Student-Centered Learning and the Changing Role of the Student
When we ask parents what they value most about an education at LCS, the number one answer is always about teachers. Parents continually express appreciation for teachers who know and care about their children as individuals. Parents also value the positive relationships between teachers and students and the important, day to day role modeling that takes place both in and outside the classroom.
Simply put, everything that is valued most about a Christ-centered education at LCS is about great teachers. It continues to be a priority to fill our classrooms with teachers that are capable and passionate about what they teach, love kids, and know how to live out their faith authentically in their work and relationships with others.
While the important role of the teacher continues to be a hallmark of the student experience at LCS, the role of the student in the learning process is changing. The term “student- centered learning” has become a widely used term in education. At LCS, emphasis on a more student-centered approach to learning has become a priority in how we speak about an excellent education.
What is student-centered learning? At the most basic level, student-centered learning is about changing the focus from how teachers are teaching, to how students are learning. In our PreK-12 classrooms, our goal is for students to more actively engage in the learning process and take more ownership of their individual growth.
Student centered learning doesn’t imply that a great lecture, memorizing scripture or learning important facts doesn’t play an essential role in a child’s education. At LCS we are working to engage students in the learning process in new and different ways in order to develop life-long learners that are able to contribute to college, career, and service to others in meaningful ways. We are finding ways to create more time and space for students to explore and investigate, to design and create, and to learn critical thinking skills for deeper understanding of content and ideas. We are also teaching students to work and collaborate meaningfully with their peers to prepare them for a world where knowing how to work effectively with all kinds of different people is valued and important.
In some classrooms students are in engaged in project-based learning and hands-on activities as a way to explore and engage in more authentic and relevant learning and problem solving. In other classrooms students are presenting their learning to real audiences for real feedback. We are also giving students access to opportunities outside the classroom where they can grow in their interests and abilities through connection to community resources. I invite you to read about new ways we are working to engage LCS students in learning in this month’s edition of the Pilgrim Journey.
Outstanding Christian teachers will always be at the heart of achieving our mission to equip young men and women to engage the world for Jesus Christ. At the same time, as a school we are striving to equip our students to make learning their own. We want Lansing Christian students to value and enjoy learning so that our graduates are able to engage the world with faith and knowledge that exhibits the kind of skill, curiosity, empathy, compassion, and service the world needs.
With hope in God,
Head of School