Following the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines
This vision paper is based on Jhone Dewey and William James Vision on Schooling. The paper discusses their views and pedagogical methods on teaching in schools. A brief background on Schooling in America is made. The Human Resources Management aspect of staffing the school is discussed. The various reasons for educating our children are elucidated in this paper. The future school attributes and characteristics are identified based on the feedback of the children and considering other stake holders of the school perspectives, the school of my vision is stated at the end of the paper.
This vision paper is built on the vision framed by Jhone Dewey and William James Vision on Schooling in America. A brief introduction on the schooling in America is discussed in the paper. The Human Resources Management aspect of staffing the school is discussed. The reasons for educating our children are detailed in the paper from various perspectives of politicians, school management, teachers and parents. In future, the schools should be like a creative learning place is recommended and concluded with crucial findings from the study made with children as participants and identifying the key areas that need to be changed to make schools a better place.
Jhone Dewey and William James Vision on Schooling
Jhone Dewey states that education is an interactive process that socializes the students. Social reforms and democracy must be taught in the schools and schools must be a learning place. The students must reveal their full potential of skills in the schools. Dewey comments that schools must be a place to bring social changes having an impact on the society as a whole. Dewey criticizes the curriculum based educational pedagogy as it limits the students to a specific framework. The students must be taught to relate the information said in the class to previous experiences developing new knowledge. According to Dewey, importance must be given to the teacher and the content. Dewey proposed the experiential education of developing new knowledge by the children. Based on this method, experiential learning, problem based learning etc. methods emerged. William James, considered as the father of American Psychology was the first to advocate a psychology based school of functionalism. Practicality was given more emphasis in this form of school.
I build my vision of school based on these two educationists vision to develop a school that helps learn practical experiences based on experiential teaching proposed by Dewey. The school will be a creative learning place adopting an experiential learning and problem based learning methods. I want the vision of my school to be aligned with the Dewey and James methods.
Schooling in America
Public schools are the most popular form in America with about 88 percent of the students (Bruce Fuller, 2008) attending the public school following a curriculum or syllabus. Private schools are emerging in America with about 9 percent of students (Bruce Fuller, 2008) attending them. Elementary, middle and high schools are the three common levels in schooling in America. The school of my vision will be a private school involving all three levels.
Human Resources Management (Staffing the school)
Staffing is an important aspect to be considered in organizing various activities in the school. The school will need a director, teachers, business development staff, and administrator and support staffs with essential qualifications and skill sets. The school top management must provide adequate training and development programs to train their staff. Care must be taken by the school authorities in complying with the employment law. In America, failure to comply with the employment laws result in the school paying a heavy compensation to the employees. A separate department to meet the law requirements must be established in the school. Proper and good HR practices must be adopted in the work place to help create a work environment supporting the vision and mission of the school with the cooperation of the employees. The school staffing must be organized in a clear manner stating the roles and responsibilities of the board, teaching staff and non teaching staff etc. A committee must be formed in the school aiming at the welfare of the school comprising of the director, teachers, students and parents. A proper recruitment and staffing procedure must be adopted in place to hire the best talent for the school. Staffing must be done on a contract basis for certain positions in the school.
Reasons for educating our children
Bruce Fuller, 2008 comments that the education system has to undergo a change in the pedagogical methods. In the current day, schools and colleges exist to make the students industry ready to become excellent workers in future. In the ancient days, one room school houses existed in America with the main aim of making the students to study the Bible. Mr. Clinton recognized the economic importance of the education and improved the quality of education in the United States. In this age, the main aim of schools was economic expansion. Mr. Obama stated to bring reforms in the education sector to make the American students competitive on a global basis. It is very clear from a political or school director perspective that schools are an income source and helps to boost the economy of the nation as a whole.
My Future School
In America, there have been a lot of controversies about the operation of the public schools. The main expectations from a society perspective about the schools are that it must be a place of social civilization. People view schools as temples, town meetings and factory. As a result of these varied expectations, three major priorities or areas to be focused are arrived. They include competency development of students, high quality learning and improve staff quality. The student’s competency level increases with the quickly changing knowledge society. The competency level can be enhanced by modernizing the curriculum, enhancing the content, improving literacy levels and improved training of teachers and their assessment. High quality learning can be ensured in schools by making preschool available to all children and developing an equal content in all schools. The quality of the school staff can be improved through continuous training and development of staff, recruiting capable and effective teachers and developing a learning culture in the school.
Ellen, 2012 conducted study involving school children in the age group of 7 and 12 years about the likes of a good school. The children responded with their own imagination. Girls preferred a huge garden in front of the school with a lot of colorful flowers. The play area must be huge with a lot of items to play. The class room must be filled with colored pictures and include a space for pets. There must be separate lunch room for having lunch with friends. Some children preferred swimming pool in their school, all the festivals must be celebrated in a grand manner in the school, food must be served by school, and class room infrastructure must be world class with high end video conferencing material and projector screens. Children wanted their teachers to be kind and friendly, school administration to have flexible rules, environment green and clean, having yoga and meditation classes, computers, library, huge auditorium for conducting functions, separate music class, hygienic toiletries, canteen and indoor stadium etc.
As a result of the analysis in the paper, it is found that children prefer their schools to be like a creative place for learning. The main areas identified are the school environment, class room and school infrastructure technically equipped, play grounds for sports and facilities for other extracurricular activities and friendly staff (Ellen, 2012). The school of my vision will focus on these above aspects suggested by the children as they are the main stakeholder in a school. The school of my vision will aim to enhance the competency of the children by modernizing the curriculum, provide quality learning with enhanced content and develop the quality of teachers by offering quality training and development to them. The class room discussions must be very interactive with a lot of involvement from the students. Student projects, seminars, case studies and other interactive sessions can be arranged. School must be a place to enhance the inherent skills and capabilities of the children. The school must develop creative and problem solving skills to the children so that they can make their own decisions in future. School must be a place of mutual learning where both teacher and students must learn from one another. A learning culture with a lively environment must be developed in the school of my vision.
- Bruce Fuller. (2008). Why We Educate Our Children. Izumi publication
- Ellen. (2012). School Image: Expectations & Controversies. Rethinking Education Quarterly. 20 November 2012