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Individual Education is a school system rooted in the individual psychology of Alfred Adler. Designed by Raymond Corsini, the Individual Education program includes a number of basic principles. The program consists of three components: Academic; Creative/Applied; Socialization. Corsini also outlined disciplinary procedures and a number of other principles to ensure the most productive possible school environment.
The following are the basic principles of the Individual Education School System:
A primary goal of Individual Education is to make children self-sufficient, giving them the mean to become a productive member of society; to become mature and self-reliant. Individual Education is against the infantilization of the child. Instead, Individual Education maximizes the child's self-determination.
Individual Education is designed to develop in children feeling of respect of the self and of others. Traditional school systems make children feel inferior and make many of them feel unsuccessful. A system based on rewards and punishment, praise and disapproval, is considered morally bankrupt in the Individual Education system. Some children are not born into environments conducive to academics. Some children have strengths not visible in the traditional system. Any system that insults these children is wrong.
Every child has innate talents, and some strengths and weaknesses. Whatever resources the child has, Individual Education permits expression, whether academic or non-academic. If little Michaelangelo wants to paint, let him. If he therefore never learns how to solve square roots, so be it. If little Willy Gates doesn't want to leave his computer alone, let him. If he therefore never reads Shakespeare, so be it. As long as Michaelangelo can do basic math, and Willy can read well, that is enough. For others, a broader program will be necessary. The child will determine the program that best suits him/her. The curriculum will be there when he/she needs it. The teacher will encourage learning of all types of academe, but will not force it.
The concept of Social Interest (Gemeinschaftsgefuhl in Adlerian theory) is central to Individual Education. It means responding to the needs of others. It can be seen in school spirit, patriotism, love for family, or elsewhere. This is critical to a child becoming a productive and happy member of society. This goal is not achieved directly, but rather through the achievement of the first 3 Rs.
The curriculum in the academic component is similar to that in the traditional system. Language, mathematics, history/geography and science are developed along the mastery model—through a skills list through which children progress from the beginning of school to the end. Children are tested weekly on average but it is the children who request to be tested; teachers cannot demand that tests be written. Instead a Progress Chart shows how far along the child is (80% is considered mastery). The child doesn't have to learn what he/she has already learned—if the child can pass a test without attending class, the Progress Chart is marked identically to that of a child that attended hours of classroom study. A quick learner is offered the next level of curriculum and the opportunity to tutor others. No numerical or letter-based grading system is used.
|Traditional System||Individual Education System|
|Homework given||No homework given|
|Grades are everything||Learning is everything|
|Teacher burnout common||Teachers are fulfilled|
|Teachers forced to be authoritarian||Teachers are facilitators|
|Children rebel||Children collaborate|
|Children hate school||Children can’t wait to get back from Summer|
|Children are considered inferior||Children are considered equals|
|Rewards and punishment||Respect|
|Pass or Fail||Children learn at their own pace|
|Pass, or fail in life||Children learn because they want to|
|Forced academics||Children decide how best to learn|
|Social component a major source of fear||Teachers facilitate social development of children|
|Pressure, stress all round||Innate motivation to learn, and to teach, shines through|
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