What is your mission in life? What is your vision for yourself in the future? These are not questions you may ask yourself regularly. Independent schools usually go to great lengths to establish mission and vision statements. One might wonder why, given the basic understanding that a school is really about kids learning. It came through clearly from our Project Nest work that people at ASH see us as more than just a school. So what does that mean for us when it comes to mission and vision?
One way to deepen learning and drive toward true understanding is to provide as many opportunities as possible for learning to continue beyond school, or outside the classroom. So what does this mean for a school?
In this blog, we have been scratching the surface of a discussion of mass education and exploring what has gotten us where we are today with schooling. We saw that standardization (of environments, goals, methods) is one effect of the fact education became such a huge and ever-growing institution. A striking example of this development is the standardized test, which has become such an important part of education.
As mass schooling became the norm across the world, certain structures arose (and continue to this day) that we can readily recognize as characteristics of schools. Many of them are so universal that we now think all schools must have them in order to be schools. But are they really standardized?
When considering how schools must change and adapt to new realities, it is useful to explore how they have become what they are today. Of course, it is overly simplistic to say that all schools around the world are the same, yet it is surprising, when we look closely, how strikingly similar they are. Mass schooling is a trend that rose in the 19th century and has developed steadily into the 21st century in countries around the world. Throughout the work week, more people on the planet take part in “school” than in any other institution on the planet.
Schools regularly go through cycles of accreditation and reflection on the work they do with students. These processes involve third-party agencies with expertise in education and organizational management. How does accreditation account for the changing nature of learning for the future?