As an emerging paradigm, student-centered learning has filtrated into classrooms across the country. Built upon Vygotsky’ s idea of the Zone of Proximal Development, student-centered learning promotes widespread discussions between students of various racial, social, and ethnic backgrounds. Teacher-centered learning, on the other hand, has been heavily criticized due to its association with rote methodology and memorization. Research around the world analyzes the benefits of student- versus teacher-centered approaches by comparing student scores on achievement tests.
However, little research has been conducted with regard to the impact student-centered learning has on the students involved. Are there some students that do not benefit from student-centered instruction? Are there times, even within a highly student-centered classroom, where a teachercentered approach would be more conducive to those students who do not seem to benefit from student-centered instruction? This research aims to identify those social and political dimensions within the student-centered classroom and offer possible ramifications which may include teacher-centered approaches.
Rebecca Kollman, ’07 Sidney, MT
Majors: Secondary Education, Biology
Sponsor: Jill Heinrich