What is Your Goal for Education in Our Society?
When asked this question, many people respond with the idea of creating productive members of our society.
People hope that the educational system allows children to learn and grow in such a way that they will be able to contribute positively to our society in a variety of ways, and that they will ultimately be able to not only support themselves financially, but also to perhaps have a family, even to find a cure for cancer or other disease, develop something innovative that will help humankind, or otherwise live a life of happiness. After all, our country was founded on the principle of “Liberty, Life and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
These are all worthy and worthwhile goals for education. Yet, in order for students to become these productive members of society, they need to have a set of social skills that will allow them to navigate the challenges they will face in a safe and productive way. These goals also ask that our students learn to work with others, to persevere through challenges, to care and have empathy for others, to be respectful yet assertive when needed, and more. Similarly, when asked what some of the critical issues facing young people and preventing success in schools, responses include lack of motivation, lack of persistence or perseverance, or lack of self-discipline.
If we want to raise children and students who are able to work with and include others, we must be good role models for inclusion ourselves. While reading, writing and math are important to academic success, they are far from the only qualities students need to go forth and lead productive lives.
Interpersonal skills are just as important to teach — such as empathy, listening with openness, persistence to learn, and non-judgment. Some educators may feel unprepared to take on a role that seems more like parenting. However, it can be taught through a multitude of ways with the support of parents and schools working together.
At School – While elementary school may seem like the perfect place to learn social and emotional skills, often by high school the focus of educators and parents has turned to academics. But adolescence is a crucial time for young people to know an adult cares about them and can serve as a mentor.
When students develop Social and Emotional Learning competencies, they are more pivoted to learn and are more committed to school and education. Students are more likely to have improved attitudes toward themselves and others and decreased problems such as acting out in class, getting suspended or held back.
Parent Involvement In Schools
Teachers if increasing parent involvement in your school is an area of interest for you, we hope you will consider our online course titled “Engaging Parents In Support of Student Learning, Grades K-12“.
Our main focus in this course is to help in providing strategies for you and your school to become more focused on engaging parents not just involving them in pre-determined tasks.
This course will provide participants with a variety of strategies and resources designed to increase parent engagement at the school and classroom level. The course provides an opportunity for participants to analyze how the school environment welcomes parents, including considering the current effectiveness of activities designed to bring parents into the school environment, potential barriers to parent involvement, and ways to strengthen the current opportunities and minimize or eliminate the barriers that keep parents from being involved in the educational process.