Child-Centered Education

The title – and topic – of this post should reflect an accurate description of our Educational System. Pitifully, it doesn’t. In fact, our System resembles a factory in which effective members of our society are “produced”.

We hardly can say “educated” or “taught”, as their education is based upon a series of compulsory knowledge to be learned and minimum marks to get in order to “pass”. I’ve been through three Practicums and visited five schools, and four of them have proven to me that the “Effective”-Based Educational System, through books, marks and class-centered teaching, are the past, present and near-future of education in Spain.

Nevertheless – as I said – there’s still hope.

There are State Schools who are trying to center their system into a child-centered one. This is the case of the CEIP in Barcelona in which I’m practicing my teaching skills at the moment: a two decades old school in which there is no room for books, exams or homework; in which co-education and personal formation is vital, and dialogue and coherence in learning are the bases of the formation of its students.

For four years now I’ve been reading about the Dialogic Learning System as written in Ramón Flecha’s Aprendizaje dialógico en la sociedad de la información, a learning system never used at the classical system schools I’ve been. This system is used at the CEIP I’m right now, and it has proven to be quite efficient.

Based upon teaching through dialogue the pupils are easily assessed, for the conversations between the teacher and the classroom reveal easily if they comprehend or not the lesson and why. This, of course, has a bigger impact on linguistic-based subjects – such as the study of foreign languages or social sciences -, but helps creating a quite nice and direct educational environment with all the children.

Child-centered education is the near-future of education – avoidance of grading and defining the education of the children through marks and compulsory knowledge has no future in an ever-evolving society as ours. I’ve been two day doing my Practicum in this school, I’m looking forward learning more and write about it in here.

The children are the ones to decide how they need to be taught. Teachers: let’s stay in silence, pay attention and, over all, listen.

Sergi

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