Student-Centered Teaching Strategies

Average: 4.8 (4 votes)
Grade Level Ranges:
Grades 3- 5, Grades 6 - 8, Grades 9 -12
Topic tags:
student-centered learning, student collaboration, S20TLCSC2
Contact hours:

Teacher Quality Standards

  • QS III: Teachers plan and deliver effective instruction and create an environment that facilitates learning for their students.
    • Element D: Teachers establish and communicate high expectations and use processes to support the development of critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
    • Element E: Teachers provide students with opportunities to work in teams and develop leadership.
    • Element F: Teachers model and promote effective communication.

PD resource content

Resource material

These teaching strategies, cultivated by Facing History and Ourselves, are designed "to strengthen your students’ literacy skills, nurture critical thinking, and create a respectful classroom climate." These strategies can be applied to a variety of content areas and grade levels.

Resource Links


Facing History and Ourselves. (n.d.). Teaching strategies. Retrieved from


Laura Copeland's picture
Laura Copeland
In reading through the image analysis teaching strategy, I fond that I am doing much of this already. Based on the PD I did last summer with the Library of Congress, I have been doing an “observe”, “reflect/thing”, “question” strategy for primary sources. The FHAO strategy is very similar with one additional step at the end discussing and reflecting on the process. Because much of what I have the students read are primary sources, I am wondering if this additional step is necessary?? Thinking about how this went this past year, I found that by the end of the year, my students’ observations and reflections were fairly surface level. I wonder if I should revisit the norms of this strategy more frequently by modeling, or if I should assess student work more frequently giving them more formative feedback? I like the Big Paper activity and have used slight variations of this in my teaching. I am going to show my students the image on the FHAO website so that they better understand that the expectation is to provide more depth of thought than a simple word or phrase response. I am also going to model this early in the semester so that I can use it frequently. I think as I work at my goal of creating more dynamic questioning for my students, I am going to create my questions for the end of this type of activity. I will collect resources for the Big or little paper keeping in mind the deep thinking I want to happen at the end of the activity. Cafe Conversations: I like this strategy a lot. I have used it only with student research but having read about the strategy with FHAO I think adding short biographies so that kids have a little more background knowledge before doing their own research would better support students. I also like the tap in and tap out.