Schools are the beating hearts of our communities. They play a crucial role in repairing the damage caused by community fragmentation. They bring people together, often acting as a vital support for people in need, as shown not least during the Covid pandemic when schools have been a lifeline for struggling families. The relationship between school and community is a symbiotic one: many parents are actively involved in the life of the school, everything from helping out with reading to raising much-needed funds for building repairs and the like.
At the core of life-based learning is a vision of much greater community involvement not just in general school life but in helping deliver parts of the curriculum, further reinforcing that two-way bond of support and helping to enhance and enrich children’s learning.
We have argued in a recent post that our communities “are a priceless educational resource, a vast fund of local expertise, talent and enthusiasm.” That’s one reason why harnessing the expertise and goodwill of the community around us is central to life-based learning.
The online article Connecting children to the outside world benefits everyone, Here’s why, by Josephine Lister, discusses the benefits of increasing the amount of community involvement in children’s education. Lister says that, in addition to helping to broaden horizons and unlock skills and talents, it results in greater engagement in learning:
By involving our communities in the educational process we give children real-world learning opportunities, which makes learning more memorable and impactful, as they can see a reason as to why they’re learning what you’re teaching. Motivational issues occur when young people see little attachment between school and their outside lives. Connecting the dots for students therefore can increase their motivation, improve their memory recollection and, hopefully, go on to improve their grades.Josephine Lister, Connecting children to the outside world benefits everyone, Here’s why
There is a link to the Josephine Lister article in the Links area of this website. You will find separate pages for each of the nine life-based learning themes. Each page provides links to an eclectic mix of thought-provoking and information-rich websites relevant to life-based learning. Many of the links are to sites with teaching resources for immediate use in the classroom.
Here are three more useful links that you can find on the Community Links page:
- Community in the school and school in the community
- Community connections for children: friends, neighbours and local organisations
- Connecting children to their cultures and communities
More About Community
The image at the head of this article is from here: https://blog.optimus-education.com/community-school-and-school-community