Child Centred Versus Teacher-Centred Approach to Curriculum

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Name: Hind Al Atassi

Date: February 17th, 2011

When we think back to our school days, some of us might remember those fantastic moments when we sailed off to an imaginative land and turned a piece of furniture into a sailing ship. It is hard to forget those memories and those teachers that encouraged us to be explorers of the world. On the other hand, many of us have a different experience and remember a more rigorous and controlled time at school but yet, are still as successful in our lives as our counterparts. As a future educator that is still developing her teaching skills and philosophies, I often question the adult-centered versus the child-centered approaches to curriculum and teaching. I also wonder whether one of them is more effective than the other in bringing success to our children’s future or whether a combination of both is the most appropriate way. The child-centered approach proposes that children are actively involved in their learning. Hence, it assumes that it develops children’s initiative and creativity and as a result boosts their self-confidence in themselves. First, in my opinion, in order for teacher’s to apply this approach, they must trust the children to lead the way. They must believe that working alongside them can result in great learning experiences for the children. In addition, they should be open to accepting new ideas that conflict with their past experiences or their present comfort levels. Teacher must also believe in what Rousseau advocated; that children must be at the center of the educative process and that knowledge is there to be drawn out of them. Furthermore, teachers have to acknowledge his theory which Wolfe (2002) describes in her book, Learning from the Past: Historical Voices in Early Childhood Education. In this theory, it is assumed that children’s growth and learning are cultivated through the educative process but that their unique ways of thinking and doing things would only be...
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