The Learning Center : A Stimulus to Motivation within the Traditional Classroom

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)



First Advisor

David Nichols

Second Advisor

Dr. A. Tufano


The purpose of this thesis is to discuss the effectiveness of five (5) learning centers implemented in a traditional self-contained seventh grade classroom. This is to determine the need of such centers as a tool to motivate, self direct and allow the student to utilize background information in his own self discovering format; the rationale being that the learning centers provide stimulating, self directed activities after the introductory unit is presented within the traditional curriculum. The introductory activities provide the pupils with a frame of reference in which they can work independently from the teacher. In this setting, the children delve into various required and optional manipulative, visual and written activities located, in some cases, in decorated compartments of boxes. This reinforces a specific academic subject thru choices of activities in an atmosphere of student directed learning instead of teacher directed learning. Thus, the student's interests become the motivating factor for accomplishing the tasks within the learning center. Curriculum will be examined in terms of its characteristics, aims and development. This encompasses the teacher/student role within various curriculums. Thus, the learning centers can be examined as positive additions to the curriculum by encouraging student independence and mobility for the teacher.


Master's thesis submitted to the faculty of Sacred Heart University's School of Education in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Teaching.