Teaching Pupils to Assume Responsibilities
Oct 15, 2009 Learning Methodology 2935 Views
Different pupil groups should be allowed to assume responsibility for certain curricula during the school day. Schools should also enlist the services of parents, associations and representatives of social authorities and cultural and recreational authorities, for example. The facilities and activities of leisure centers must be geared to the school day in a natural manner. Recreation centers, libraries and the premises of voluntary associations should if possible be utilized so as to provide abundant opportunities and close co-operation.
The school day must include time for rest and relaxation. Everybody needs an opportunity to speak informally to others about experiences and events and to think things over in peace and quite
The following guidelines should be observed concerning the planning of free activities during the school day:
- To cater for and stimulate the pupils' need for activity, their need for social contact and their need for cultural stimulus,
- To encourage the pupils to engage in associations of their own and in doing so to ensure that these activities are treated and regarded as the pupils' own concern, organized and directed by them person
- To encourage participation in school decision-making processes and to help and support the pupils in connection with the work of the pupil committee, to broaden the range of contacts with adults active outside the school, to broaden the pupils' knowledge of local associations, cultural and recreational activities and to encourage involvement and active participation in the same, to engage pupils of different ages and sexes in the same groups,
- To offer secure care facilities for children in the lower age groups,
- To make a special effort to involve poorly motivated pupils and to develop in them a positive attitude towards school,
- To develop natural and spontaneous relations between pupils and adults.
Free activities as a natural part of school activities can contribute, not only towards the greater and better care of the pupils but also towards an improvement of the opportunities of individualization and support existing in school. In order to succeed, schools must relate to existing interests and create new, developmental ones. School staff and the leaders of youth associations and adult education associations must actively participate and inform the pupils about different opportunities. Many activities can be organized and led by the pupils themselves. Surveys have shown that pupils' choices are often unselected and governed by tradition, sex and the output of the entertainment industry.
Schools should encourage new approaches with a view to variety and renewal. Hobbies, ideological, athletic and aesthetic activities should be promoted, as well as a focus on questions of nature conservancy and environment conservation. Schools must provide knowledge of and contact with recreational groups and organizations in the community at large. In this way they can provide pupils with lasting interests which can give meaning to their leisure. Schools should avoid a one-sided selection by ensuring that free activities include a highly variable curricula during the school year.
Activities can be organized in many different ways. Here are some of them.
Time should be allotted for assemblies. These can include information and discussions, activities featuring cultural and social items, and presentations of organizations, associations and different occupational groups. They should be based as far as possible on the pupils' own activities. They can be arranged for one or two work units, for entire grades or levels or, where appropriate, for an entire school.
In each class the form master or form mistress and the pupils together constitute a class committee. The activities of the class committee form an important part of the regular work of the school. In addition to lesson periods, it can meet during the time allotted for morning assembly and free activities. This time can also be used for the activities of the pupils' own associations, e.g. the pupil committee.
The school library should if possible be kept open throughout the school day. The pupils can develop their interests there by reading books, newspapers and magazines. This is often the best place the school has to offer for independent studies, for group work or for study circles. The municipal cultural affairs committee and cultural organizations should be enabled to use the school as a forum for cultural activities, exhibitions, story time activities etc.
Free activities must provide scope for the assumption by the pupils of direct responsibility for sectors of school work. This can be arranged in many different ways, and responsibility of this kind should be made as extensive as the pupils' ages and maturity permit Pupils and pupil groups should assist with the daily chores of school life. They should play a part in looking after the premises, in running the library and doing duplicating , and also in doing running repairs. They should be able to take charge of laying the table and serving school lunches. ln conjunction with project work, for example, they can work on the design of the playground. The role of the pupils in school life must be one of activity and responsibility instead of the passive reception of services.