The educational system that is deemed supportive of FIER is the one that fosters the following principles:
1. Learning happens within the learner. It starts from the time the information is received by the senses. Within the learner, this information is processed, screened or retained, and eventually manifested (by a change in behavior) and applied. Thus, teaching and learning must be student-centered.
2. Environment and stimuli can be manipulated to suit the learners' needs. This is anchored on the principle that teaching style has to match with the learning style of the students(Felder-Silverman).
3. Learners to fully develop and become productive members of the community need the right environment/stimuli (Ornstein, 1990; Parret and Budge,2012).
While the above principles are not exclusive, they are the principles behind the use of FIER. Other principles in education, supportive of the above-mentioned ones that are beneficial to the achievement of intended outcomes, can be added.
Learners in Focus
This simply means the learners are of primary consideration. The supportive educational system is the one that starts with the learners. The one that gives opportunities for the learners to be able to discover, recognize and appreciate their potentials and talents, that is referring to exposing the learners to fundamental education (F.E.) that will serve as foundation for further development. Finally, placement - the one that provides the learners a place to fully develop their talents and interests, and gives an opportunity to maximize their potentials and turn them into action making them productive members of the community. (Fig. 1)
LEARNERS --------------- FUNDAMENTAL EDUCATION --------------- PLACEMENT
Fig. 1 Path for learners.
Learners' Placement: The Right Place to Develop
Prior to placement, the learners have to go through F.E. where, they discover, understand, and appreciate their interests, talents, and potentials. This includes molding the child into a wholesome person.
Placement here comes in two phases: Early placement and advanced placement. In Early placement, the learners are made to choose an early placement category for them to try. In each category, the learners are assessed and evaluated to avoid misplacing them (misplaced learners). Should the learner fall short of qualification, the learner is advised to consider an alternative category.
Early Placement Category
Early placement happens in the late part of the F.E. FIER suggests the following early placement categories: Technical-Vocational, Academics, Sports, and Aesthetics (TASA). This may differ from country to country depending on what the government may identify as their needs.
The Philippines for example, in its implementation of Senior High school (K-11 to 12), allows ( in this program) students to choose a "specialization based on the aptitude, interest, and school capacity." Among the tracks the student may choose in Senior High are "Academics, Technical-Vocational-Livelihood, and Sports and Arts." In addition, the students shall undergo immersion where they are given the opportunity to "earn while they learn," and to "experience through actual exposure; on their chosen track. (Phil. Official Gazette, FAQ's on K to 12 implementation, n.d.)
A thing to ponder: Will a misplaced child become a serious problem in the society?