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Building ties between the members of a community is an essential step in creating the environment in which communication and cooperation will be viewed as the concepts of the highest priority. As a result, the premises for a positive change among the participants as far as their personal development is concerned can be provided. In her article “Building a community in our classroom: The story of Bat Town, U.S.A.,” Keech (n.d.) suggests that the exploration of the history of the city, in general, and the areas that the community inhabits, in particular, should be considered a foundation for enhancing the links between the members of the class as a mini-community. The author’s statement seems rather legitimate since the focus on the history of the city and a better understanding of what the origin of their culture is creates the foil for the feeling of unity. Therefore, suggesting that the learners should learn more about the people that built the local community and became a part of its history will also help integrate them into the local society.
A Unity-Building Exercise
The task involving studying the biographies of the people who contributed to the creation and further development of the community can be viewed from different perspectives and may imply a variety of assignments. For instance, it may start as reading the biographies of the key founders of the community and the further discussion in the classroom. However, as the study progresses, it may evolve into an all-embracing analysis of the factors that affected the choices of the people under consideration. As a result, the learners may engage in the activities that imply an individual essay written in class, a group project with a classroom presentation, communication with the community members and the further report of the results in class, etc.
The issue regarding the location of the necessary information deserves to be listed among the obvious benefits of the exercise. Although a detailed analysis of the historical records provided by the local libraries is an integral part of the project, the students will also have to interview some of the community members, starting with their family members, neighbors, and peers, to discuss it in class later..
The approach suggested by Keech (n.d.) works on a number of levels. For instance, it helps identify the economic, political, and social factors that determine the further progress of the city and the people living in it. However, it clearly lacks the evidence provided by the residents of the city. As a result, the students experience the benefits of group cooperation, yet they may fail to develop a strong connection with their community.
The emphasis on the common history and the identification of the origins of the community to which the target population belongs is likely to serve as the foundation for a more efficient communication process between the members of the neighborhood, as Keech (n.d.) explains. As a result, prerequisites for more efficient cooperation, as well as the relationships based on empathy and compromise, can be built in the target environment. One must admit that the process is fraught with numerous obstacles, the differences in the social status and the ethnicities of the community members, as well as the possible lack of enthusiasm among the students, being the primary reasons for concern. However, by promoting a more active engagement in the process of finding out about the history that the community members share, the learners are likely to become more sociable. As a result, the experiences that they will have in the course of the lesson will serve as the basis for their further personal growth.
Keech, A. M. (n.d.). Building a community in our classroom: The story of Bat Town, U.S.A. Web.