Advantages and Disadvantages of Child-Centered and Progressive Education

Advantages and disadvantages of child-centered and progressive education

Progressive education resulted from ideas developed by the theorists and consequently found its influence upon other forerunners of the idea such as Concepts, challenges and Principles of child-centred and progressive education. 

The characteristics of child-centred learning include the following:

1. It emphasises upon the growth of a child

2. It makes the learning process more interesting and meaningful

3. It recognises the potential of the child and uses it effectively

4. It focuses on physical, moral, and spiritual development thereby focusing on the overall development of the child

5. It encourages the child to learn through experience

6. It gives a child the full freedom for natural growth

Characteristics of Progressive Education

The characteristics of progressive education are as follows:

1. It stresses less upon textbooks and discourages rote learning

2. To develop social skills and values, collaborative learning is used

3. It stresses upon developmental educational approach

4. Curriculum is designed on the basis of the children’s interests

5. The teacher plays the role of a facilitator

Advantages of Child-centered and Progressive Education

1. Engaging:

Child centred learning and progressive education makes learning more engaging because it takes the interests of the learners into account. It encourages teachers to understand child psychology so that they can realise all children have different learning capabilities and they need to adapt their teaching methods accordingly. The teacher must have a teaching strategy where the focus is shifted from the teacher to the learner and he or she must understand that the behaviour of children is governed by their social conditions, abilities, requirements, and the like.

2. Practical Application:

Child centred learning also enables teachers to encourage the learners to apply what they are learning and adopt learning that leans towards practical orientation. Learners are oriented towards practical application of what they learn. They learn how to solve problems through learning the value of experimentation. Researching psychology gives one new knowledge about child psychology and this knowledge should be implemented by the teacher in the classroom.

3. Syllabus:

The syllabus is created through psychological analysis of the children’s values, needs, and required variety and this needs to be upgraded on a periodic basis. To ensure that it facilitates all learners, it should be flexible.

4. Proper Problem Diagnosis:

Child centred learning also encourages the teachers to diagnose the problems in a classroom properly and respond to each and every child according to their behaviour. The teacher must learn to categorise each and every problem and must also find a solution to the same through his or her knowledge of child psychology.

5. Evaluation:

To ensure that the learning process is effective, evaluation of learning is significant. In child centred learning, traditional evaluation and testing techniques are replaced by Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation. In this way, if the child is not acquiring the required learning, corrections can be made so that development occurs as planned.

Disadvantages of child-centered and progressive education

1. Lack of Interest:

Learners have a lack of interest towards learning and therefore, encouraging them to learn and developing an interest among them towards education is a challenge for teachers.

2. Difference of Interests:

Although child centred learning focuses on the interests of the child, it’s also important to remember that every child has different interests and it may not be possible to take each of those interests into account.

3. Class Size:

If the class strength is high, it will be more difficult to implement the child centred approach as it is difficult to focus on each and every child.

Child centred learning can be regarded as a significant aspect of progressive education because it believes learning to be a natural process in which a child participates in learning by engaging in daily activities. In this type of learning, the teacher focuses on what a child is learning rather than on what the teacher is teaching.

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