The role of education is to modify the behavior of a child. Child is the central focus in this system. Without child, the entire educational system is meaningless. Therefore, modern educations give importance to child-centered curriculum.
The programmes of education must be as per the requirement of a child. In this system child’s interest, need, capacity, abilities, aptitudes, etc. are to be taken priority at the time of preparing curriculum. It gives less importance to subject and teacher-centeredness in education.
The Chief Characteristics of Child-Centeredness are-
(i) The child is the centre of education.
(ii) The teacher require to know or understand the child than subjects.
(iii) Children are given freedom to read newspapers, reference books.
(iv) They should allow to go on excursion and use instructional materials available in the school.
(v) Flexible curriculum provides opportunity to the child for free participation.
(vi) Child-centered curriculum gives much attention on social interaction.
(vii) Child-centered curriculum is related to life of the child.
(viii) Children develop their interest and develop accordingly.
(ix) Child’s ability, interest, capacity, aptitude and intelligence are taken into consideration.
(x) Child-centered education facilitates learning.
The child-centered education implies that the child occupies the central place in the educational process. Education gives more importance to child than teacher. The child has the potentialities. The teacher is there to develop the potentiality-creating situation. Rousseau, Montessori and Gandhi gave emphasis on child and developed child-centered curriculum in different forms.
Advantages of Child-Centered Curriculum:
(i) It gives emphasis on interest on problem of the child than subject matter.
(ii) It gives importance on experience before expression. The teaching and learning is in the form of direct interaction.
(iii) Learning by doing is given importance. The child learns through active participation, which is based on learning by doing.
(iv) The child learns to apply the learned knowledge in its day-to-day life.
(v) The teacher is guide not instructor.
(vi) All educational activities should be learnt through play activities.
(vii) Maximum freedom is provided to the children for free expression.
(viii) Children are trained to be self-disciplined.
(ix) The teacher stimulates the child with praise and blame.
Therefore, child-centered curriculum is treated as a suitable educational structure for the child.