Developing A Student-Centered Classroom

A classroom is a place where class activities take place, therefore it is the role of the teacher to develop an ambiance that will make class activities fun and interesting, also the teacher is responsible for the learning environment and the technique and strategy that makes teaching and learning effective and efficient. Let us know more detail about ‘Developing A Student-Centered Classroom’.

Developing A Student-Centered Classroom

Developing A Student-Centered Classroom

Developing a Student-centered classroom teaching is the type of teaching that is employed in an educational institute whereby the focus of learning is on the student, this is the type of learning where the students are at the center of attraction to produce independent students. In. In developing a student-centered classroom, students have the privilege of airing their opinion and telling their teacher their interests and the teacher brings up a teaching method that aligns with the student’s interests.

Why should I introduce the student-centered approach in my classroom?

The student-centered approach is a teaching approach that focuses on the student, takes cognizance of the student’s interest, voice, and opinion, and engages the student in active participation in the teaching-learning process. The following are the reasons in developing student-centered classroom approach to teaching

  • Students learn to be independent 
  • It ensures students can express themselves
  • It gives the students a sense of responsibility 
  • It enables critical thinking of the students
  • It enables team spirit among the students
  • It establishes rote learning

What is the difference between the traditional approach and the student-centered approach?

In teaching, the teacher is either the center of focus or the student at the center of focus. When the teacher is at the center of focus, it is called the traditional approach while if the student is at the center of focus, it is called the student-centered approach. 

In the traditional approach, the teacher stands in front of the classroom, while the students sit quietly on their seats and passively listen and watch the teacher explain the subject content while in a student-centered approach, the students are actively involved in the teaching and learning. If the students are making use of an iPad or laptop for learning, the students are asked to do some tasks on their iPads and asked to explain how they perform the task. 

In the traditional approach, the students are the listeners while in the student-centered approach, the teacher acts as a listener, educator, and facilitator.

The traditional approach of teaching does not give room for teamwork in contrast to the student-centered approach which gives room for teamwork among the students.

In the traditional approach, students are not given room to express their opinion and contribution to a class, whereas, in the student-centered approach, students are free to air their opinion, perspective, and interest.

How to implement the student-centered classroom?

  • Allow for student choice and autonomy: In a classroom-centered classroom, the choice of students is prioritized because they are the epicenter of the teaching-learning process. Therefore, assignments and assessments should be choice-based. That is, students should be given the privilege of having various options they can choose from.
  • Use open-ended questioning techniques: Open-ended questions are questions that give room for critical thinking, most of the time, they are questions that make students think out of the box. This also sharpens their problem-solving skills and also airs their thoughts and opinions.
  • Engage in explicit instruction: This enables the students to engage in activities that have been given clear and explicit instructions, This enables active participation of the student because every student knows what they should do because of the detailed instruction. 
  • Encourage student collaboration and group projects: Group work and projects make students learn from one another, pitch their ideas, and be involved in the process, they get to learn and understand from someone else’s point of view and create a great opportunity to grow the ideas into something better
  • Encourage student reflection: Reflection is a period of looking inward and thinking about one’s growth and process, it is important to bring it into the classroom environment, allow your student to look inward and understand their growth pattern, process what they learned so far and create room for expansion 

Strategies for a student-centered classroom

  1. Stop being the superhero
  2. Allow students explore
  3. Use cooperative learning structures
  4. Plan strategic questions

Stop being the superhero: 

While it is important to have a deep knowledge of the subject content, teachers should not always act like superheroes and experts, it is easy to answer the questions of students, but sometimes, you can guide them to the answer and not give the answer. If you are using the student-centered technique, you must give room for your students to learn on their own and grow. Also, listen to your students’ opinions and ideas and use their interests to their favor.

Allow students explore

Allow the students to explore within the scope of what you are about to teach them. The traditional style of teaching is introducing a topic, teaching the content, giving activities based on what the students have learned, and expecting answers based on what you have taught them. In the student-centered style of teaching, the topic can be informed a day before, then, students must have read about the topic, then, come to class and have a discussion before the class or presentation or question and answer session. Then, after the activities, the teacher introduces the topic in a bigger light. The important thing here is that students are given the privilege to explore and discuss their ideas 

Use cooperative learning structures

Use learning structures like group work, quizzes, Think and Pai and r, and discussions to teach students in the classroom. Together, students can learn effectively and participate in the lesson. By implementing these strategies, it is the role of the teacher to ensure that every student in the classroom contributes and is actively involved in their classroom.

Plan strategic questions

Scheduling strategic questions before a lesson can go a long way to helping students. Instead of being confined to questions from what you have taught them as in the traditional style of teaching, the student-centered style of teaching permits questions that will make students think outside the box. For example, the topic of your lesson is the electronic configuration of the first twenty elements. For their level, you are supposed to only teach them the first twenty elements. But you can give them a class activity that says “what is the electronic configuration of the 24th element”. You can give them the name of the element, the atomic number, and everything. If you want it to be a collaborative activity, you can share them in groups depending on the class size. This will make them think outside the scope of what you taught them.

Traditional style or student-centered, which is better?

Depending on the learning situation and your goal, the two teaching methods are amazing. It is important to be aware that you are not under compulsion to stick to only one method of teaching. There is room for diversification, in other methods, you can blend the teacher-centered, also known as the traditional style with the student-centered method. It Is not about the best teaching method but finding a suitable teaching method that works for you and your students 

Pros and cons of the student-centered classroom

The student-centered classroom is an amazing style of teaching and although it has so many advantages, it has its disadvantages too


  • It helps students to think outside the box.
  • It helps students to have a teamwork spirit
  • It enables students to explore and go beyond the scope of what their teacher taught them in the classroom.
  • It makes teaching and learning fun and exciting
  • It fosters a better memorization
  • It creates students who can be a real problem solver


  • It takes a lot of time
  • It might not be suitable for all the students
  • Some students might not be academically sound so they find it difficult to contribute and participate in group work 
  • Classroom management might become an issue
  • Some students may miss out on important facts and information

In conclusion, the student-centered classroom is an amazing style of teaching and it is an approach that every teacher might want to try out. However, you may not be exclusive with this teaching style, you may want to mix it with the traditional style of teaching, but ensure every teaching approach suits the subject matter, the classroom situation, and the students. The most important thing about teaching is to ensure that there is room for learning, assimilation, and a transfer of knowledge 

Frequently Asked Questions 
  • What is the classroom-centered classroom?

Student-centered classroom teaching is the type of teaching that is employed in an educational institute whereby the focus of learning is on the student.

  • What is the importance of the classroom-centered classroom?
  1. It makes teaching and learning fun and exciting
  2. It fosters a better memorization
  3. It creates students who can be a real problem solver.
  • How do I implement the student-centered classroom?
  1. Allow for student choice and autonomy
  2. Encourage student collaboration and group projects
  3. Use open-ended questioning techniques