Interests of Students and the Conception of Needs

Attending to the interests of students and the conception of needs proved to be one of the more important curricular design issues of the early-to-mid 20th century. In what became a progressive education emblem, the now forgotten phrase “attending to the interests of students” represented one of the fundamental principles of progressive education. More sophisticated definitions of progressive education added the phrase, “meeting the needs of students,” in what would historically prove to become a factor for determining the scope of the curriculum. Although designing curriculum to attend to the interests and needs of students may seem a commonsensical belief and simple concern, the topic proved highly controversial within the Progressive Education Association (PEA) and continues to prove problematic for designing any student-centered curriculum.

The importance ...

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