Person-centered education is a counseling-originated, educational psychology model, overripe for meta-analysis, that posits that positive teacher-student relationships are associated with optimal, holistic learning. It includes classical, humanistic education and today’s constructivist learner-centered model. The author reviewed about 1,000 articles to synthesize 119 studies from 1948 to 2004 with 1,450 findings and 355,325 students. The meta-analysis design followed Mackay, Barkham, Rees, and Stiles’s guidelines, including comprehensive search mechanisms, accuracy and bias control, and primary study validity assessment. Variables coded included 9 independent and 18 dependent variables and 39 moderators. The results showed that correlations had wide variation. Mean correlations (r= .31) were above average compared with other educational innovations for cognitive and especially affective and behavioral outcomes. Methodological and sample features accounted for some of the variability.
The MARIO one-to-one relationship between educator and student is deeply rooted in Cornelius-White’s meta-analysis. This is particularly true for elements relating to the growth of independent student learning behaviors including, but not limited to, motivation and effort.