Kd's e-pathsala Introduction to Education Concept, Characteristics and Importance of Child-Centered Education

Concept, Characteristics and Importance of Child-Centered Education

Child-centered education is a sort of revolt against subject-centered education. Child-centered education seeks to provide a natural flow of activity and spontaneous growth of the child. He must be allowed to enjoy complete freedom of action subject to the condition that he should not interfere with the freedom of others.

The teacher’s role is that of an interested observer and at best that of a guide who encourages, advises and stimulates the child, if and when needed. The child is stimulated to activity by his own felt needs and inner drives. Learning takes place as he strives to meet his needs and gives expression to his drives. Here immediate purpose and interests are the motivating factors, which may go on changing with the situation, modern education is child-centered.

The great philosophers and educationalists like Rousseau, Tagore, Froebel, Pestalozzi and Montessori have given emphasis on Child-centered Education at different times.

Characteristics of Child-Centered Education:

As a child is the Centre of Education, development of mind, body and spirit of the child should be reflected in the programme and planning of education. Rousseau advocates that child should be allowed to learn from nature in his natural way without any interference from the adult, that nothing should be taught to him until he is capable of understanding it, that his individuality should be respected, that his natural interests like play and curiosity should form the basis of his education, and that books should be avoided particularly at the early stage and more emphasis should be given to the child sensory and natural development. The stress laid by Rousseau on the individuality of the child means that the child should be respected, as he is with all his abilities, and drawbacks, that in educating him these should be given due consideration and that all children cannot therefore be treated alike. So children should be treated as the center of education.

The following points need be considered for promoting child-centered education-
  1. Freedom: Pestalozzi added a new dimension to educational thought and practice by insisting that education was not the privilege of any single class but the right of every child belonging to different classes. Freedom was granted to the child to discover things rather than getting secondhand information through books. Emphasis was given on the freedom of children to learn and create.
  2. No Discrimination: Child-centric education is above caste, creed, sex and economic and social background of the child. There is no place for discrimination of any kind in child-centered education.
  3. Self-activities: Froebel developed plays, games and songs and occupations, designed especially to stimulate the child’s self-activity. He laid great stress on the self-development of the child and child’s activity should stem from his own interests.
  4. Process of spontaneous development: The child progresses at its own speed in a subject. The role of the teacher is to understand the child. The child’s freedom and individuality have found expression spontaneously in the lap of nature.
  5. Continuous Evaluation: Under a child-centered system of education, the evaluation procedures should be continuous and remedial. Children’s deficiencies are identified and remedial measures are instituted in progressive manner.
  6. Development of interest and needs: The education of a child depends on his interest and needs. The physical, social, moral and spiritual development of the child is “the main objective of child-centered Education.
  7. Education-based on experience: The main objective of child-centered Education is to enable the child to learn through experience which is permanent. The course and subjects should be experience- oriented to meet the needs of the child.


Child is the center of the whole education process. The great philosophers at different times emphasized on it. The role of teacher is like a guide and observer to provide complete freedom to the child to grow naturally. Child-centered Education is the ideal system to manifest the latent talent of the child. In this process education is not an extra venous imposition but natural stimulation for the development of the child.