Cultivating the Learner-Centered Classroom: From Theory to Practice

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SAGE Publications, Dec 6, 2007 - Education - 198 pages
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Cultivating the Learner-Centered Classroom, a progressively-oriented guide for teaching, provides teachers with concrete strategies for making a fundamental shift in educational thought and in practice: from behaviorism to constructivism, from control to cooperation, from following recipes to understanding the learning process, from meeting standards to individualizing expectations and instruction, and from coercing students' obedience to facilitating their authority and autonomy. The authors offer practical procedures and strategies that are aligned with progressive educational thought, and bridge theory and practice concerning the following aspects of teaching:

1) facilitating community development in the classroom

2) facilitating community development with parents

3) classroom organization

4) observing and assessing student growth 5) planning instruction

6) individual, small group, and whole group instruction

7) evaluating and reporting student growth

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About the author (2007)

Kaia Tollefson’s career in education began in Kodiak, Alaska, in 1983. She was a middle school teacher there for nine years and worked in administration for the next five—first as a curriculum and staff development coordinator and then as an elementary school principal. She discovered a passion for teacher education while pursuing her doctoral degree in language, literacy, and sociocultural studies, awarded by the University of New Mexico in 2004. Her most recent experience in teaching children was in 2002, when she returned to the classroom to teach fifth grade. One of her professional goals is to find ways to refresh and reground her roots in the public schools, never getting too far away from knowing what it means to be a classroom teacher. She is currently an assistant professor of education at California State University Channel Islands, working in teacher education, coaching a Critical Friends Group, and exploring the relationship between the concept of voice and the processes of teaching and learning.

Monica Osborn has been teaching at Puesta del Sol Elementary School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, since 1994. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education from the University of New Mexico in 1994 and 1995, respectively, and an education specialist degree in educational leadership in 2007. She is a certified Reading Recovery teacher, currently teaching grades K–2 in a multiage inclusion classroom. She is also certified through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and is recognized as a Level III teacher-leader in the state of New Mexico. In addition to her work as a classroom teacher, Monica serves as an educational consultant with the New Mexico Education Network Center and with the National School Reform Faculty, specializing in facilitating the implementation of Critical Friends Groups (CFGs), professional learning communities for educators. She is a CFG coach at her school and has been teaching the process to teachers and administrators in several regions of the United States for the past eight years.

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