Purpose of the School
The first purpose of the dream school is to teach thinking. This implies that whenever students give answers, they must justify the reasoning behind the answers they give. The rest of the students should be prepared to challenge arguments raised by their fellow students based on practicality, unexpected consequences and logic. Unless students are taught how to think, most arguments will be based on emotional rhetoric. The focus of the dream school is therefore to teach thinking because this automatically leads to acquisition of problem solving skills (Adsit 19).
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The second purpose of the dream school is to train kindness. Kindness gives students a chance to accept others without judging them unfairly. It is important for individuals to be always concerned about their friends rather than thinking about themselves only. Students should be allowed to contribute to conversations freely. If they develop fear that they would be ridiculed because of their backgrounds and their beliefs by their colleagues, this deters them from speaking their mind. Kindness enables individuals to give and accept valid critique without being offensive, for purposes of arriving at appropriate solutions for everybody. If all citizens practice kindness, then most of the problems that societies experience would be solved.
The third purpose of the dream school is to teach communication. It is not justifiable for schools to spend a lot of resources teaching yet they produce individuals who find it difficult to communicate amongst themselves and with the entire world. Students should be trained skills of expressing themselves and understanding other people.
The fourth purpose of the school is to promote democracy. Democracies allow people to sit together and deliberate on issues in order to create solutions that serve everybody better. Unless schools work towards promoting democracy, students cannot utilize the knowledge gained in school constructively (What is the Purpose of America’s Schools 6).
Relationship between the School and the Community
There should be a close relationship between the dream school and the multiple and diverse communities that it is meant to serve. Schools are established for the sake of the surrounding communities since they cannot exist without the communities. It is the surrounding communities that send their children to schools and become critical stakeholders in funding, overseeing and assisting the school in different ways to ensure it succeeds. This implies that the school should treat the surrounding communities as a critical element for its success (Johnson and Musial 40).
It is a fact that the surrounding communities are characterized by diversity. Such communities have different ideologies, practices and beliefs which may influence the school differently. It is the responsibility of the management of the dream school to treat all these individuals equally and respectively. For example, the school is supposed to show all the communities that it values them by accepting children from all of them without discrimination. This encourages the communities and motivates them to support it.
In addition, the dream school should prove to the neighboring communities that it cannot succeed without their input. This translates to a mutual relationship between the two entities. If there are positions that need to be filled, the neighboring communities should be given the first priority. This is an important strategy of enhancing the relationship between the school and the diverse communities it should serve.
A friendly relationship between the dream school and the diverse neighboring communities it serve is important since it determine its success or failure. The communities should not be perceived as elements that have no influence in the running of the school, but critical elements that should not be sidelined if the school is to succeed.
Content, Curriculum and Learning Experiences
It is important to have the right content, curriculum and learning experiences for the dream school. Determining appropriate content is critical since it is content that determines the nature and caliber of students produced by the school. The content should be focused on instilling critical thinking skills in the learners for them to be reliable people in the society after they leave school. This enables them to be effective problem solvers. In order to achieve this, there will be emphasis on science subjects and mathematics because they are critical in helping learners to acquire these skills. However, other subjects such languages and art are also important hence they are not eliminated from the content. Generally, the content is supposed to cover life skills that students should be trained on in school (Drake and Crawford 132).
In designing the curriculum, the input of experts is critical in order to come up with a curriculum that addresses the needs of the students comprehensively. It should focus on the standard of mathematics since good knowledge of mathematics enables students to successfully complete post secondary education. In order for the dream school to distinguish itself from other schools, the curriculum should be standard-based This will ensure that there is a clear definition of what the students are expected to learn and how academic sources are to be used to develop a unique school.
It is important to include learning experiences that develop the knowledge and abilities of the students. The first learning experience that is important in the curriculum is discovery. Students need a chance to discover things for themselves after which they discuss with teachers. The second learning experience is exposing students to hands-on experience. It is important o expose them to practical concepts of the theories they learn in class in order for them to concretize the ideas while the third one interactive forums between students and teachers.
Pedagogies and Teaching Practices
It is important for the dream school to foster unique and excellent pedagogies or teaching practices. It should not adopt teaching practices used in other schools but ones that do not produce the anticipated results.
The first teaching practice that the school should foster is cooperation among students. This is one of the teaching practices that produce good results because the practice enables students to assist one another; hence it is possible for weaker students to get assistance from the brighter ones. This is done through formation of student groups and assigning them research work and presentations. The other method is by allowing students to plan lessons and teach them. In addition, competitions can be arranged where all participants get prizes (Effective teaching practices 5).
The second teaching practice that the dream school is supposed to foster is active learning. This is achieved by giving students problem solving activities that are conducted in groups. Provision of practical problems that require the learners to come up with solutions is also an effective strategy. In addition, strategies like journaling may be used to ensure that the learners remain active.
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The third learning strategy that should be fostered by the dream school is respect for diversity of talents and methods of learning. This involves exposing the students to many experiences such as teaching through multimedia, training them the use of a myriad of learning styles and taking them for field trips where they can appreciate what they learn in class.
Organization, Rules, Regulations Duties and Rights in the School
In order for the dream school to succeed in its mission, there should be good organization, rules, regulations, duties and rights for all the individuals who in one way or the other are involved in its running. With regard to its organization, it will be comprised of the principal, his deputy then the teachers. It will assume a top-down approach where policies are communicated from the principal down to the teachers and other junior staff.
Apart from the organization of the school, there are rules and regulations that define the code of behavior for all parties in the school. The rules and regulations are different for different groups of people. For instance, there are rules that apply to the teachers, students and the support staff. They are aimed at controlling the behavior of all the parties involved and ensuring that they act according to the values and principles upheld by the school. This ensures that everything done in the school has a positive impact towards its growth.
It is important for all the participants in school to have their rights since all human beings are entitle to their rights regardless of the industry they are involved with. For example, the students have the right to be taught relevant content by the teachers. They also have the right to raise any concerns they think affect their performance negatively. Teachers have the right to be handled well by the principal and the school management while the support staffs have the right to good pay and flexibility in their work.
Systems and School Structures
In order for the organization, curriculum and pedagogy to be supported, it is important to have certain systems and school structures. These keep track of all the envisaged operations in the school to ensure that goals are realized.
For instance, the school has to invest a lot of money to ensure the school curriculum is fully implemented for the students to be trained in the right way. One of the critical structures for ensuring that this goal is achieved is a school library. The dream school has to put in place a well equipped library with the most current instructional materials that can be used by teachers and reference materials for the learners. This ensures that teachers have what they require in order to follow the curriculum strictly. The students on the other hand are able to do private work assigned to them in accordance with the curriculum.
For the organization of the school to be effective, there is the need for a system that monitors the performance of all employees of the school. This may be in the form of evaluations conducted periodically to determine whether the school is moving towards achieving its goals. Such a system may be comprised of a team of individuals mandated with the task of ensuring that every department meets the expectations of the school management. It may also be combined with a reward system for employees who exhibit satisfactory performance in their specific areas of operation.
Another important requirement in ensuring that the pedagogy is adhered to is physical facilities such as classrooms. This makes it possible for teachers to employ different teaching practices without being deterred by the lack of enough infrastructural facilities. By doing so, the school is able to achieve its set goals and objectives.
Evaluation systems are crucial to schools because it is through evaluation that teachers determine whether the students grasped the contents taught in class. For the evaluation system designed by the school, it should fulfill certain requirements which are derived from the users, administration, staff and organizational considerations.
The most appropriate evaluation system for the school to adopt is formative evaluation. The first advantage of this type of evaluation is that it improves equity of student outcomes. It enhances equity in the sense that teachers have an opportunity to make a comparison between their evaluation and that of other teachers to ensure that students are treated equitably. Its second advantage is that it enables teachers to establish and communicate learning goals, monitor the progress of the students and adjust the objectives to cater for the needs of the students. They discover that it might be advisable to use comments as opposed to marks in order to improve the performance of students (Formative Assessment: Improving Learning in Secondary Classrooms 3).
Formative evaluation is also beneficial in that it helps teachers assess the extent to which the curriculum has been covered. Teachers use the results obtained from formative evaluation in order to guide the currculum and content taught. Based on the results, a teacher may decide to spend more hours in areas that present difficulties to students or take little time in sections where students seem to understand faster (Irons 158).
Nature and Quality of Envisaged Relationships
The school is supposed to have good relationships with all individuals involved in its running. The first envisaged nature of relationship is the relationship between the teachers and the students. A good relationship between the two groups is important because it ensures that students are free to approach teachers for any assistance they require. It is obvious that students cannot feel free with the teachers if the relationship between them is strained. It is envisaged that there will be high quality relationship between these two groups.
The second type of envisaged relationship is the one between the school management and the support staff. The support staffs play a critical role in the daily running of the school hence they should have a good relationship with the management. The quality of the relationship between these two groups may not be very high because some employees are never prepared to follow the directions given by their supervisors. In such situations, the school management is expected to exercise due diligence to ensure that its relationship with the support staff is not strained.
The third type of relationship envisaged in the dream school is the relationship between the school and the outside community. It is important for it to maintain a good relationship with the surrounding community because the community plays an important role in assisting the school to run its activities. It is envisaged that the relationship between the two parties will be of high quality because both parties are expected to benefit from the relationship.
Role of Creativity, Critical Thinking, Emotions, Imagination, Recreation, Artistic, Physical and Intellectual Engagement
Creativity is expected to play an important role in the school in that it enables students to come up with new concepts and discover things for themselves. The dream school should aim at training students on how to be creative because creativity is one of the qualities that help individuals succeed in whatever they do in life. Apart from preparing them for good jobs, creativity is important for the students in their future lives.
Critical thinking enables students to address most of the problems they face in school during their studies. It then follows that students who are able to think critically are better placed to solve problems than others who lacks critical thinking skills. Critical thinking also enables the students to come up with solutions to problems that affect the school and the community in general (Moore 61).
Recreation and physical engagement ensures that the students get time to break the monotony of listening to the teachers in class. This is important because it enables the school to produce all round students. Concentrating on class work without allowing them to engage in other activities is not an effective way of enhancing their development.
Apart from class work, there are particular students who have unique talents in various fields that may not be directly related to class work. It is important to foster and nurture such talents because some of them are beneficial, students should be exposed to artistic, imaginative and other activities that reinforce their intellectual capacity. By doing this, the school is able to serve the purpose of an institution that identifies and nurtures talent among students.
Meeting the Needs of Students
Students have both personal and academic needs hence it is important for teachers to identify ways of addressing all their needs. To make students feel comfortable while at the school, the teachers should provide respectful and friendly classrooms. Firstly, they should exercise considerate communication. They should take into consideration how some students may be judged wrongly by their peers and the negative effect this has on their school life. They should therefore treat students in a considerate manner and encourage them to extend the same treatment to their peers in order to enhance the quality of life at school.
Secondly, teachers should know the backgrounds of the students in order to effectively meet their needs. Knowledge of the background of the students enables the teachers to refine their teaching methods, illustrations, class discussions and they way they approach individual students. Referring to their backgrounds, interests or knowledge helps in personalizing the class to suit their needs. By doing this, the teachers are able to meet individual needs of the students.
Thirdly, the needs of students can be addressed by having student representatives. There are some problems that affect students that may remain unknown or take long to come to the attention of teachers. By having student representatives who meet with teachers regularly, it is possible for teachers to identify the needs of the students and address them effectively.
Adsit, Tim. Small Schools, Education, and the Importance of Community, New York: R&L Education, 2011. Print.
Drake, Susan and R. Crawford. Meeting Standards Through Integrated Curriculum, New York: ASCD, 2007. Print.
Effective teaching practices 2012. Web.
Irons, Alastair. Enhancing Learning Through Formative Assessment and Feedback, New York: Taylor & Francis, 2007. Print
Johnson, James, and D. Musial. Foundations of American Education:Perspectives on Education in a Changing World, New York: Pearson, 2010. Print.
Moore, David. Critical Thinking and Intelligence Analysis, Washington: DIANE Publishing, 2007. Print.
What is the Purpose of America’s Schools 2008. Web.