Making the Case: Compelling Data

This growing library features data points describing the impacts and outcomes of student-centered and competency-based teaching and learning. The data are sourced from research studies, evaluation reports and journal articles, as well as evidence collected directly by classroom, school, district and state leaders.

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    Social-Emotional Learning

    Social-Emotional Factors Play a Role in Student Engagement

    The top five factors influencing student engagement all focus on the whole child. Creativity and self-expression was ranked highest, with 85% indicating a positive impact on engagement. Whole child factors ranked higher than factors like academic growth.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Tailoring Learning to Student Interest Increases Motivation

    In a study of differences in teacher practice and technology use in student-centered schools, high-performing schools more frequently included students’ career goals and interests in personalized learning plans, increasing student motivation. The difference was statistically significant.

    Impact and Academic Outcomes

    Personalized Learning Increases Achievement Measured by Standardized Tests

    A study of high and low performing student-centered schools showed when personalized learning is implemented thoroughly, higher test scores result. 

    Social-Emotional Learning

    Positive Student-Teacher Relationships Lead to Better Health Outcomes

    Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health shows that student- teacher relationships have an even bigger impact on long term adult health than student-peer relationships.

    Social-Emotional Learning

    Small Groups and Flexibility Lead to Positive Learning Conditions

    Surveys and interviews with educators during COVID-19 indicated smaller groups and flexibility in shaping learning environments around students’ needs led to stronger relationships. 57% could better support social and emotional well-being in small groups.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Student Choice Increases Engagement in Reading

    This study of four 8th-grade teachers shows an increase in student agency when assigned reading was replaced with student-selected, self-paced choices. Peer relationships and classroom culture change as students become more engaged readers.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Flexible Scheduling Block Supports Student Choice and Differentiation

    A study of innovations during the COVID-19 pandemic documents the use of a flexible daily WIN (What I Need) block at a Massachusetts high school. Students can choose activities ranging from targeted academic supports to clubs.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Showing Learning Through Video Bolsters Student Agency

    A study of innovations during the COVID-19 pandemic documents “Teach-Back” Tuesdays at a Dallas school. By sharing videos of themselves teaching academic content, students bolster their agency while demonstrating learning.

    School and Classroom Culture

    Principals Report Project-Based Learning Helps Students Meet Academic Standards

    In a large national survey, 80% of principals implementing schoolwide project-based learning feel it helps students meet academic standards. 90% report students can extend their learning from projects to other disciplines.

    Curriculum and Instruction

    Mastery-Based Approach in Math Supports Self-Direction

    A study of innovations during the COVID-19 pandemic documents the move to a mastery-based math pathway across 2nd-5th grades. Students are responsible for charting and monitoring their own learning pathway to achieve mastery.

    Flexible Learning

    Students Report that Tech Increases Self-Directed Learning

    In national surveys, students report that technology helps them direct their own learning, with over half indicating tech helps them learn at their own pace and control their own learning process.

    Flexible Learning

    Perception of Technology as a Tool for Personalization Has Grown

    In national surveys, the number of teachers that view technology as a tool to personalize learning has increased quickly, with 62% reporting that tech allows them to better differentiate instruction in 2018 versus just 26% in 2014.