Jobs for the Future Selects EDC to Lead Student-Centered Learning Study

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With an award from Jobs for the Future (JFF), EDC is examining how student-centered learning experiences affect Grade 9–12 students’ learning outcomes. In the study, part of Jobs for the Future’s new Student-Centered Research Collaborative, an EDC team led by Sarah Ryan and Karen Shakman with Jessica Brett, Josh Cox, John Madura, and Jennifer Mihok is working with 10 district partners in Maine. Shakman says: “This study comes at a pivotal moment. There is national interest in adopting student-centered and competency-based learning models to ensure students succeed in college, careers, and civic life, and that graduation is based on something other than the time kids spend in classrooms. Yet there is limited research on how models work and if and how they affect outcomes. Maine is one of a handful of states at the forefront of establishing a statewide proficiency-based graduation requirement (a key aspect of student-centered learning), and our partner districts are working together to implement the state’s policy.”

Sarah Ryan  Karen Shakman  Jessica Brett  photo  photo  photo

 (From left: Sarah Ryan, Karen Shakman, Jessica Brett, Joshua Cox, John Madura, Jennifer Mihok.)

The study further expands EDC's growing stream of research on competency-based and student-centered learning. Related initiatives include EDC’s REL Northeast & Islands studies, our facilitation of a national Proficiency/Competency-based Learning Researcher Group, and our 7 years of serving as the evaluator of a Nellie Mae Education Foundation initiative focused on student-centered learning. Ryan notes: “Jobs for the Future believes in the potential of student-centered learning, and they are investing in building a substantial body of work focused on the model. With the leaders of Jobs for the Future’s other three initial studies, we will be part of a national research collaborative that convenes scholars, school leaders, policymakers, practitioners, and funders to make cutting-edge findings about student-centered learning available to parents, teachers, and leaders across the U.S. and around the world.”

Last Updated: November 2016