Instead of School: Why Our Schools Do Not--And Cannot--Work

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The centre point of my passion is a philosophy that I instil into my staff, into the school and into every school I support. It is the child — first and foremost. The question I ask every day is what does the child need and what is the best way to ensure that every one of that child's needs are met?

The more things change the more they stay the same

After all, a young person only gets one chance at a good education. Our goal as teachers fundamentally is to encourage independent thought, independent enquiry and ultimately independent learning. It has been argued that new means of learning will be the way to facilitate this in the future.

I say resoundingly no. Aristotle said "man is a political animal" — central to that idea was mankind's innate desire to interact with one another and learn from one another, socialise with one another. Some may say that social media does this — but does it really? Put at its simplest, if future models of learning means encouraging young people to spend prolonged periods in front of faceless computer screens, exposed to largely unregulated material in an inherently unsafe environment, then that is clearly not the way forward. Education is much more complex than that.

Why new technologies could never replace great teaching | Teacher Network | The Guardian

It is about the trust and bond between a teacher and young person and parents that creates the environment where learning can occur and grow. Virtual learning simply cannot do that. I would argue that in a world now where young people are retreating more and more into virtual unreality, the teaching profession is more important than it ever was.

It is teaching that keeps it real — teaching that keeps young people alive. In short, teachers and the profession will never die. In almost 40 years as an educator, I cannot think of one single occasion when someone has stopped me to recall fondly about an inspirational and influential piece of computer software. And yet I get letters from former students eulogising over a teacher who changed the direction of their lives and without whom they would not be in the position they are today.


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That is the result of trust, about a relationship between the teacher and the child. Now if all these elements could be packaged into a new technology — a new learning model then I would hold my hands up now and concede the debate. It can't. And that is the essence of my argument. Good teachers inspire our young people to be lifelong learners, creating a culture of independent enquiry with their enthusiasm and passion. I know this because I see it every day. Good teachers have the skills to know exactly how to get the best out of each and every young person in their care:.

No 'new models of learning' can ever compromise or threaten the essence of what a teacher is, always has been and always will be. Teachers want the best for their young people and use new technologies in their lessons. Private schools, on the other hand, can choose whatever curriculum and assessment model they wish. This freedom to design their own curriculum or avoid standardized tests can result in higher standards for students — or lower.

Many states recognize the value of small classes and have provided funding to keep class sizes small in grades K As students advance to higher grades, class size tends to get bigger in public schools, especially in large school districts and urban schools.

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While many private schools provide small classes with low student-to-teacher ratios, there is no guarantee that such schools will keep their class size below a certain level. Some private schools — Catholic ones, in particular — traditionally have larger classes than public schools. Due to special education laws, public schools must educate all children and provide the necessary programs to meet their special needs. This means that all school districts have special education programs and teachers who are trained to work with special-needs students.

Private schools do not have to accept children with special needs, and many choose not to although there are a small number of private schools designed for special-needs children. As a result, most private schools do not have special education programs or teachers trained to work with that student population.

Some private schools will try to help all the students they admit, but extra resources may come at an additional cost. Visit the schools and ask the teachers lots of questions. Read school profiles on GreatSchools. At the end of the day, the best school for your child is a highly personal decision based on your family; your values; and, most important, the special needs, idiosyncrasies, and interests of your kid.

Public school students in fourth and eighth grade scored almost as well or better than their private school peers in reading and math, except that private school students excelled in eighth-grade reading. A Harvard University study pdf challenged the results, using the same data but different methods.

Chapter 1:The School and Social Progress

Researchers found that private schools came out ahead in 11 of 12 comparisons of students. Earlier in , an analysis of math scores by two University of Illinois researchers found similar results to the NCES study. Meet 5 of the 1, College Success Award-winning high schools helping low-income students thrive. Choosing the wrong college can be bad for mental health. How to talk to your teen about their reach school.

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Schools are finally teaching what kids need to be successful in life

Private versus public Some differences between public and private schools are obvious. But deciding what's right for your child entails shedding light on the subtle distinctions many parents ignore. Share on Pinterest. Get the GreatSchools newsletter - our best articles, worksheets and more delivered weekly.

Sign up. This year, 1, high schools are receiving College Success Awards. Meet 5 of the winners helping their low-income students thrive. Choosing the wrong college can be bad for mental health Choosing the wrong college can be bad for mental health.

How to talk to your teen about reach schools How to talk to your teen about their reach school.