Our vision for education focuses on the well-being of students as whole human beings. Human-Centred Education (HCE) builds a bridge between the ever-changing principles and policies of state education and the myriad forms of alternative education. National education policy tends to ignore deeper educational processes, such as the cultivation of qualities that are central to living meaningfully and well, because they tend to focus on high-stakes testing of academic performance.
Human-Centred Education (HCE) provides an effective antidote to an obsession with testing; it offers a holistic and well-being-oriented approach, without sacrificing educational standards or schools’ interests in academic excellence.
Human-Centred Education radically rethinks the aims of education, the nature and processes of learning, and the relationships in school communities.
The vision of Human-Centred Education (HCE) arose from the GHFP’s three decades of work with schools in different parts of the world. In answering questions such as “What are the aims of education?”, “How should we understand learning?”, “What constitutes well-being?” and “What does a good learning community entail?”, we arrived at the concept of Human-Centred Education (HCE).
HCE respects the intrinsic value of the whole person and their well-being, and focuses on cultivating those qualities that can be described as human, such as interest, curiosity, compassion, relationship, care, and responsibility.
HCE asserts that the development of whole human beings is paramount and should have priority over other general educational aims, such as students’ academic excellence, national economic growth, or social transformation.
HCE regards education as a site for learning, relationship and exploration, and supports students to pursue a rich, meaningful and proactive life in schools and later throughout their adulthood.
HCE caters for students’ current and future developmental needs, cultivates their thirst for learning, offers appropriate challenges, and nurtures their responsibilities for learning and well-being.
HCE transcends interactions and relationships in schools that are defined solely by roles within the school. HCE considers roles as goal-defined functions, and believes that human beings in schools are more than such functions.
HCE stresses a school as a learning community underpinned by a culture of respect and genuine concern for the well-being of each person. As such, schools can provide a respectful culture in which individuals relate to each other in a caring way. A HCE School is a home-away-from-home for the student.
In investigating students’ experiences, the GHFP Research Institute puts forward a set of proposals for HCE practices to be implemented in schools. Now, we are piloting key aspects of HCE with an aim to understand how HCE can not only support students’ holistic development and well-being, but also help transform educational institutions.
By supporting educational projects and schools worldwide, organising international conferences and symposiums, and conducting empirical research, the GHFP Research Institute has continued to consolidate and further articulate the ideas underlying HCE.
As our recent pilot case study suggests, when a school commits to a human-centred approach to teaching and learning, students are empowered to unfold their holistic potential, and are flourishing both academically and in their wider lives.