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South African Journal of Education

Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

HORN, Irmhild. Learner-centredness: an analytical critique. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2009, vol.29, n.4, pp. 511-525. ISSN 0256-0100.

Contemporary education theory (and official South African policy) underwrites learner-centredness. I analyse learner-centredness as a possible piece of the puzzle about why it is proving so difficult to improve academic achievement. Learner-centred ideas are grounded in the belief that cognitive abilities develop spontaneously in accordance with a natural developmental trajectory and optimal education is education that is in harmony therewith. The origin of learner-centredness is Rousseau's education naturelle. I set out Rousseau's ideas and then critically analyse their manifestation in contemporary education.

Keywords : academic problems; contemporary derivatives; learner-centredness; Rousseau.

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