Concepts, Challenges and Principles of Child-centered and Progressive Education 

Concepts, challenges and Principles of child-centred 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. 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. 

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 experiences 

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 

Principles of Child Centred Learning and Progressive Education 

1. Understanding Child Psychology:

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. Evaluation and Testing:

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. 

3. Syllabus:

The syllabus must be made according to the 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. Managing Discipline:

In a child centred classroom, child psychology is used to maintain discipline. When learners are engaged in different acts of indiscipline, the teacher needs to have a flexible approach. The teacher must try to understand the reason behind the behaviour and respond accordingly. 

5. Practical Orientation:

Learners should be oriented towards practical application of what they learn. They must 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. 

6. Diagnosis and Dismantling Problems:

In a classroom, there are various kinds of problems. 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. 

Challenges of child-centred 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. 

Since every child has different needs and capabilities, the teacher must perform the role of a guide who instincts, encourages, and stimulates a child.

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