This comprehensive resource provides plenty if ideas (and even printables) that feature a child-centered cooperative learning experience. I found the links to other ideas/activities helpful, and can see how it could help teachers to set up an early childhood educational setting that focuses on the student.
The video section of this page is what captured my attention. The teacher takes us on a tour of her room, highlighting how she uses the materials and space to enhance learning, make the room child-centered and organize the educational experience. Not only is this resource specific when it comes to setting up the kindergarten classroom, but it also illustrates how effective a student-centered approach can be.
Having real kindergarten teachers talk about the real methods that they use in the classroom is helpful in a way that a more conceptual piece just isn’t. Seeing the kindergartners in action, with the teacher, makes the points come to life. I love how to teacher narrates over the video with the points she wants to teach us (as the viewers). It creates a full picture of how to use a student-centered approach.
I enjoyed the way that this article spoke to teacher strengths. Along with providing ideas that (obviously) center on the students, it also puts the focus on the positive ways that teachers can develop their own abilities and skills in this type of educational setting.
What really struck me about this article was the idea that teachers need to give up control. Not completely, but enough to make learning a joint venture. The idea that student-centered learning starts with the teacher is pretty obvious. That said, sometimes we need to remember that just because the concept is centered on the students doesn’t mean that the teacher isn’t taking the lead.