Carl R. Rogers, noted clinical psychologist, called for a revolution of teaching methods in a speech to overflow crowds in Lowell Lecture Hall and Burr A last night.
Speaking in Lowell with a hook-up to Burr, Rogers, who is currently a Resident Fellow at the Western Behavorial Science Institute in La Jolla, Calif., called teaching a "vastly overrated function," and described the real goal of teachers as the facilitation of learning. The trully educated man, he said, is the man who has learned how to learn.
The most important factor in helping people learn, Rogers continued, is the personal relationship between teacher and learner. He cited three attitudes as basic to good student-teacher relationships: "realness," "prizing or positive regard," and "empathic understanding."
A teacher, Rogers explained, should allow his real feelings to show to his students, not try to hide them by playing a role. He should prize the student as a person of worth, and he should try to understand the students' feelings without judging him.
When these three factors are present in relationships between teacher and students, Rogers declared, they usually create a classroom atmosphere that encourages students to learn things on their own.
Rogers's educational theory is a development of his "client-centered" psychotherapy. With this system the therapist does not try to reform his client, but to help him understand himself.
His speech was the last of a series of lectures on "The Psychology of Learning" sponsored by the School of Education.