Child centred education 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. This approach has many implications for the design of curriculum, course content, and interactivity of courses. Child-centred learning, that is, putting students first, is in contrast to teacher-centred learning. Child-centred learning is focused on the student's needs, abilities, interests, and learning styles with the teacher as a facilitator of learning. This classroom teaching method acknowledges student voice as central to the learning experience for every learner. Teacher-centred learning has the teacher at its centre in an active role and students in a passive, receptive role. Child-centred learning requires students to be active, responsible participants in their own learning.
There are two opposing viewpoints on how to properly instruct children in the classroom. There is the teacher-centred approach where the role of the teacher is to dispense facts and the role of the student is to listen and memorize said facts. In the child-centred, or constructivist, approach the children are more in control of their education. They do hands on activities to promote a higher order of thinking (analysis, critical thinking), and projects are usually branched off from the main topic of discussion. Critics of the child-centred approach say that children waste too much time with such activities and would be better served learning mathematics facts and physics. Advocates of the child-centred approach say that allowing children to make discoveries of their own is vital to obtaining a higher order of thinking which better serves children throughout their lives. Supporters also assert that in most classrooms there is simply only the occasional child-centred activity but that classrooms have largely remained teacher-centred (Abbeduto, 2006).