Outcomes of Student-Centered Approaches

PBL shows promise as a strategy for closing the achievement gap by engaging lower-achieving students. – PBL and 21st Century Competencies Research Summary, BIE

In PBL classrooms, students demonstrate improved attitudes toward learning. They exhibit more engagement, are more self-reliant, and have better attendance than in more traditional settings.  – PBL and 21st Century Competencies Research Summary, BIE


Deeper learning requires students to think, question, pursue, and create—to take agency and ownership of their learning. When they do, they acquire deeper understanding and skills, and most important, they become more competent learners in and out of school. They become better prepared to succeed in academics, but also in 21st century careers and in life.- Eduardo Briceño, UnBoxed


The most important benefits of maker education are neither STEM skills nor technical preparation for the next industrial revolution. Though these benefits may accrue along the way, the most salient benefits of maker-centered learning for young people have to do with developing a sense of self and a sense of community that empower them to engage with and shape the designed dimension of their world. – Agency By Design, Harvard GSE

Efficacy of Student-Centered Approaches

Student-centered methods have repeatedly been shown to be superior to the traditional teacher-centered approach to instruction, a conclusion that applies whether the assessed outcome is short-term mastery, long-term retention, or depth of understanding of course material, acquisition of critical thinking or creative problem-solving skills, formation of positive attitudes toward the subject being taught, or level of confidence in knowledge or skills. – Dr. R.M. Felder, NCSU

In all schools, African American, Latino, economically disadvantaged, and English learner students achieved above — and, in some cases, substantially above — similar students in their districts and in the state. – Student-Centered Learning How Four Schools Are Closing the Opportunity Gap, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education


Results reveal that learning outcomes were higher for students enrolled in classrooms engaging in scientific practices through a student-centered approach – The Efficacy of Student-Centered Instruction in Supporting Science Learning, Granger, et al.

Results indicate that minorities in schools and classrooms with higher learner-centered orientations not only have test scores statistically equal of those from their white peers, but also that students in Learner-Centered schools have higher scores in the non-traditional measures, including tolerance and openness to diversity. –  Salinas, Moises F.; Garr, Johanna, Journal of Instructional Psychology, v36 n4


PBL helps students master the key competencies identified as essential for college and careerreadiness. – PBL and 21st Century Competencies Research Summary, BIE


In specific content areas, PBL has been shown to be more effective than traditional methods for teaching math, economics, language, science, and other disciplines. – PBL and 21st Century Competencies Research Summary, BIE

Impact of Student-Centered Approaches

Faculty members from across the nation (who teach both large and small classes) who have adopted a student-centered learning approach find that teaching is more enjoyable. – Student-Centered Learning Addressing Faculty Questions about Student Centered LearningJeffrey Froyd, Nancy Simpson, Texas A&M University


Teachers may need time and professional development to become familiar with PBLmethods, but those who make this shift in classroom practice report increased jobsatisfaction. – PBL and 21st Century Competencies Research Summary, BIE