Carl Rogers on Person-Centered school

Except from Carl Roger’s book “On Personal Power” where in chapter 4 he proposes a schooling model based on person-centered approach. This could be a simple but clear model for Aarohi. Comments invited.

Here are the fundamental conditions that may be observed when person-centered learning develops in a school, college, or graduate school.

Precondition. A leader or a person who is perceived as an authority figure in the situation is sufficiently secure within himself and in his relationship to others that he experiences an essential trust in the capacity of others to think for themselves, to learn for themselves. If this precondition exists, then the following aspects become possible.

The facilitative person shares with the others—-students and possibly also parents or community members—the responsibility for the learning process. Curricular planning, the mode of administration and operation, the funding, and the policy making are all the responsibility of the particular group involved. Thus a class may be responsible for its own curriculum, but the total group may be responsible for overall policy.

The facilitator provides learning resources—from within himself and his own experience, from books or materials or community experiences. He encourages the learners to add resources of which they have knowledge, or in which they have experience. He opens doors to resources outside the experience of the group.

The student develops his own program of learning, alone or in cooperation with others. Exploring his own interests, facing the wealth of resources, he makes the choices as to his own learning direction and carries the responsibility for the consequences of those choices.

A facilitative learning climate is provided. In meetings of the class or of the school as a whole, an atmosphere of realness, of caring, and of understanding listening is evident. This climate may spring initially from the person who is the perceived leader. As the learning process continues, it is more and more often provided by the learners for one another. Learning from one another becomes as important as learning from books or films or community experiences, or from the facilitator.

It can be seen that the focus is primarily on fostering the continuing process of learning. The content of the learning, while significant, falls into a secondary place. Thus a course is successfully ended not when the student has “learned all he needs to know," but when he has made significant progress in learning how to learn what he wants to know.

The discipline necessary to reach the student's goals is a Self discipline and is recognized and accepted by the learner as being his own responsibility.

The evaluation of the extent and significance of the student’s learning is made primarily by the learner himself though his self-evaluation may be and enriched by caring feedback from other members of the group and from the facilitator.

In this growth-promoting climate, the learning is deeper, proceeds at a more rapid rate, and is more pervasive in the life and behavior of the student than learning acquired in the traditional classroom. This comes about because the direction is self chosen, the learning is self-initiated, and the whole person, with feelings and passions as well as intellect, is invested in the process.

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