Schools and Society
Schools work very close with the community in which they reside in order to foster a strong relationship of trust and enhancement for the betterment of society. Since student come directly from the community surrounding the school, the community has a vested interest in making sure the school succeeds. As an education major, you will be called upon to write an essay or research paper on the relationship between the community and schools in the community. Paper Masters suggests the following format for a schools and society project:
Introducing the Importance of Schools working with Society
Godina (2003) suggests that "sensitization to original culture reflects a plausible connection for improving educational opportunities for minority students". Damm (2006) describes a collaborative partnership between a university art and music faculty and local elementary music and art teachers, with a focus on multiculturalism and the exploration of native music, art and culture. Arts and music and so important to culture, but these programs are regrettably under-funded. In schools with a large ethnic population, the result is not just an unbalanced education, but a feeling of disconnect between real life and school. Godina (2003) suggests that integrating instruction on students' ancestral culture can promote a high level of self-esteem and self-concept and in turn increase their motivation to learn across the school curriculum.
Consequently, the means to provide community education services come from a variety of resources:
- Communities may provide them out of city or state funding.
- Some community education programs are funded by local tax revenues.
- Still other programs receive federal grants to ensure their continuous operation.
The purpose of community education may also be multi-dimensional in that it may serve purposes other then the accumulation of knowledge. The goal of some community education programs may be to simply increase the level of functioning with regard to societal expectations. So, for example, a community education program might be designed to reduce family violence. This would be accomplished through educational classes, seminars, counseling, etc.
Include Personal Thoughts on Schools and Society
Be sure to state that you would like to see school work with local universities, and arts organizations, to increase the representation of art and music education in general, and specifically culturally relevant arts and music education like Danza Azteca dance and instruments. The program of coarse does not have to be limited to the arts; community organizations and individuals with knowledge and experience in history, science and just about any subject should be encouraged to participate in the schools. In addition, growing relationships in the community helps to invest the community in our school, its programs and future development.
Finally, to further strengthen the ties between school and community, emphasize the need to institute a service learning program. By getting students actively engaged in their local communities, we can help them to learn and apply meaningful concepts in authentic ways. These types of programs benefit students and community members who both participate and receive service, enmeshing students in society and demonstrating that learning is a lifelong, practical tool and not just an activity limited to the school day and building. Students are given the opportunity to evaluate their own impact, and see firsthand how what they use is relevant to the real world. In doing so, they also build relationships within their community. The school builds a relationships as well, building a reputation as a significant institution to the community and making contacts with organizations and community members who may further enhance the school's position and programming.