Summarize Carl Rogers's view of the teacher/learner relationship.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of Rogers's basic premises in the teacher/ learner relationship is that the learner must have their experience reflected in the instruction process. "The direction of movement" is something that Rogers saw as resting with "the client."  This "person centered" approach can be applied to Rogers's ideas in education.  Rogers believed that teaching must embrace the individual experience of the student.

The teacher is the facilitator of this learning process.  In Rogers's understanding of learning, there is not a stand- offish and emotionally distant chasm between teacher and student:  “The educational situation which most effectively promotes significant learning is one in which (a) threat to the self of the learner is reduced to a minimum and (b) differentiated perception of the field is facilitated.”  The "person centered" approach to learning that Rogers embraced is one in which the learner feels they are validated by the teacher:  “A person learns significantly only those things that are perceived as being involved in the maintenance of or enhancement of the structure of self.”  Rogers stresses that the teacher has to validate the experience of the  learner must be embedded in all aspects of learning.  Content and instruction flows through the prism of the learner, compelling teachers to integrate this reality in their efficacy as a teacher.