District 143½ believes that education is an important element in everyday survival. Education is necessary to prepare students to meet the challenge of the present and equip them to cope with the future. It influences many components of the child’s total being, including knowledge, skills, habits, values, and attitudes. It involves intellectual discipline, individualized instruction, creativity, motivation, an appreciation of the aesthetic, reasoning, self-imaging and stresses the maximum utilization of innate potential for each and every learner.
Schools exist to serve the children in the community. Schools must be characterized as places of caring, as well as sharing. They are not only concerned with imparting knowledge, but should be strongly committed to teaching social standards. The end product should be an individual who has acquired skills and attitudes necessary for becoming a productive, responsible citizen of the future. The learners are continually guided by direct instruction, as well as by example, to respect both themselves, as well as others. They should be taught the techniques for carrying out the learning process both in and out of school and should develop a love of learning, which will make them lifelong students. More important than what pupils know at the end of sixth, seventh or eighth grade is the extent of their knowledge at the age of twenty-five, forty, or sixty. Students need to develop their ability to locate information and should be stimulated to enjoy the learning process so that they will apply their education fruitfully in adult life.
Education must be an action-oriented experience in which the child can fulfill innate potential. Therefore, the teacher must introduce the child to a side variety of stimulating experiences which foster the growth of potential, while simultaneously making the child more aware of his or her inherent capacity. Learning experiences should be presented in a variety of ways including lessons that focus on the visual, auditory, and tactile modalities. The educator must be aware of each and every child’s unique learning style and provide instruction that meshes with that learning style. Once the child is successful through these action-oriented experiences, this success serves to enhance his/her development of values, self-worth, and character and esteem.
The teaching-learning environment should encourage and stimulate learning. First experiences have great impact. Curiosity, autonomy, and creativity must be promoted. We must, as educators, turn-on, rather than turn-off, students. The classroom should be visually stimulating, creating an atmosphere for learning which is pleasant and attractive. It should also include opportunities for learning via other senses. Learning activities should involve a large number of manipulative. However, one of the most important ingredients in the effective classroom is the teacher. The teacher must be an expert motivator and be able to accurately design expectations for the pupils to enable them, on an individual basis, to attain their personal best. The child must be guided in recognizing the value in what he or she is learning and sees the application to life outside the classroom. There must be continuity in the goals from pre-school through grade eight. This continuity must be evident in the area of values, as well.
School organization must be viewed as a group of professionals working together for the benefit of the children. However, the teacher cannot do the job alone. In order to maximize each and every child’s potential. Parent acceptance, support, and understanding is required. The growth of the child academically, socially, and physically can only occur if the home, community and school work together on a child-centered tem. The role of the parent is to assist and reinforce the teacher’s effort in both the home and school. The school has a crucial role to play in helping the individual learn to manage his or her environment in a way that strengthens the ego rather than deflating it.
John Dewey once wrote, “The object of the educational curriculum is to determine what is on the learner’s mind and help provide him opportunities and experiences that will develop and bring out his innate ability.” In summary, the following points are central to District 1431/2 ‘s Philosophy of Education:
- There must be continuity in the goals from pre-school through grade eight. This continuity must be evident in the area of values as well.
- First experiences have great impact. Curiosity, autonomy and creativity must be promoted. We must, as educators, turn-on rather than turn-off, students.
- Learning should take place in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains.
- Learning styles of each individual should be taken into account.
- Human learning is accomplished from external stimuli. However, in order for a student to be motivated, he or she must first have self-esteem. Raising self-image is a prerequisite for teaching students who suffer from low self-esteem.
- The school has a crucial role to play in helping the individual learn to manage his or her environment in a way that strengthens the ego, rather than deflating it.
- Teachers must recognize the individual integrity of the learner.
- Learning is best accomplished when the teacher demonstrates to the students the use of the knowledge or skill.
- The classroom should be a place in which issues of concern can be examined and discussions conducted which encourage divergent thinking and differences of opinion.
- The teacher must remember that value judgment develops in the child as they see the kind of reward associated with various behaviors.
- School organization must be viewed as a group of professionals working together for the benefit of the children.
- There must be unity between school, community and home.
More important than what pupils know at the end of sixth, seventh and eighth grade is the extent of their knowledge at the age of twenty-five, forty or sixty. Students need to develop their ability to locate information and should be stimulated to enjoy the learning process so that they will apply their education fruitfully in adult life.
Education, at its best, will develop the learner’s inner resources to the point that the students can (and will want to) learn on his or her own.