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Schools Should Adapt to Student-Centered Approaches

We need to rethink our assembly line approach to traditional schooling

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The technologies highlighted in your recent article, “A is for Adaptive,” (June 17) and others used in school districts around the country are becoming increasingly critical as schools move towards adopting student-centered approaches to learning to prepare students for 21st century success.

At the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, we’ve long known that we need to rethink our assembly line approach to traditional schooling by promoting concepts such as flexible use of time, performance-based assessments—rather than one-size-fits-all—and hands-on, experiential learning. We work with innovative school districts throughout New England who are implementing creative and customizable curricula in which learners are both encouraged and supported to take their learning outside the classroom and into the community, better preparing students for college, work and life.

Using technology is one way that we can move away from “batch-processing” students and toward a model that puts students at the center of their educational experience. We applaud TIME for shining a bright spotlight on this student-centered approach to learning.

Nicholas C. Donohue, President and CEO, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Quincy, MA