Student-centered education is not a concept of this era nineteenth . As early as the nineteenth century many educators have had the notion that children are not just small adults and that they require different techniques of teaching. However this relatively innovative idea brings criticism with it from those that are not convinced that students should be responsible for making decisions during and about his/her learning process. .
One of the first people to define Student-centered education was John Dewey at the turn of the twentieth century. Although many other scholars had the initiative and desire to implement these ideas in the classroom, Dewey with the support of his neighbors was able to materialize this dream. In a series of papers based on the direct experience he acquired from his reformed school, Dewey explains what student-centered education is and the need is there for it. In Deweyâ€™s work there is a series of ideas that others had expressed in the passed but that he rephrased in order to have a concrete definition to present to those who didnâ€™t quite buy the idea of focusing on the student rather than on knowledge alone.
Consider the following paragraph:.
â€œOne day in 1896 a young man methodically made the rounds of Chicago's school supply stores. He and his neighbors were starting a new school for their children. Patiently he described his want: â€˜desks and chairs thoroughly suited from all points of views --- artistic, hygenically, and educational --- to the needs of little children.â€™ An afternoon of uncomprehending argument with salesmen whose vocabulary and understanding were as standardized as the furniture which they sold. And then the dealer with more discernment than salesmanship who said, â€˜I am afraid we have not what you want. You want something at which the children may work; these are all for listening.â€™.
â€˜And that,â€ says John Dewey, â€œTells the story of the traditional educationâ€™ â€.