What’s Different?

How Learner-centered Classrooms are different from Traditional Classrooms

Learner-centered Classroom

Traditional Classroom

Learners are required to be proficient or better on all standards Students earn letter grades “to pass”
High learner engagement (active) Low student engagement (passive)
Learners placed in Levels for each content area based on performance Students placed in Grade Level based on age
Progression to the next Performance Level is determined by demonstrated proficiency in each content area Progression to the next Grade Level is determined by time and age.
Progression to the next Performance Level can occur on any day during the course of the year Progression to the next Grade Level only occurs at the end of the school year
Learning has “continuous flow” from year to year Learning is “fragmented” from year to year
Multiage classrooms are the norm Multiage classrooms are the exception
Ends social promotion and retention Perpetuates social promotion and retention
Personalized learning driven by the learner’s goals All students learn the same material at the same time
Learner’s accelerate the pace of learning through goal setting, choice and voice The pace of learning is directed by the teacher
Predominantly small group or one-on-one approach to teaching Predominantly whole group approach to teaching
Proficient learner created artifacts displayed in the classroom and hallway Commercially created artifacts displayed in the classroom and hallway


Learning for All – What Does It Take?

We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need to do that. Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven’t so far.”

Ronald Edmonds