The concept of child-centred curriculum emerged as a result of the child’s revolt against subject-compartmentalization. The child-centred curriculum places the child at the centre, high-lighting the child’s needs and aspirations rather than the content of the subjects.
While building up child-centred approach to curriculum construction, we must give due consideration to what children are interested in and then build the curriculum upon that. While working under this arrangement, the children would take pleasure in doing something.
The resulting experience ‘ will be a satisfying state of mind. In his Pedagogic Creed, John Dewey has laid emphasis on the child’s own social activities. According to him, j these activities should form the nucleus of curricular activities. According to Dewey, “The social life of the child is the basis of concentration, or correlation, in all his training or growth. The social life gives the unconscious unity and the background of all his attainments.”
Characteristics of Child-Centred curriculum:
The following are the main characteristics of Child-Centred Curriculum:
1. It is organised around the child, his personal needs and interests which are socially derived.
2. Child’s own interests facilitate learning. Curriculum aims at progressive promotion of knowledge.
3. Subject matter is selected and organised according to teaching-learning situation. This helps in the growth of life- related skills.
4. There is no too much of structuring of courses. There is participatory organisation of content, the parents and learners being equal participants.
5. The emphasis in curriculum framing is on matters which are useful for the present as well as future also.
6. Flexibility is the hall-mark of curriculum organisation. Multiple and varied resources for pupils of different interests and abilities are tapped and material so accumulated is incorporated.
7. Stress is on integrated learning of habits and skills.
8. Child-centred curriculum really ‘draws out’ what is best in the child. It provides him expanded exposure.
9. Education is viewed as an all-round growth of the learner.
10. According to J.C. Agarwal, “To teach in a classroom characterised by the student-centred approach, requires that teachers must know a great deal about the growth and development of children and youth.”