Student-Centered Learning: Life Academy of Health and Bioscience

Nickole Richardson and Joe Feldman

At Life Academy of Health and Biosciences (Life Academy) in Oakland, California, student voice and choice drives every decision: what and how to teach, what structure will equip students and teachers to know and believe in each other, and how to bring out the best in students.

At Life Academy, 99% of the student population is economically disadvantaged—yet students significantly outperform their peers at other district schools. Through the incorporation of student-centered approaches to learning, Life Academy has created structures, rituals and instruction that give students opportunities, voice, and multiple chances at success.

We champion kids and make them feel really successful and they are. They blow us out of the water all the time with what they're able to do.