28 mars 2012

"Student-centered education" (Critical Guide, E.D. Hirsch Jr)

   Another phrase for "child-centered education", but with the word "student" substituted for "child" to bring the principle into the middle school and high school years. It expresses the idea that it is more humane to focus on the well-being of the child than on "mere" academic learning. 

   But schools are not organized, and their staffs are not trained, to reliably secure the spiritual and psychological well-being of students, though good teachers often inspire by example. Schools are organized and instituted primarily to teach subject matters and skills, and it is their first duty to do so as effectively as possible. forces them. 

   As with various forms of the "project method," however, thematic learning has proved to be more successful when used with prudence as an occasional device than when used consistently as the primary mode of instruction. 
   One reason for entering this caution is that some subjects require different amounts of exposure than others in order to be learned. History and literature, for example, generally require fewer reinforcements to achieve a learning goal than do certain aspects of math and science, whose procedures must be often repeated and practiced. The thematic approach may or may not provide these needed reinforcements. 
   As with most pedagogical methods, the key is common sense. If students have been well monitored and are known to have mastered the basic subject matters that are to be dealt with in the thematic project, then the method is an attractive way of encouraging student enthusiasm and further learning.

Antipathy to subject-matter content  

"banking theory of schooling" 
"culturally-biased curriculum" 
"outcomes-based education" 
"research has shown"


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This was an excerpt from Hirsch's great book on education :
The Schools We Need 
 and Why We Don't Have Them.
Recension by Richard Askey :  

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