Education is the key component of human life that is associated with the implementation process of sharing and gaining new knowledge. The value of education in human life is growing, and so it cannot be limited only to the period of studying in the education institutions. This process is accompanied by searching for new forms and methods that promote the correct formation of the world view and build proficient and competitive society. Nowadays education is a complicated and diverse social phenomenon, the scope of sharing and assimilating knowledge and social experience.
Education integrates various types of activities into a single social system and directs them to the social order and the social needs of humanity. It is important to remember that basic principles of every personality as well as their personal qualities are cultivated in early years of life. Kindergartens, schools and colleges are not just a means of supervision of children, but they are responsible for their physical, mental and spiritual development.
Being a social phenomenon, education faces a great deal of problematic and discussing issues. The reasons for them are numerous that depends on the school policies, family situation, bringing-up environment, social and personal values, attitudes and economic state of the population. In fact, this range of reasons is not complete and is influenced by different social circumstances.
Many scholars devote their researches to the issue of school engagement and work out the main points of education intervention and its implementation. Many young people possess poor school engagement due to various reasons. For instance, out-of-home care children have behavior problems and difficulties with low grades, missing classes, suspension and expulsion, non-completion or not progressing. Those children may even face primitive learning problems related to the areas such as reading, writing or mathematics (Tilbury, 2012, p. 456).
It is important to point out social background of this issue. Generally speaking, children in care suffer frequently from placement changes. A placement change usually leads to a school change where those children lose their friends and supportive teachers. In such a case, they find it difficult to adapt to a new school, new rules and new people. Usually, they feel unprotected, discriminated and lonely that has sharp impact on their school engagement (Tilbury, 2012, p.457).
Quite often children in care do not have anyone who can offer them help with homework, encourage and support, cultivate pro-education values and overcome emotional difficulties together. It is a stereotypical belief that because of these reasons young people in care face the problems in progressing to further education as they lack of a supportive and encouraging family, a stable home and the security comparing with non-care children.
In order to solve this problem, it is necessary to improve the level of school engagement for the students to feel comfortable, protected and supported in any educational establishment. Besides, children in-care may face three main problems in school engagement, namely, behavioral, emotional and cognitive, that should be solved urgently (Strauss, 2011).
The essence of the behavioral aspect is revealed in rule and classroom compliance. It presupposes engaging in learning activities, participating and contributing to social and academic school life. Emotional aspect is focused on the student’s attitude towards school, teachers, classmates and the learning process itself. Cognitive aspect is regarded to the student’s willingness to contribute to the personal motivation and self-management. These three aspects include all the spheres of school life that are necessary to be improved in order to increase the level of school engagement among young people in care and foster interest to their school environment.
When children feel comfort and protection at school, they possess positive attitude toward learning process. They find motivation in order to gain high progressing level. In such a case, a school must care about skills and abilities that should be learned by the pupils. Nowadays, it is necessary to broaden the range of abilities and skills in order to become competitive in modern society. New skills open new horizons and offer wide opportunities of studying and employment. With this regard, many schools provide their students with an opportunity to take part in international education programs in order to get new knowledge and experience. The goal of any program lies in intercultural communication and cooperation, knowledge and experience exchange.
Their exist numerous exchange programs for students, for example, Rotary Youth Exchange, J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, Department of State, and so on. They presuppose living abroad with a host family and attending foreign school per several months, semester or even a year. Such exchange stimulates sharing intercultural ideas and traditions, international communication and experience. At the same time, these programs help to improve leadership skills, mutual understanding, broadening knowledge and the range of skills. The main task of modern schools is to support the willingness of their students to participate in international exchange, in other words, to create suitable programs that will involve as many students as possible (Campbell, 2013).
Nowadays students have difficulties with appropriate behavior that may influence badly their progressing at school. With this regard, scientists worked out check-in/check-out (CICO) intervention that helps children to improve their behavior (Smith, 2015, p. 453). This system aims at providing students with support who may be found at risk for emotional and behavioral difficulties. This goal may be achieved through mentor-based teaching, practicing or getting feedback (Smith, 2015, p. 455). CICO system is based on the following activities: assessing the problem behavior, learning with a mentor the basic principles of expected behaviors, getting daily points for displaying behaviors, receiving feedback from the mentors, checking out the progress and communicating with parents (Smith, 2015, p. 454). The data survey shows that this system proves to be effective among the students with emotional behavior difficulties and brings positive results.
Another problem that appears in school environment concerns differences in learning conceptions of various subjects. The experiment taken among Turkish students shows that they prefer getting read and practicing conceptions of learning chemistry and physics than, for instance, biology and mathematics (Sadi, 2015, p. 814). It is caused by different methods used by teachers for a year.
Besides, during physic and chemistry classes the students have an opportunity to work with different materials, cooperate in groups, work out own experiments and get new experience. They get an opportunity to express themselves as active learners and show their own thinking and knowledge. This makes every student feel confident and proud of their skills and abilities (Sadi, 2015, p. 816).
In the process of intercultural and international exchange, every day people get an opportunity to co-work with other nations and races. Still, this issue is of global importance and arises many discussions as different races face the problem of racial discrimination. Young people may suffer largely from being discriminated in school environment as children tend to be violent and cruel in their attitude towards children of another skin color and cultural peculiarities.
Quite often children of another race do not feel to be a part of school community, cannot contribute properly to the social and academic life of their school and may feel unprotected, humiliated and disrespected (Vega, 2015, p. 38). In order to avoid this problem, every school policy must predetermine strict principles of respect and protection for every other-nation and other-race child as a school is responsible for bringing up conscious continuation of the humankind. Without such a policy, the school is at risk to suffer from juvenile offending and criminal (Dewey, 2015).
It is commonly known that every school leader has to implement the policy that will protect their students and create suitable circumstances for the appropriate development. With this regard, the scientists offer a five-step intervention program that helps to coordinate the working process of the school community. Each phase of this intervention development program predetermines certain aims that should be achieved in the process of program implementation.
The first phase aims at determining the basic needs of the population and working out the best suitable interventions that address those needs in the best possible way. If being more specific, students’ needs are revealed through three main aspects of school life, namely, emotional, behavioral and cognitive. This phase includes three groups of interventions where the first one is focused improving teacher-student support and collaboration, the second one aims at building student competence through gaining personal and decision-making skills and the third one presupposes communication with parents and solving problems within school-parents unity (Kern, 2011, p. 596).
The second phase is the preparation for implementation stage has the goal to determine what circumstances are needed to implement the interventions and how it can be performed. The third phase presupposes implementation itself and it offers various trainings that can be performed in order to get positive result. The fourth phase includes data review and the results of the intervention system implementation. The last phase helps to clear up all the details and solve minor problems. So, this system shows great effectiveness as it helps schools to avoid social issues that arise in the school environment (Kern, 2011, p. 598).
Nowadays schools face many problems because children are quite different than years ago. Their upbringing principles, financial state and family values differ much from family to family. It causes social discrimination when wealthy children show utter disrespect to ward poor children. At the same time, in-care children feel discriminated because they do not have powerful and financially stable parents who can protect them and help in any case. The same thing happens to children of other race and nation (Onwuegbuzie, 2012, p. 195). And the range of reasons may be endless. Still, the background of these reasons concerns only the situation in the family. It is proved by psychologists that children copy behavior, values and aims of their parents. Rarely it can be noticed that children refuse to be like their parents and become working hard in order to change the situation. It is important to mention, that the process of changing is quite difficult and demands working on personal values, interests and inner qualities (Cliffs Notes, 2015).
It is necessary to remember that every school is the place where teachers have a mission to share their knowledge with the younger generations, cultivate the right values and convictions and help every student to become a part of the society. That is why every teacher should bear in mind that they are responsible for every human life in the school as the students must feel that a teacher is that very example they can follow.
A great deal of responsibilities belongs to the leader of the school community who must organize the work of the school in order to avoid any problems, but to create an institution where every child and teacher will feel comfortable, protected and respected (Timeout for Child Policy, 2005). Child’s psychic is unstable and sensible, and every minor difficulty can influence badly them. So, the task of every school leader is to work out competent school policy, cooperate with teachers, parents and children.
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