COUSINET, PSYCHOLOGICAL THOUGHT
Cousinet (1882-1973) professor of pedagogical psychology at the Sorbonne, director of journals and founder of associations focused on new education. According to Cousinet, traditional teaching has the double limitation of preventing individuation and not favoring sociability.
School work should be done in an environment that stimulates the mind, but also suitable for developing relationships with others. The group allows you to achieve both objectives.
With the free group working method, free groups will carry out the learning activity. Effective teaching requires that groups form themselves freely, depending on the sympathies and predispositions of the children, it may happen that initially they will often change groups. Group life is an extraordinary source of experiences, comparison and common growth, both from an emotional and an intellectual point of view, but it also presents characters of conflict. However, the group is able to manage this conflict.
Cousinet’s class is organized with a considerable amount of material and teaching tools, so that each group can proceed independently. Since the work is based primarily on the Researchspecial documents divided by subject, are the main tools available to the groups.
The new method involves a “restructuring” of the figure of the teacher, who no longer has to present himself as omniscient and bearer of authority, but as a reasonable and responsible adult, who works alongside his pupils by supporting them in their activity. Therefore he will not have to guide the students in the research, but only to help, the role of collaborator of the groups must be recognized. The teacher will take care to show what each work consists of, once the basic rules have been established, the group will be able to proceed with the utmost freedom. The teacher will make himself available to each group.
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