Should education be child-centered, focusing on children's interests and needs? Why or why not?
Student-centered learning (also called child-centered learning) is an approach to education focusing on the needs of the students, rather than those of others involved in the educational process, such as teachers and administrators. Student-centered learning is putting students first. Teaching is adjusted to the student's needs, abilities, interests, and learning styles in order for them to consider learning as relevant. In this approach, the teacher's role is as the facilitator of learning. The student voice is central to the learning experience for every learner. There is however an environmental requisite for this approach to be really effective. It requires that students must be active, responsible participants in their own learning. This approach has implications in the curriculum, teaching strategies and assessment tools.
Student-centered learning is opposed to Teacher-centered learning. In here, learning has the teacher at its center in an active role and students in a passive, receptive role. In a teacher-centered philosophy, the importance of transferring knowledge, information, and skills from the older (presumably wiser) generation to the younger one is emphasized. The teacher's role is to instill respect for authority, perseverance, duty, consideration, and practicality. It requires that students are passive recipients of everything transferred from the teacher to them.
Student-centered education can also be referred to as "free education." This means valuing the initiative of each child, with the teacher assisting children in learning. Nobuko Uchida, Professor of the Ochanomizu University Graduate School, in the study entitled, " Child Centered Education: ...
The question of whether or not education should be child-centered is discussed.