Student-Centered Learning by Design
by Jacquelyn Whiting
March 2021, 129pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-7753-7
$45, £35, 40€, A62
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7754-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Developing an understanding of the principles of design thinking is key for all educators.

Current research is pushing schools to adopt more student-centered approaches to the classroom experience, and educators—librarians and classroom teachers alike—are being challenged to revise their curricula and instruction to be student-centered, personalized, and differentiated.

This book empowers librarians, teachers, and administrators to be empathic problem-solvers and decision-makers. By reframing the challenges that members of a learning community face as opportunities to better meet teaching and learning needs, readers will find that adoption of a mindset focused on users—namely, design thinking—elevates and creates opportunities for innovating pedagogy. Moreover, it can enhance school culture as well as build channels of communication among various stakeholders in schools and districts.

When educators of any subject or discipline apply design thinking skills to their curriculum implementation, authentic student-centered learning experiences become the core of the learning experience. The case studies shared in this book provide examples of student-centered approaches being used in elementary, middle, and high schools, so that readers have many models on which to base their work and from which to build confidence in shifting their pedagogy to keep the student at the center of teaching and learning decisions.


  • Explanations of design thinking models, how they work, and how they apply to teaching and learning
  • Opportunities to practice empathizing with learning community stakeholders and designing to meet those stakeholders' needs
  • Models for writing curricula, units, and lesson plans that are student-centered by design
  • Resources for implementing project-based learning experiences with students
  • Reproducible graphics and organizers for instructional use
Jacquelyn Whiting is the instructional coach and technology integrator for the Brookfield Public Schools in Brookfield, CT. She has a bachelor's in Government Studies and Studio Art from Connecticut College and a master's in Social Studies and Education from South Connecticut State University. She is also a Google Certified Innovator, a Google Certified Coach, and Local Activator for Future Design School. Jacquelyn is the co-author of News Literacy: The Keys to Combating Fake News. She presents frequently on human-centered design, student and educator voice, and innovative educational technology practices. You can follow her tweeting @MsJWhiting.


"Whiting’s engaging and practical book places stakeholders front and center. Librarians will find her arguments compelling as they rethink pedagogy and solve problems using human-centered design theory."—School Library Journal, December 1, 2021
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