Child-centered teaching, redemption, and educational identities: A history of the present

Baker, Bernadette (1998) Child-centered teaching, redemption, and educational identities: A history of the present. Educational Theory, 48(2), pp. 155-174.

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Child-centeredness runs a familiar route in educational narratives. From Rousseau to Pestalozzi to Froebel to present day systems of childcare and schooling, childcenteredness is thought to have shifted the treatment of children into closer harmony with their true nature and hence into more sensitive and civilized forms of rearing. The celebratory air surrounding its deployment in education has been pervasive and difficult to contest partly because of the emotive alliances that have been drawn between child-centeredness and progressivism. That is, child-centeredness has been positioned as superseding a harsh, medieval ignorance of children while preventing present-day authoritarian strategies of domination. Child-centeredness is thus presently constituted as a soft space, as a deeply sensitive middle ground, between ignoring children and dominating them completely.

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ID Code: 89876
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0013-2004
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1998 Board of Trustees / Univcrsity of Illinois
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at:
Deposited On: 25 Nov 2015 03:56
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 03:56

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