In this assignment I will distinguish distinct features of child centred education, explore its origin and exemplify the positive contributions it can make to pupils’ education. I will show my personal interpretation of this value and its effect within the educational setting. Consideration of others notions of this value will be explored, parallel to some tensions or possible challenges that may become apparent when upholding and promoting this value. Finally I will appraise the connotations child centred education has upon education and what effect it may have upon my future practice as a teacher.
A value can be defined as an important and lasting belief that influences our long term views. We use these principles or morals to moderate ideas or actions and they have a major influence on a person’s attitude and behaviour (UNESCO 2010). Our personal values provide the criteria by which we decide if something is good or bad, right or wrong; they are an inherent part of teaching practice and this is emulated in what is taught, how it is taught and also the interaction with pupils (Arthur et al 2005). Values are an inherent part of teaching practice emulated in what is taught, how it is taught and also the interaction with pupils. The relationship between values, aims and practice is exemplified by Métais (2004) cited by Arthur & Cremin (2010) as the cycle of educational values (see appendix 1). The cycle demonstrates how values influence our aims, which, in turn, influence every aspect of the education we offer our pupils.
Teachers values, specifically in our class room, guide our practice and form the principles upon which we make decisions: how we organise our classrooms; the resources we make available; how we listen and respond to children, parents/carers and colleagues and our use of language. The use of books is another value related theorem. Do we, as teachers, use texts which reflect diversity within society of a multitude of different ethnics, cultures, sexualities, disabilities and different types of family?
Teachers’ upholding positive values and morals to model them to pupils is essential. Most children spend the majority of their daily childhood within the school setting, so educators have a palpable influence on children’s personal morals. The forthcoming national curriculum notes this and demands that “Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which: promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society” (DfE 2013a: p.4). This notion of developing the whole child, concerned with social and emotional qualities as well as academia, was central to the highly influential Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda (DfES 2004). ECM’s outcomes and aims, with respect to children’s enjoyment and achievement, highlights the importance of personal and social development. Although ECM is no longer an official government document, its principles are...