Student-Centered Philosophies: Everything You Need to Know

This refers to an educational philosophy that emphasizes the education of students based on an individualized curriculum. Student-centered philosophies give students the opportunity to use their experiences and abilities to solve problems and identify new ways of learning. One example of this will be if a math teacher allows the students to work in groups to solve various problems or lets students develop their own tests. With these philosophies, teachers and students are committed to working together and identifying the best achievable learning method.

Three types of student-centered philosophies include:

Progressivism: Progressivism builds the curriculum around students’ interests, abilities, and experiences and encourages them to work together cooperatively. The teacher will use games like Monopoly to illustrate important points. Unlike perennialists, progressivist teachers don’t believe in teaching great books but use field trips, interactive websites, and computer simulations to provide students with realistic learning challenges and build on their multiple intelligences. Teachers use many props to expand students’ abilities and help them think a little differently. Rather than just lecturing to students, teachers try to discover more engaging ways to communicate crucial learning techniques, and this provides students with opportunities to explore ideas and develop knowledge based on their own experiences and observations.

Social reconstructivism: Social reconstructivism promotes students, teachers, and schools to focus their energies and studies on alleviating pervasive inequities. Social reform is central to this kind of philosophy, and social problems and challenges help guide educators with their message. A social reconstructionist educator wants to inform the students and stimulate emotions and identify the inequities surrounding the world and them. The teacher encourages students to discuss and address problems like violence, homelessness, poverty, and many other issues that create disparity. The educator’s role is to discover social problems, suggest alternate perspectives, and help students’ examinations of those problems. The principal focus of this philosophy is to help students identify ways to improve society.

Existentialism: Existentialism places maximum importance on students’ actions, decisions, and perceptions, and individuals are responsible for deciding for themselves what’s right or wrong, true or false, beautiful or ugly. Students make choices and take the time to assess those choices. This philosophy means that pupils think for themselves and are aware of their responsibilities. It says no to tradition and concentrates on students’ unique talents. The teacher considers each student an individual, and the students learn how to achieve their complete potential by trying new concepts.

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