The paper aims at identifying the perceptions of students in regards to the problematic and dysfunctional aspects identified by them within the learning process in Romania, as well as identifying the possible solutions that would lead to the amelioration of the educational practice, with the purpose of optimizing the schools results of pupils/students. The target group was represented by a group of students enrolled in technical faculties which were asked to elaborate on the two mentioned aspects, referencing both their experience as students, as well as that of pupils. The results obtained following the processing and analysis of the answers converge on the necessity of respecting the requirements characteristic to the paradigm of adapting school to the necessities and particularities of the pupils. We note the fact that the national educational policies support and promote the principle of adapting the school to the requirements and possibilities of the pupils, at the level of educational objectives and courses of action stated within certain documents of educational policy aimed at the pre-university and university level, through which the achievement of a high-quality education is endeavoured, particularly through: the reassessment of the role of the pupil, placing his needs, interests, and requirements at the forefront of the educational proceedings, and assuring equal opportunity throughout the entire educational process. The problematic aspects identified within the educational process remain, however, valid, representing a discrepancy between the documents of educational policy and the educational practice.
Keywords: Adapting school to the possibilities of the studentsthe paradigm of education centred on the studenteducational policiesoptimizing the learning processeducational practice
The improvement of the instructive-educational process and the optimization of the academic
results of those being educated must be based on an objective and precise identification of the causes that
generate dysfunctions at this level. We consider that the identification of the perceptions of those
involved in the educational act can lead us to objective conclusions in regards to the problematic and
dysfunctional aspects present in the course of the educational process. Recognizing the discrepancies
between the courses of action being promoted by the educational policies documents and those actually
present in educational practices constitutes a starting point in the investigation of the issues mentioned,
the validity of which will be underlined by the following study.
2. The Paradigm of Adapting School to the Requirements of the Pupil
The requirements that target the adaptation of the school to the learning possibilities of the
students are in accordance with the new principles specific to contemporary education and pedagogy and
with the European educational policy documents that represent the foundation for the current educational
systems. The current educational systems, adapted to the specific educational requirements of the varied
school population, have been built according to the ideas and principles of contemporary pedagogy, an
interactive pedagogy which emphasizes the importance of developing competencies, and are
characterized by the following aspects: reconsidering the role of the student, who becomes the subject of
education; using information technology in education (the computer, Internet, virtual classrooms) in: the
design of the teaching activities, guiding the learning process, monitoring the didactic act; the transition
from hierarchically organized school systems to educational systems organized according to the network
model; learning through problem solving, stimulating the critical thinking; concern for developing
competencies; the inclination towards exploration, anticipation, and reconstruction of learning structures;
the preponderance of interactive experiences, which generate an in-depth learning: cooperative learning
and teaching, lessons based on life experiences, confrontation of different views, learning by doing; the
reconstruction of the school space in order to encourage interaction, cooperation, active listening, the
exchange of experiences and opinions.
The paradigm of adapting school to the learning necessities and possibilities of the student,
characteristic for future systems of education and for contemporary network-type educational systems
(Chiș, 2005), requires a diversity of learning situations and experiences, built in accordance with the
possibilities and the needs of all student categories, in order to comply with the principles of: ‘inclusive
education’, ‘education for all’ and ‘integrated education’. The idea of the education centred on the student
– as a person with individual characteristics that need to be valued and capitalized within the educational
act – is highlighted by the postmodern educational paradigm and by the constructivist approach to
knowledge and education (Tăușan, 2012).
The adaptation of the school, of the educational strategies, and of the entire instructive-educational
process to the individual needs of the students, to their learning abilities and particularities, is one of the
dimensions of the postmodern paradigm in education. Păun (2002) outlines the following characteristics
of postmodernism in education, in a study dedicated to the analysis of the theoretical developments from
the perspective of the paradigm of postmodernity:
�Learner-centred education, the student being seen as a person with individual, differentiating
characteristics that should be valued and capitalized to the maximum (an idea situated at the centre
of the existential-humanistic paradigm, subsumed under the postmodern perspective);
�The revalorization of the subjective-affective dimension in the educational relationship, of the
actions and behaviours of subjects that have a unique, situational, and contextualized character;
�Considering the educational relationship as an interaction where the teacher and student are
engaged in a process of cognitive and emotional investment, and in which the teacher works
alongside the students with the purpose of their development and the building of their status as
�Creating a balance between promoting competition and promoting cooperation in schools;
�Promoting new types of education, particularly inter-disciplinary ones;
�Outgrowing the prescriptive, normative and formalized view on curricular theory and integrating it
into the classroom (cultural space), with the purpose of analysing the cultural contexts in which
the curriculum is structured and of continuously developing and refining it.
The postmodern approach corresponds largely to the constructivist approach to education,
especially through the role given to the student in the construction of knowledge, through the
modification of the teacher’s role, and through educational strategies that possess a pronounced formative
The legislation in place that concerns the quality of education is aimed at optimizing the school
environment in accordance with the current educational policies and with the necessity of bringing the
Romanian educational system to the European standard, in order to be able to offer students an
environment that is conducive to a holistic development and to the achievement of the highest results.
The educational approach is now seen through a new perspective, influenced by the latest educational
paradigms and the modern theories of pedagogy. The educational value of the newest technological
instruments in use comes into question, as well as the possibility of effectively implementing them within
the Romanian educational system. The pedagogical potential of these tools can be seen in the effect that
they have concerning the students’ implication, mobilization and in the way that they facilitate the
construction of the students’ individual knowledge (Tudor, 2015).
A series of documents from the international educational policies promote and sustain dimensions
of the learner-centred paradigm and adaptation of the school to the possibilities and necessities of the
pupil: The Convention on the Rights of the Child, The Framework for Action from the World Education
Forum in Dakar, The Millennium Development Goals, UNESCO Medium-Term Strategy for 2008 –
2013 (Delors, 2000; Văideanu, 1996).
The requirement for the development of open, flexible educational strategies, tailored to social and
individual needs, which would favour the development of each child’s potential, is also formulated by the
European Council, with the purpose of achieving the common objective of the future European
educational policies, as it is stated in the Declaration of the European Ministers of Education from
Krakow (2000): ensuring the development of a democratic citizenship within open and pluralist societies,
where children’s rights and human rights are respected (Bunescu, 2007; Codorean, 2006).
A new type of curricular culture is generated and is characterized by: transforming the school
centred on the teacher into a school centred on the student, using interactive learning methods, a flexible
curriculum and an inter- and cross-disciplinary approach of the curriculum. This new type of curricular
culture is in accordance with the paradigm of adapting the school to the needs and possibilities of the
students, ensuring that all the students have the opportunity to have their interests identified and their
aptitudes and capacities are capitalized to their fullest.Langa (2011) emphasizes that the implementation
of proper knowledge management is an essential requirement for the development of high-quality study
programs, due to the fact that the organizational knowledge management principles, instruments, and
techniques have been shown to bring about an improvement in the case of other organizations.
The national documents of educational policies, which strive for a harmonization between the
internal priorities and the European ones (Post-accession Strategy 2007-2013, National Development
Plan 2007-2013, Strategy for the Development of Pre-University Education for 2001-2010), stipulate the
following objectives and courses of action, in accordance with the paradigm of adapting the school to the
possibilities and requirements of the students: ensuring equal opportunities and increasing participation in
education by encouraging the participation of all young people in compulsory, post-compulsory and
university education; ensuring basic education for all citizens; forming key-competencies; basing the
educational process on the needs for personal and professional development of the students.
We underline the fact that the national educational policies sustain and promote the principle of
school adaptation to the needs and to the abilities of the students, at the level of the objectives and courses
of action contained in the aforementioned documents, trying to create a high-quality education, especially
by: reassessing the role of the student, placing his needs, interests, and requirements in the foreground of
the instructional process, and ensuring equal opportunity throughout the entire educational process.
In a recently conducted study, we aimed at identifying the perceptions of a group of students
enrolled in technical faculties with regards to the aspects they perceive as being problematic and
dysfunctional within the pre-university and university level educational process in Romania. Furthermore,
the students were asked to identify the possible solutions that would lead to the improvement of
educational practices, with the ultimate purpose of optimizing the academic results of pupils/students.
requirements and needs of the pupils/students, as well as the current particularities of the educational
systems, as prerequisites for the optimization of the instructive-educational process and the amelioration
of the academic results of pupils/students.
The objectives of the research:
�Identifying malfunctions and problematic aspects at the level of didactic practices within the
educational system in Romania;
�Identifying possible solutions which would contribute to the improvement of the
�Evaluating the solutions proposed by the students through the perspective of the principles put
forward by the paradigm of focusing the educational process on the needs and particularities of the
paradigm could constitute a solution for the improvement of educational practices and the optimization of
the academic results of pupils/students.
regards to the problematic and dysfunctional aspects present within the instructive-educational process in
Romania, as well as the possible solutions that could lead to the amelioration of the educational practices,
we have used two open-ended items from a questionnaire in which the students were asked to elaborate
on the two issues mentioned, with reference to both their experience as pupils, as well as their experience
faculties in Cluj-Napoca.
4. Results and Discussion
Following the administration of the questionnaire, for the item „
problematic aspects you have noticed during your experience as a pupil and student at the level of the
educational practices present within the instructive-educational process” we have identified the
following categories of answers that constitute problematic aspects that are specific to the didactic
practices within the educational system: the contents are mandatory and not adapted to the requirements
of each pupil or their individual potential; the focus is on the content being transmitted and the
correctitude of the acquired information; the rigidity of the content that is transmitted and prescribed by
the various course syllabi; theoretical and abstract information is predominant, with its practical
application being insufficient; the informative function of the content is emphasized, by expressing it in
terms of knowledge, in the detriment of capabilities, abilities, skills, attitudes, competencies; through the
teaching-learning methods, the activity of the teacher is emphasized, rather than the activity of the
pupil/student and the acquirement of techniques for individual studying and learning; frontal-instruction
is predominant; the flow of information is unidirectional; teacher-centred, expository methods are
predominant; memorizing, retaining, and the accurate reproduction of information are stressed and
valued; the role of the pupil is merely to listen to the lecture of the teacher and retain it; the practical
character of the methods used is minimal; the tendency of standardizing the activity and rate of learning
of those being educated is present; summative assessment is prevalent, which does not allow for the
correction or amelioration of learning gaps or difficulties; the evaluation is focused on reproducing the
information as accurately as possible; the manifestation of subjectivity in the evaluation process; the
presence of an authoritarian hierarchy structure, of an authoritarian leadership style which encourages
conformity in the detriment of expressing individual ideas, opinions, or collective proposals; the main
role of the teacher is that of a source of information, a transmitter of knowledge.
Analysing the answers from a qualitative perspective, we have observed that the majority of the
identified problematic aspects can be subsumed in one of the following categories:
�Problematic aspects at the level of the contents of the instructive-educational process;
�Problematic aspects at the level of the teaching-learning strategies employed;
�Problematic aspects at the level of the assessment of the academic results of pupils/students;
�Other problematic aspects (the authoritarian relationship between teacher and pupils; insufficient
By summarizing the results of the aforementioned categories, we have obtained the following
frequency of answers:
The solutions provided by the students as part of their answers to the second item of the
questionnaire, ‘Suggest solutions for the amelioration of the problematic aspects previously identified’,
have been summarized and grouped into the following courses of action that would contribute to the
improvement of the instructive-educational process:
�Courses of action with regards to the content of the instructive-educational process: adapting the
content to the potential of those being educated; granting greater weight to the school-based
curriculum, which offers flexibility in the organization of the content; respecting the individual
rate of learning of the pupils; promoting the capitalization of their personal experience and the
development of each pupil’s imagination and creativity; combining the abstract, theoretical
knowledge with experiments realized during and outside of the class;
�Courses of action with regards to the teaching-learning strategies employed: using a methodology
that offers the maximum of diversity and flexibility, one that will be able to manage the variety of
situations that can arise during the instructive-educational process; adapting the teaching and
learning methods to the real requirements of the pupils; emphasizing the use of methods that are
focused on the involvement and the active participation of the pupils, making them co-participants
in their own formation, with the purpose of stimulating the pupils’ knowledge and mental
operation structures; emphasizing the formative character of the instructional methods (aiming at
the development of the capacity for applying the information and knowledge acquired, the ability
to operate with it, to formulate and verify hypothesis, to solve problems, etc.); promoting methods
based on action, on exploration, on experimentation, on research; the frequent use of methods that
require work to be done in pairs or teams, promoting cooperation; expanding the use of methods
that involve the relational component of the didactic activity (teacher-pupil and pupil-pupil
communication); the use of methods that contribute to the development of the abilities and skills
of those being educated; the use of methods that focus on the acquirement of individual studying
and learning techniques; promoting methods that cultivate the practical and experimental
character of the information; using methods that promote democratic relationships between
teacher and pupil, based on cooperation and on the support of the teacher in the evolutionary
process of the pupil; promoting methods that accentuate the role of the teacher as an organizer,
coordinator, facilitator; capitalizing, at the level of methodology, on the new technologies for
information and communication; the optimal employment of the methodology, through the
integration of appropriate teaching aids (Bocoș, & Ionescu, 2009; Tăușan, 2016);
�Courses of action regarding the assessment of the academic results of pupils/students: granting a
greater weight to the formative assessment; ensuring that the pupils have knowledge of the
requirements and criteria of assessment, as a basis for the formation of the ability to self-evaluate;
diversifying the assessment techniques and adapting them to the concrete didactical situations;
transferring the focus in assessment from cognitive acquisition to intellectual development, to the
ability to apply their knowledge in a practical manner, to the behaviour, the attitudes of the pupils,
to the degree of assimilation of certain values (Jucan, 2011);
�Other courses of action: promoting anti-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian principles, encouraging
individual, diverse thinking; taking into consideration the community’s proposals; using
information technologies (computer, Internet, virtual classrooms); taking into consideration
multiculturalism (Todor, 2015).
The results obtained, following the processing of the questionnaire and the analysis of the answers
received, converge on the necessity to comply with the demands of the student-centred paradigm, the
need to adapt school to the requirements and particularities of the pupils, and to overcome certain
mentalities and educational practices specific to the traditional paradigm, all seen as conditions for the
improvement of the instructive-educational process and the optimization of the academic results of pupils.
The majority of the aspects identified by the students as being problematic within the
instructive-educational process are educational practices specific to the traditional teaching paradigm,
while the solutions proposed by those interviewed are in accordance with the directions encouraged by
the learner-centred paradigm. The comparative presentation in Table 2 illustrates this observation:
We note the fact that the national educational policies support and promote the principle of
adapting the school to the requirements and possibilities of the pupils, at the level of educational
objectives and courses of action stated within certain documents of educational policy aimed at the pre-
university and university level, through which the achievement of a high-quality education is
endeavoured, particularly through: the reassessment of the role of the pupil, placing his needs, interests,
and requirements at the forefront of the educational proceedings, and assuring equal opportunity
throughout the entire educational process. The problematic aspects identified within the educational
process remain, however, valid, representing a discrepancy between the documents of educational policy
and the educational practice.
- Bocoș, M. & Ionescu, M. (2009). Tratat de didactică modernă. Pitești: Paralela 45.
- Bunescu, G. (2007). Politici și reforme socio-educaționale. Actori și acțiuni. București: Cartea
- Chiș, V. (2005). Pedagogia contemporană. Pedagogia pentru competențe. Cluj-Napoca: Casa Cărții de
- Codorean, G. (2006). Politicile educaționale și sistemul de învățământ românesc contemporan.
- Timișoara: Mirton.
- Delors, J. (2000). Comoara lăuntrică. Raportul către UNESCO al Comisiei Internaționale pentru
- Educație în sec. XXI. Iași: Polirom.
- Jucan, D. (2011). Evaluation Modalities for Academic Performance. Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai
- Psychologia-Pedagogia, 56(2), 37-43.
- Langa, C. (2011). Pre-service Teacher Training Based on Knowledge Management. Journal of
- Educational Scinces & Psychology, 63(1), 22-27.
- Păun, E. & Potolea, D. (Eds). (2002). Pedagogie. Fundamentări teoretice și demersuri aplicative. Iași:
- Tăușan, L. (2012). Dificultăți de adaptare școlară la preadolescenți. Cluj-Napoca: Presa Universitară
- Tăușan, L. (2016). Pedagogie. Elemente fundamentale pentru formarea inițială și continuă a cadrelor
- didactice. Cluj-Napoca: Presa Universitară Clujeană.
- Todor, I. (2015). Integrating multicultural education in pre-service teacher training courses.The Journal of
- Linguistic and Multicultural Education JoLIE, 8, 213-224. Tudor, S. L. (2015). Perception of educational factors on the introduction of electronic learning tools in the context of the new curriculum for primary education. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 187, 454-455.
- Văideanu, G. (1996). UNESCO – 50 Educație. București: EDP.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
About this article
18 December 2019
Print ISBN (optional)
Educational strategies, educational policy, organization of education, management of education, teacher, teacher training
Cite this article as:
Tăușan*, L. (2019). The Student-Centred Paradigm and the Optimization of the Learning Process. In E. Soare, & C. Langa (Eds.), Education Facing Contemporary World Issues, vol 23. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 380-388). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.05.02.47