Graduate high level papers research school student teaching values

However, staff members must allow for illness and recognize mitigating circumstances. Schools should therefore probably not set an absolute limit to absences, but might require statements from parents or doctors explaining why the child has missed school. Be flexible. Attendance and tardiness policies must allow for individual circumstances and for situations outside of a student's control, such as the need to care for younger siblings. Offer opportunities for teaching.

Students of all ages can benefit from learning how to improve attendance and punctuality. In most cases, this opportunity for teaching can be achieved in the classroom setting: students can share strategies for preparing their school materials in advance of when they must walk out the door, or for ensuring that they make the bus.

However, some students—particularly older students who face challenges at home—may need individual coaching. A counselor or trusted teacher can be of real assistance in these cases. Discipline policies are the rules regarding student conduct, both within classrooms and in the school as a whole. These include rules about running in the halls, disrespectful language, willful disregard of teacher requests, and, for older students, public displays of affection.

Discipline policies might also include student conduct on the bus and playground, or in the cafeteria. In a sincere attempt to enhance the quality of their school environment, educators in some schools have instituted harsh zero-tolerance policies for students. In some cases, such as weapons possession, a zero-tolerance approach is certainly justified. However, it is important that educators not confuse being tough with being businesslike.

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Educators must appreciate the relationship between instruction and student conduct. When students are engaged in meaningful work and experience learning success, they are not much inclined to disrupt a class. But if students are bored, or if they believe that they are about to be embarrassed or humiliated, they may actually prefer being sent to the office to staying in class. A solution, then, for some student infractions may be to make learning experiences more engaging, so that students can be challenged as well as successful.

Successful standards of conduct will reflect certain characteristics: Respectful and appropriate. Discipline policies should reflect a school's belief that everyone in the school community—both adults and students—must be treated with respect e. Consequences for student infractions should fit the situation, and should not be punitive; students should not be suspended for trivial infractions. Standards of student conduct should be well publicized and known to everyone: students, teachers, and parents. They need to be, and to be perceived to be, reasonable and transparent; any appearance of arbitrariness will undermine their credibility.

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Standards of student conduct should be consistent across a school, rather than dependent on the whim of each teacher. Individual teachers may have their own expectations, of course, but the same general rules should apply across an entire school. Teachers assign homework to students mainly to extend learning time. Students are in school for six hours or so each day; if they complete assignments at home, they can be actively engaged in learning for considerably longer than that.

A school's approach to homework depends on the age of the students.

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Although it is unreasonable to expect young children to spend long hours doing assignments, a well-conceived homework policy helps students assume more responsibility for their own learning and allows students to continue learning beyond the school day. As educators determine their school's approach to homework, the following guidelines may be helpful: Homework is important. If assigned, homework must be completed; it should not be optional, but rather integral to the instructional program.

A school's homework policy should convey the importance the school attaches to homework and emphasize student commitment and responsibility for completing it. Student must be able to complete assignments independently.


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As a general rule, students should be able to complete assignments without adult assistance at home. The reason for this is simple equity. Some parents are able to substantially assist their children by virtue of their own education: they can explain how to factor polynomials, for example, or provide feedback on writing. But because other parents are not able to offer this type of help, only some students will have the benefit of what amounts to a private tutor at home. It is essential that success in school not depend on the availability of parental assistance. Assignments should be appropriate to completion at home.

Some assignments are inappropriate for homework—such as those that represent new learning or learning that requires frequent explanations or intervention by a teacher. More suitable homework assignments are those that ask students to practice previously learned skills, write essays, or memorize vocabulary. Practice increases fluency and facility, and repetition can enhance student mastery of a concept.

Links between home and school should be pursued. Some assignments can integrate the home into the learning experience. After studying the Great Depression, for example, 11th grade history students might be asked to interview older relatives and neighbors regarding their experiences during the Depression and its aftermath.


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Or 3rd graders, after having learned to make bar graphs, can collect data regarding the different types of furniture in their homes and display the information in a bar chart; the next day, the classroom walls will be covered with charts of chairs, tables, beds, and televisions from which patterns may be observed and hypotheses generated. Educators should help students deal with emergencies.

When unforeseen events occur, students should not be unduly penalized. Teachers should distinguish between completion and effort. Students sometimes get stuck in the course of doing their homework because they do not understand something critical. This may be due to poor instruction, lack of clarity about the assignment, or day dreaming on the part of the student during an explanation.

But the result is that the home work is not complete. A reasonable and respectful policy will take these factors into account. In addition, teachers should ask students to document what they did before abandoning their homework: what approaches they tried, for example, or the names of students they phoned for help. Such a policy sends the message that perseverance and resourcefulness are important, so students should not give up at the first sign of trouble. Teachers should coordinate major assignments. Students are quick to notice when major assignments from two different courses are due on the same day, and they are not completely open to their teachers' suggestions that a little advance planning would mitigate the conflict.

If a school wants students to give energy to the work they do outside of school, it makes sense for teachers in different departments to share their schedules for major assignments with one another. Students should certainly be expected to complete small daily assignments in many subjects, but major assignments should be coordinated. Teachers should help parents help their children. A school's staff should support a richer intellectual environment at home for students, independent of homework, by encouraging parental involvement.

Educators should enlighten parents who don't recognize the educational value of regularly reading aloud to younger children, or of asking them to set the table or sort the laundry. Older children can be asked to read bus schedules or road maps on car trips, or to determine which brand of soap is the best bargain at the supermarket—skills that require higher-order thinking. And children of all ages benefit from conversation or keeping a journal. Educators should help parents to appreciate the value of these activities, so that they will encourage their children to take part in them.

Of all the policies and practices affecting students, the school's approach to grading has the greatest potential to affect students' futures, both within the school and beyond it. Almost no one believes that conventional approaches to grading are beneficial. There is no consensus as to what grades mean; some teachers appear to believe that their grade distributions reflect their own teaching abilities or the complexity of the content more than they do student achievement; others maintain that their harsh grading policy reflects their own high standards.

Teachers also tend to disagree on the quality of student work: given the same student essay, some teachers would award it an A while others would give it a C. Teachers, that is, tend to apply their own standards of quality to student work that are rarely communicated to either students or other teachers. Furthermore, many citizens, educators, and admissions directors in institutions of higher education think that the distribution of grades should follow the bell curve, believing that too many high grades is evidence of grade inflation.

Any discussion of grading policies must begin with their purposes, which include the following: Motivating students. Educators can use grades to motivate students to work hard, study, and learn the content of a course, especially in high school.

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Communicating with students. Grades can help let students know what learning is important, as well as how well they are doing, in general. While some college leaders are making serious efforts to improve the quality of teaching, many others seem content with their existing programs.

Although they recognize the existence of problems affecting higher education as a whole, such as grade inflation or a decline in the rigor of academic standards, few seem to believe that these difficulties exist on their own campus, or they tend to attribute most of the difficulty to the poor preparation of students before they enroll. Many colleges provide a formidable array of courses, majors and extracurricular opportunities, but firsthand accounts indicate that many undergraduates do not feel that the material conveyed in their readings and lectures has much relevance to their lives.

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Such sentiments suggest either that the courses do not in fact contribute much to the ultimate goals that colleges claim to value or that instructors are not taking sufficient care to explain the larger aims of their courses and why they should matter. Other studies suggest that many instructors do not teach their courses in ways best calculated to achieve the ends that faculties themselves consider important. For example, one investigator studied samples of the examinations given at elite liberal arts colleges and research universities.

Now that most faculties have defined the learning objectives of their college and its various departments and programs, it should be possible to review recent examinations to determine whether individual professors, programs and departments are actually designing their courses to achieve those goals.

College administrators could also modify their student evaluation forms to ask students whether they believe the stated goals were emphasized in the courses they took. In addition, the average time students devote to studying varies widely among different colleges, and many campuses could require more of their students. Those lacking evidence about the study habits of their undergraduates could inform themselves through confidential surveys that faculties could review and consider steps to encourage greater student effort and improve learning.

The vast difference between how well seniors think they can perform and their actual proficiencies according to tests of basic skills and employer evaluations suggests that many colleges are failing to give students an adequate account of their progress.

Grade inflation may also contribute to excessive confidence, suggesting a need to work to restore appropriate standards, although that alone is unlikely to solve the problem. More fundamental changes will take longer to achieve but could eventually yield even greater gains in the quality of undergraduate education. They include:. Improving graduate education.

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Colleges and universities need to reconfigure graduate programs to better prepare aspiring professors for teaching. As late as two or three generations ago, majorities of new Ph. Today, however, many Ph. Aspiring college instructors also need to know much more now in order to teach effectively. A large and increasing body of useful knowledge has accumulated about learning and pedagogy, as well as the design and effectiveness of alternative methods of instruction.