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Heather Cowap, MS, MEd

“The 4 Pillars of the Student Centered Classroom”

There has been an increasingly loud call for “student-centered” classrooms, but when you investigate what this looks like there is a wide range of practices and expectations of what this classroom is.  This presentation provides four pillars of practice, framework and student/teacher expectations for a successful student-centered classroom.  Beginning with UDL as the basis for how the curriculum is presented to students, there are the needs of communication practices, student and teacher accountability, and feedback as students progress through curriculum.  This session will focus on practices that support the student-centered classroom in each of these areas while retaining teacher sanity!

Heather Cowap, MS, MEd spent 15 years in the high school science classroom working with multiple grade levels and subject areas.  Inspired by the goal of enticing students to be motivated and engaged in the content, Heather has used Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a pedagogical structure to find and implement a number of ways for students to have choices in demonstrating knowledge of the content. Discovering the need to help students manage their choices and learning group goals, Heather began using Scrum, an Agile method of project management.  Combining these two methods frees students to embrace personalized learning goals within the context of required state standards for science.

Heather holds degrees from Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition’s Frances Stern Combined Internship and Master Degree Program, and Fitchburg State University’s Masters in Curriculum and Teaching.

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