How Effective Is Your School?

Hersh, Richard
March 1983
Education Digest;Mar1983, Vol. 48 Issue 7, p12
This article focuses on the characteristics of effective schools in the U.S. Effective schools establish clear goals which are understood and accepted by all students, teachers, parents, and administrators. These goals represent a strong, professional consensus on what constitutes quality instruction and an orderly school climate. Curriculum is closely linked to schoolwide goals. This link between what is taught and what is expected to be learned helps avoid a mismatch between teaching and testing. Teachers often create their own learning aids and materials to improve the match. Classroom tests and quizzes, coupled with direct and immediate feedback for students, help teachers determine whether the desired goals are being met and communicate to students that the material they are learning is important. Students take responsibility for their own learning and behavior. Children participate in student government, act as hall monitors, sit on discipline panels, tutor classmates, etc., promoting a greater sense of community and giving student a vested interest in their schooling. Teachers in effective schools recognize that the basic part of their job lies in helping kids discover their own capabilities; and in constantly encouraging children to be the best they can be.


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