Learning stations and centers have a lot of similarities. Both are designed to enhance and encourage learning development in students. The main difference between learning stations and centers is that whereas stations are designed to promote teamwork and independent learning in subject themes, learning centers focus more on providing individualized instruction to students who are struggling with concepts and subject topics.
Related Themes and Topics
Both learning centers and learning stations are dedicated to enhancing the education of children. Learning stations are usually dedicated to a particular theme, subject or topic. All of the stations in the class are related to the theme, subject or topic, and students are expected to complete each station in order to fulfill the task. Learning centers, however, are dedicated to a subject but are more varied. In learning centers, students will focus on the area of weakness or concentrate on the one important subject rather than move from topic to topic.
Area of Study
Learning stations operate in a round-robin manner, providing all the students with the opportunity to try each activity. In learning centers, students work continuously on one activity until they master it. The focus for learning centers is to master a specific area of study or subject, whereas in a learning station, the focus is to spend a small amount of time doing many tasks.
Teamwork Versus One-on-One
Learning centers give students who are struggling with a subject, such as math, the ability to work one-on-one with a tutor, and oftentimes students will work on problems by themselves. This is a way to encourage students to learn and work independently. In learning stations, children work in teams and build their team-building skills. Teachers provide instructions but offer limited feedback or involvement in the activities that the kids are participating in.
The aims of learning centers and learning stations differ. The learning center is, in most cases, a fun activity for children to participate in; it is a different method of education than classroom lecture. It allows the children to participate and interact. Learning centers don’t often occur in the classroom; they more often occur outside the classroom, where a tutor or teacher can provide his full attention and focus to the student and help her achieve success in a subject that she is struggling with.
Krista Martin has been writing professionally since 2005. She has written for magazines, newspapers and websites including Live Listings, "Homes & Living" magazine and the "Metro Newspaper." Martin holds an honors Bachelor of Arts in English from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Master of Journalism from the University of Westminster.