Evidence To Support Student-Centered Instruction? (Part 3)

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

If teacher-centered instruction includes different classroom activities (e.g., lecture, guided whole group discussion, textbook recitation, classroom talk wholly dominated by teacher), ditto for student-centered instruction (e.g., individualized or personalized instruction, problem-based learning, competency-based instruction, collaborative or cooperative learning). For example, see definitions of student-centered learning in The Glossary of Educational Reform and Wikipedia, “Student-centered Learning,” and a teacher’s view in “The 6 Signs of a Student-centered Classroom.

Since teacher-centered instruction is far more common and familiar, definitions of what it is and what researchers look for in lessons are easier to come by. Teachers, principals, and parents can generally describe it for no other reason than they have experienced it as students for much of their career sitting in classrooms. Not so for student-centered instruction. For those educators who believe they have been teaching in that manner and many students who have been in such classrooms, describing…

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