A conceptual framework for education, popularized in the 1960s as a result of the Plowden Report (1967), in which children's personal, social, physical, and learning needs were to be at the centre of the education process. This was not a new idea and can be traced back to the educational philosophy of Rousseau, Dewey, Montessori, Isaacs, Piaget, and Erikson. Child‐centredness identifies children as unique and special who deserve an education appropriate to their individual needs, rather than a prescribed formal curriculum defined by behaviourist and narrow models of teaching.
The following notions are central to child‐centred education theories:• education should meet the needs of those being educated;• these needs are best met if identified with the interests of children;• the curriculum should be based on experience and discovery;• rather than being subject‐ or content‐based, educational programmes should focus on activity.There were, and are, critics of child‐centred ideology who claim that to cater for all individual children's needs might be to embrace learner autonomy to the point of anarchy and an absence of taught and learned curriculum. However, the experiential and active learning pedagogy of early years teachers reflects a commitment to encouraging children to be independent, creative, responsible, and autonomous, recognizing their competences and supporting the construction of knowledge through social facilitation rather than didactic teaching. This is reflected in Reggio Emilia pre‐schools and within the Te Whaariki curriculum. Furthermore, the UK government has embraced child‐centred ideology within their personalized learning agenda and Assessment for Learning as set out in the Primary National Strategy (Excellence and Enjoyment, 2003), encouraging teachers to plan for the needs of individual children within their classrooms. See also learner‐centred.
• education should meet the needs of those being educated;
• these needs are best met if identified with the interests of children;
• the curriculum should be based on experience and discovery;
• rather than being subject‐ or content‐based, educational programmes should focus on activity.
http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/primary/about/ Details of the current Primary National Strategy.