Schools are places where students learn to be part of a society. They are where they learn to challenge others and they are where they learn to communicate.
These days, schools are also where children with special needs get individualized attention. These students may be attending a private school that specializes in autism, deafness, developmental delay or physical disability.
The Purpose of School
Often people will agree on some goals for schools, but there may be a lot of disagreement on what those goals should be. For example, many students will want schools to focus heavily on getting them ready for jobs. Others will want to see schools promote empathy and tolerance of different views. Still others will want to see schools help them find passions.
One primary goal of school is preparing students for careers, and this will generally lead to high social status. A high-quality education will enable a person to obtain prestigious jobs and become involved in the community as a leader or volunteer.
Another primary goal of school is to prepare students for a lifetime of learning. If a person is not able to learn, he or she cannot progress in life. The fact is that everyone must learn. For this, school is the perfect place to be exposed to ideas that are different from ones own in a safe environment.
Learning for the Purpose of Learning
Learning for the sake of learning is a goal that can be a driving force for people in all walks of life. This can be seen in people who seek out continuing education to stay competitive in the job market, or those who work hard to develop their skills so that they can keep up with technological changes in their jobs.
Generally speaking, learning for the purpose of learning is achieved through experiential learning. This can be through a variety of course-based and non-course-based ways, such as internships, undergraduate research, service-learning, and student teaching.
Experiential learning also helps students to make connections between theories they learn in the classroom and real-world situations. This is why learning objectives traditionally begin with “The student will be able to” rather than just describing the material that will be covered. This shift towards more student-centered goals has been a key feature of the Common Core State Standards. This is a good way to make sure that students are being given the skills that they need for success after graduation.
Schools are naturally a central part of any neighborhood. Historically, schools have been a safe place for all members of the community to access education, health services, recreation, and culture. This has helped them to foster communities of people who support and care for each other.
Research shows that students who feel a strong sense of community at school are more engaged academically. Unfortunately, many schools struggle to create this feeling of togetherness. Students of color and those from low-income families often report lower levels of community in their schools than their peers.
The key to building community is making it a core value in the school. This means promoting parent group membership, volunteer participation, and local partnerships. It also involves creating classroom community-building routines like reading aloud and allowing for teamwork to build trust and support. Lastly, it’s important to encourage teachers to collaborate and share ideas. This way, all classes are aware of what is happening from one another and can connect the work being done in different subjects.