Child-centred education is described in Rousseau’s naturalist philosophy which gives complete freedom to the child and also respects his/her natural self. Apart from this, the education of the child can only be done by living in the natural environment. he educational philosophy of Rousseau provides an opportunity for the child to learn through his own efforts and to choose subjects to according to his interests. The following educational methods are useful for the child:
Teaching Methods in Rousseau’s Philosophy
1. Learning by Doing
About educational methods Rousseau explains that a child gains the most effective knowledge through his own efforts. By doing this, his physical strength also develops. In learning by doing, the child not only gains physical strength but also feel good mentally. This instils self-confidence in the child, also his successful and unsuccessful efforts inspire him to move forward in life.
2. Learning through Senses
Rousseau believes child remembers the knowledge acquired through senses for long time because it is secured directly through the source. Providing multi-sensory education to the child is very helpful in his personality development. Traditional education that is imparted in schools does not remain useful over time because the child may forget them. But the education which involves knowledge related with the information and experiences acquired through multiple senses leaves a deep impression on his mind and brain. Therefore the child should learn to use all his senses.
3. Exploration / Discovery Method
In order to make the child’s knowledge permanent it is necessary to provide him maximum time to explore and observe new things. In Rousseau’s educational philosophy, discovery method is the most important learning method for acquiring knowledge. Rousseau strongly opposes the rote-learning method. He insists the child to get education in natural surroundings so that the child can gain knowledge by exploring himself because this type of experiences and information will always marked in his memory.
4. Self-Education Method
The child can become successful in developing his own abilities by using self-education method. Self-education method is helpful to the child as it helps in boosting his confidence by motivating him to achieve new goals in life. Rousseau places more emphasis on self-study approach as it increases a child’s interest. The child can choose his own learning areas according to his needs and interests. In contact with nature, the child understands his needs better and is clearer about them. He can gain knowledge by using the self-education method for the comfort of his curiosity.
5. Self-Experience Method
According to Rousseau, the child should be motivated to learn on the basis of his experiences. Children understand correctly when they are in direct contact with facts and their surroundings. Through direct contact, they become aware of the reality of the object quickly. Experiences right or wrong, good or bad can both help in the development of the child in all forms. That is why the child should be given freedom to understand nature, things, humans etc. These experiences provide him true education and make him a skilled person.