Importance of pulpil-centred method of teaching

Different ideas exist about the term pupil-centered learning. Some of these ideas are wrong. For instance, some people think it is empowerment given to children to control the learning situation. Others think it is an over-sentimental attitude towards children that gives them important airs in the school.

Child-centered education or learning is a response to what we already know about children, their development, nature, interest, and characteristics. Child-centered learning tries to do the following:

Acknowledge that children’s needs should determine what they do at school. This means that all learning activities are to be planned to meet the needs of the learner.

Recognize the characteristics that distinguish children’s ages. This is because children in two different primary school classrooms may differ in many aspects of life. This means that all activities for learning should be planned to cater to their differences.
Base new learning tasks on what pupils already know. This means that the previous knowledge or what the child already knows about the topic should be considered and the next learning step should be based on the previous knowledge. Therefore topics to be treated and methods to be used are to be critically selected so that they are appropriate to the experience of the children.

Apply the knowledge of child psychology and child development to the content and methods of learning and teaching. The teacher’s knowledge in child psychology and development should be applied in the selection of appropriate methods, teaching/learning materials, and the content to use so that they are not above or below the age and capabilities of the learning situation.

In schools where child-centered methods are used, there is a lot of playthings from which children make their choice and as such, where there should be enough room to operate, children are never bored.

Children interact more with each other, they learn how to get on with one another, how to control their emotions, how to act as leaders, and make decisions.
The method of teaching relaxes the atmosphere and creates friendliness among learners. There are always new materials or interesting interaction that stimulates the natural curiosity of children. Learning is therefore enjoyable and children are always present and punctual.

In the pupil-centered method, teachers respect the learner’s individuality and encourage them to develop their potentials. On their part, the children feel that what they are doing is important and worthwhile and therefore gain a sense of satisfaction.

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