This design emphasizes individual development and their approach to organizing the curriculum emerges from the needs, interests and purposes of students. Supporters of these designs generally view society in democratic terms and perceive individual as being naturally good.

There are two essential differences between this and subject centered designs.

  • Learner centered designs take their organizational cues from individual students needs rather than a body of subject matter.
  • Consequently learner centered designs are usually not a preplanned as other designs, for they evolve from teacher student interactions in relation to learning tasks. In some cases the curriculum may have no preplanning at all and may emerge as a group of students reveal their concerns, interests and needs.

More commonly, however, curriculum developers have purposeful intentions which are learner oriented and these may be modified later upon interaction with students.

Two forms of learner centered designs can be distinguished in the curriculum field.

  • The Activities and Experiences Curriculum Design
  • Humanistic design

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