Challenges In A New Age School
A New Age school would ensure that the students daily learning is trans disciplinary. There is already great evidence of this in Finnish Schools and the International Curriculum, generally.
When you consider or hear about a new age school you’re looking forward to something different, something new or something fresh. What could possibly be new or fresh about a school?
Something new about the curriculum, pedagogy, use of technology, their approach to how they let their students evolve, the sports philosophy, their approach to self-expression, their written down policies, their levels of safety and security for students, their approach to excursions and field trips, whether the use content as a tool for further learning and developing skills, their approach to international student exchanges or whether they view students as part of the solution to their challenges.
All this and more constitute issues which are part of the daily life of a New Age school.
A new age school would in today’s times, have probably taken on the international curriculum whether it be CAIE or the IB. Offering these curriculums would mean reorientation in the way they work, regular teacher training, frequent Parent orientations and in many cases, they would need to review their Vision, Mission, and Philosophy - their Guiding Statements.
Safety and security of their students on campus and while traveling from home to school and back on the school transport would be their highest priority. The right balance would need to be struck between electronic and human surveillance, staff training from time to time, administrative systems, following the guidelines are given by the government, local administration and the educational boards strictly. Further, they would use technology for attendance and student movement including the entry and exit of adults and visitors.
New Age schools would have a strong Counselling Department, for both students and adults. A very strong connection with the community near and far, would be another prominent aspect of such schools. Going forward, these schools understand the connection between the community and the individual. Normally, a Social Development Officer would head such an activity.
Further, I would imagine that a new age school would be leveraging technology to create more vibrant and collaborative teaching and learning spaces. For this you would need strong and robust Internet and networking infrastructure, probably go with a BYOD schedule across a school, ensure teachers are trained and take ownership of the use of technology and schools would probably revise their HR policy, wherever necessary, to include a certain basic knowledge of technology for the workplace.
A New Age school would ensure that the students daily learning is trans disciplinary. There is already great evidence of this in Finnish Schools and the International Curriculum, generally. The schools would integrate classroom learning with experiential learning. As an example, for instance, they would link classroom learning with the mid-term school trips in a manner that the school trips would be used as a field trip to enhance their classroom learning.
Whether, it be an international student exchange inbound or outbound, or participation in interschool activities, a New Age school would always keep a keen eye on transformational experiences for students.
In modern schools, the philosophy of sport has changed from encouraging a predominantly competitive environment to working largely in a participative environment. A participative environment ensures that every child gets covered by a wellness and nutrition programme. This allows students to understand their bodies and the way they work through PHE lessons. This understanding leads to better nutrition and coupled with encouragement to do something outdoors, leads to much healthier children and a participative environment from all in school.
Lastly but very critical, is the importance of Parents & their involvement in their child’s learning. As mentioned earlier, in a New Age school the first difference that engulfs the parent is the Pedagogy and Curriculum. Since these parents went to school at a different time and with a different curriculum, it is important that the Schools organize regular parent orientations. These parent orientations will enable parents to understand how, why and what their children study. This understanding will increase their involvement in their child’s home study and in the general progress of the child at School. Content-based learning and Skill-based learning is another aspect which needs to be understood by parents whose children study in New Age schools. Parents must focus on teaching-learning processes and not on the result. If the processes satisfy the conditions leading to enhanced skill development, then the desired results will follow.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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