One of the biggest changes in the mindset of educators in recent years is the idea of student-centered learning. The primary idea behind a student-centered approach is that students are involved in planning, implementing, and assessing their own learning. A common misconception with this approach is that student’s just run the classroom, doing whatever they want. This misconception could not be further from the truth.

Allen Elementary Montessori School Student Led Education

The role of the teacher in a student-centered classroom changes some from what you may be used to. In a student-centered classroom, the teacher works with individual students, and the students as a whole, to facilitate learning the standards of the curriculum in a personalized way. The teacher and the student examine the students needs critically, and co-create a plan of action for their learning. While students are learning, the teacher facilitates their study by asking probing questions, redirecting, and giving positive responses to further direct learning. This approach has many advantages for educator and student alike.

Modeling a Growth Mindset

One major advantage is that the teacher, while working with the student, can model a positive mindset for education. When developing their plan of action the teacher can demonstrate key concepts of a growth mindset to the students. By creating a plan to learn something specific, using skills the student already has, the student learns that their education is in their own hands. Students learn that their potential isn’t some fixed quantity.

In addition, when students have a voice in their learning process, their interest in the subject is high. A benefit to a high level of engagement is that students are more apt to press on when they stumble. This is one of the central tenants of cultivating a growth mindset and is a necessary component to being successful in life. Resiliency in the face of failure doesn’t just come from nowhere, it has to be cultivated inside the student, and there is no better way to develop it than by keeping the learner constantly engaged in their work.

The Montessori approach to education creates a structured, student-led classroom. Rules are still in place and enforced, but the learning outcomes are all student-driven. While the modern classroom catches up on the idea of being student-centered, the Montessori method has more than a century of experience creating these kinds of learning environments. There is no struggle for our educators to adapt since we have the student in mind from the start.

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