of student-centered learning to other schools.

Read the full article about student-centered learning by Lauren Barack at Education Dive.