A student-centric, integrated approach to learning

Greg Twemlow
4 min readJan 20, 2024

Traditional education systems suffer from a prevalent issue of compartmentalization, where Students, Curricula/Teaching, and Administration generally operate in silos. This fragmented model leads to a disconnect, where the curriculum is out of sync with student needs, and administrative processes might not effectively support teaching and learning. Such a structure inevitably creates barriers to student progress, inhibiting the free flow of information and collaboration crucial for a vibrant learning environment.

DALL·E 2024–01–20 11.34.31 — A symbolic graphic showing traditional silos to represent the breaking down of silos in an educational context by Greg Twemlow
DALL·E 2024–01–20 11.34.31 — A symbolic graphic showing traditional silos to represent the breaking down of silos in an educational context by Greg Twemlow

This proposal aims to dismantle silos and adopt a student-centric, integrated approach.

By leveraging advanced AI technology, we envision a transformed educational landscape where the focus is squarely on the students, ensuring that curricular development, teaching methodologies, and administrative processes all work together to support and enhance the student learning experience. This shift aligns the educational components more closely and positions students at the heart of the academic ecosystem, fostering an environment where their needs, aspirations, and success are the primary focus.

I make the case here that rethinking the role of students in shaping curricula and participating in school administration is a revolutionary idea that aligns with contemporary educational philosophies emphasizing student agency and empowerment. Historically, the exclusion of students from these areas stemmed from traditional views on education, where knowledge was seen as something to be imparted by experts (teachers and administrators) to passive recipients (students). However, this perspective is rapidly evolving.

Students: Enhanced Autonomy, Personalized Learning, and Self-Assessment

AI-Enhanced Student Autonomy

  • Concept: Empower students with AI tools for personalized learning paths and independent project development.
  • Impact: Fosters independent thinking, problem-solving, and engagement, preparing students for a future with autonomous technology.

10X Needs Analysis

  • Concept: Use AI to analyze student performance deeply to predict and address learning needs.
  • Impact: Personalized educational experiences, reducing achievement gaps, and enhancing student learning.

Student-Driven Assessment

  • Concept: Implement AI-assisted self-assessment tools that allow students to engage in formative and summative assessments actively.
  • Impact: Encourages students to take ownership of their learning process, understand their progress, and identify areas for improvement. This approach also helps in developing critical self-evaluation skills.

Curricula/Teaching: Dynamic and Responsive Education

Smart Curriculum Development

  • Concept: AI aids in evolving curricula based on student data and current educational research.
  • Impact: Ensures curricula remain relevant, engaging, and aligned with industry needs and student interests.

Virtual Teaching Assistants

  • Concept: AI replicates professor expertise, providing constant academic support.
  • Impact: Personalized and scalable support enriches the learning environment and caters to diverse student needs.

Students in Curriculum Development

  1. Relevance and Engagement: Students, the primary consumers of educational content, have firsthand insights into what is relevant, engaging, and applicable to their lives and future careers. Involving them in curriculum development can ensure that the content aligns more with their interests and the skills required in the modern world.
  2. Diversity of Perspectives: Students bring diverse perspectives that can enrich the curriculum, making it more inclusive and representative of various cultures, backgrounds, and learning styles.
  3. Ownership and Motivation: Students who contribute to curriculum design develop a sense of ownership over their learning. This involvement can significantly boost motivation and engagement.

Implementation Strategies

  • Curriculum Co-creation Committees: Establish committees where students work alongside faculty to co-develop aspects of the curriculum.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Implement regular feedback sessions where student input on curriculum and teaching methods is sought and acted upon.

Administration: Streamlined and Efficient Operations

Augmented Research Grant Writing

  • Concept: Utilize AI to identify grant opportunities and optimize proposals.
  • Impact: Increases funding success, fostering a robust research environment.

Automated Domain Knowledge Updates

  • Concept: AI keeps academic and administrative content current with the latest research.
  • Impact: Ensures institutional knowledge remains cutting-edge, benefiting teaching and organizational decisions.

Enhanced Administrative Efficiency

  • Concept: AI automates routine tasks, improving resource management and responsiveness.
  • Impact: Frees up human resources for strategic work, enhancing overall institutional effectiveness.

Students in School Administration:

  1. Democratic Education: Involving students in administrative decisions democratizes the educational process. It teaches students about civic engagement, responsibility, and the workings of democratic institutions.
  2. Practical Life Skills: Participation in administrative processes equips students with valuable skills in leadership, problem-solving, negotiation, and collaboration.
  3. Improved Decision-Making: Students often provide unique insights and innovative solutions to administrative challenges. Their involvement can lead to more effective and well-rounded decision-making.

Implementation Strategies:

  • Student Representation in Administrative Bodies: Include student representatives in school boards or committees that make administrative decisions.
  • Pilot Projects: Start with pilot projects in certain classes or departments to test and refine the process of student involvement.

Testing and Evaluation

Evaluating the effectiveness of these integrations remains crucial. For the assessment component, the focus would be on how AI-assisted self-assessments affect student learning outcomes, engagement, and the development of self-evaluation skills. Additionally, feedback from students and educators would be vital in understanding the efficacy and areas for improvement.

With a focus on assessment, this student-centric model empowers students to become active agents in their learning journey. It underscores the importance of self-evaluation and continuous improvement, aligning with the ethos of preparing students for a world where adaptability and self-driven learning are essential. Integrating AI across students, curricula/teaching, and administration creates a harmonious and futuristic educational ecosystem.

About the author: Greg Twemlow, Co-Founder of Future Skills Studio.

Future Skills Studio Co-Founder, Greg Twemlow

Greg Twemlow: Sharing what I’ve learned from my career of 35 years as a citizen of the world, parent, corporate executive, entrepreneur, and, since 2018, CEO of Future Skills Studio, focused on experiential learning programs for young people.

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Greg Twemlow

Pioneering AI-Enhanced Educational Strategies | Champion of Lifelong Learning & Student Success in the GenAI Era