von Katharina Koeppe
Throughout the centuries, the concept of school has changed drastically. From male dominated classes to modern learning environments, but we have yet to find the perfect way to teach.
If I had the chance to design my idea of a perfect school, it would look as follows:
The physical appearance of my school would not be very remarkable, a clutter of small brick buildings in a clearing in the woods. The location of my school would be far away from the distracting sounds of a city, but close enough to be able to easily get there. The classrooms would differ greatly from each other. Some would be equipped with the newest technology, (a preparation for the inevitable future), and some would require students to write on slates. With this method, I would show students the contrasts of learning in different situations, preparing them for wherever they might end up working.
My school would be based on the following values: appreciation, belief in others, compassion, dedication, forgiveness, friendship, respect and tolerance. Using these ideals, I would create a “perfect” learning environment, in which every student would have the same base understanding of good ideals, but at the same time create an environment in which everyone could strive to represent him- or herself. My goal for this “perfect” school would be to teach the students to understand, putting the question “why is it so?” over “how do I do it?” Doing this would force the students to truly learn rather than copy, fill in the blanks or memorize. They would be taught to make connections.
My “perfect” school would consist of small classes, with no more than 10 people. The school day would start at eight and end at four, though the 1st class would always be P.E to get the student´s blood moving. Each school day would be eight hours long, feat is, enough time to not feel rushed to understand but not so long that the students or teachers could begin to feel “boxed in “. Out of these eight school hours two of them would consist of teaching outside of campus. These lessons would prepare the students for the “real world”. They need to learn how to gain the knowledge outside of a controlled learning environment.
Among the skills, they would learn would be communication, leadership, and reasonable behavior in difficult or unknown situations. These skills would also be strengthened through frequent field trips to companies that support or represent these skills.
In my school, a wide array of subjects would be offered. Everyone would learn the same basic skills but as many, or as few subjects would be able to be added on as pleased by each individual student. Doing this would make the students more eager to learn because only what truly interests them would be deepened upon. Other than all basic subjects, physical education, the Arts and a wide array of languages my school would also teach important life skills for the far and near future. This would include, but not be limited to; how to pay taxes, how to tip at a restaurant, skills needed as a homeowner and how to correctly deal with finances. Other than being very good at their subjects each teacher would also have to have a health sense of discipline. While the teachers should be able to connect with the students on an emotional level, they should remain authority figures. Doing this would teach the students to respect certain individuals, for example teachers, bosses, and co-workers, something that is sadly lacking in the current generation.
All these points together might mean or result in my idea of a “perfect” school but whether this entire concept would actually work is a different question.
Many of these values need to be learned slowly and steadily over time, so the rate of success would depend greatly on people’s willingness to try something new. Hence, it is very important that my school is not to controlling because if there is any sort of rebellion, my school would become like every other of its kind. For this reason, I also believe that it is impossible to create a “perfect” school in real life. Every time the experts, the government and students believe they have designed the most foolproof plan, one individual will step out of line, and no matter how small this step is, the perfect system would have been broken. Because of this, I strive to put parenthesis around the word “perfect” in the phrase “perfect school”, but I believe that my form of education would change the future generation for the better. Because of the important values, skills and ideals they would be taught at a young age, I am convince that they would understand and so be able to change the world in their favor.