How students experience learning is foundational to their pursuit of academic success. A positive learning experience does more than teach a new fact or skill – it can also make students feel valued, foster their sense of self-efficacy, or help them build trusting relationships with adults and each other. Educators must focus not only on academic outcomes, but also on creating the kinds of learning experiences that allow students to be healthy and whole.
When students feel supported and are given the space they need to explore their identities, they develop the skills that will enable them to grow into tomorrow’s leaders and active participants in our democracy. This is the heart of what student-centered learning truly is: an education that prepares students to enter a complex world, armed with the cultural knowledge, self-assurance, and relationship-building skills necessary to lead successful lives after graduation.