On Accepting Students as Autonomous Individuals

There is another attitude that stands out in those who are successful in facilitating learning. I have observed this attitude. I have experienced it. Yet, it is hard to know what term to put to it so I shall use several. I think of it as prizing the learner, prizing her feelings, her opinions, her person. It is a caring for the learner, but a nonpossessive caring. It is an acceptance of this other individual as a separate person, having worth in her own right. It is a basic trust – a belief that this other person is somehow fundamentally trustworthy …

The facilitator who has a considerable degree of this attitude can be fully acceptant of the fear and hesitation of the student as she approaches a new problem as well as acceptant of the pupil’s satisfaction in achievement. Such a teacher can accept the student’s occasional apathy, her erratic desires to explore byroads of knowledge, as well as her disciplined efforts to achieve major goals. She can accept personal feelings that both disturb and promote learning – rivalry with a sibling, hatred of authority, concern about personal inadequacy. What we are describing is a prizing of the learner as an imperfect human being with many feelings, as many potentialities. The facilitator’s prizing or acceptance of the learner is an operational expression of her essential confidence and trust in the capacity of the human organism.

-Carl Rogers, Freedom to Learn, p. 124

Rogers FTL


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Filed under Education, Library Instruction, On Being Human, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel, Quotes

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