Monday, December 24, 2012

Favorite Comments of '12: Deirdre Mundy and FedUpMom

On More on good uses of Constructivist ideals: art, relevance, heterogeneous groups, and child-centered ideas

Deirdre Mundy said...
I think part of the problem is the use of the term 'child-centered learning.'

Montessori is the ultimate in project based, child-centered learning. But it doesn't mean "the kids have free rein." Rather, it means that each kid has the freedom to choose between a limited set of carefully developed activities, each of which teaches a concrete skill.

On the other hand, it's more friendly than most other forms of education called "child-centered" because it's actually carefully tailored to what's developmentally appropriate for young children.

The problem with a lot of so-called child-centered instruction is that it's not centered on actual children, but on some hazy, over-romanticized, Rousseau-like ideal of what a 'child' ought to be.

FedUpMom said...
Katharine, I agree with your basic premise. I have also been trying to steer a course where I find the best of the various pedagogical traditions. With traditionalists, I care about content and good curriculum; with progressives, I care about kids as entire human beings and want their school experience to be as enjoyable and nurturing as possible.

What I see all the time is that schools have somehow managed to do the exact opposite; they choose the worst of all worlds. They take the authoritarian approach of bad traditional practice and wed it to the fuzzy curricula of bad progressive practice. The result is the mess we have today.

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