The 4 Concepts of Child-Centered Learning
For centuries, we had the wrong idea about learning, and our rote learning (learning by memorising) system seemed to be fine, yet in the 1960s, it became obvious that there are many flaws with the traditional classroom instruction model. Just after WWII, an Italian primary school teacher created a learning approach which is used widely today, the Reggio Emilia method of learning. This system is focuses solely on the child, and here are the main concepts that are to be followed:
- The child must have a level of control over the learning content. By learning about topics they are interested in, the students engage the content and learning best occurs in such an environment. In a school that adopts Reggio Emilia concepts, the curriculum would be chosen by the children.
- Freedom of Expression. All children must have the opportunity to express themselves is a suitable way, which might include language, drama, art or any other form of expression. The students are encouraged to be creative, and with the teacher’s help, the learner encounters many new things, and is always encouraged to voice an opinion. Fortunately, there is such an international school in Bangkok and they accept children from K – Year 4, which are the early learning years that provide a solid foundation for academic instruction.
- Parental & community Participation. It is essential that parents and community members are involved in the learning process, and the teacher will often take the children to visit a factory or farm, where they can learn about how things work.
- Learning Environment. The kids learn outside in the natural world, while the classroom would be decorated using soft, pastel colours and natural materials would be used whenever possible, and learning would occur through discussion rather than instruction.
Any education system that puts the child at the centre of the learning process will produce well-balanced children who are curious by nature and in harmony with their environment. The teacher takes on the role of facilitator and it is normal for a class to have the same teacher for several years or even longer. This allows the learners to form a strong relationship with their facilitator and trust develops, which really does help the learning process, and correct behaviour is modelled, rather than taught.
If you are looking for a good school for your child, seek out an institution that follows a child-centered curriculum and your son or daughter will develop a lifelong love of learning.