ERIC Number: ED381284
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
The Basic School: A Community for Learning. Advance Copy.
Boyer, Ernest L.
Noting that academic failure begins early and that the focus of school reform should be at the elementary level, this book describes the Basic School, an idea based on best practice in elementary education. A Basic School pushes school reform back to the first years of formal education; gives priority to language and suggests a coherent core of commonalities; and identifies and implements key components of an effective school in a single institution. The book is organized into four sections. Section 1 describes the school as a community with a clear mission, teachers as leaders, and parents as partners. Section 2 discusses the coherent curriculum of the Basic School, which stresses: (1) the centrality of literacy and language of all kinds, including words, numbers, and the arts; (2) the core commonalities of the various fields of knowledge, which are organized thematically and integrated so that students see connections across the disciplines and relate what they learn to life; and (3) assessment in the service of learning, based on academic standards with benchmarks, which enables the Basic School to be accountable to students, parents, and the larger community. Section 3 describes the school climate for learning, with: (1) small class size, flexible teaching schedules, and various student grouping arrangements; (2) enriching resources for learning, including libraries and use of local zoos, museums, and parks, and electronic tools that connect classrooms to networks of knowledge; and (3) services for children that meet the needs of the whole child by providing basic health and counseling, family referrals, and after-school and summer enrichment programs. Section 4, which describes the Basic School's commitment to character, includes a discussion of seven core virtues and suggests that students should be encouraged to apply the lessons of the classroom to the world around them. A separate section on Technical Notes describes school surveys referred to in the report. Contains 243 notes. (DR)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, After School Programs, Art Education, Class Size, Core Curriculum, Educational Change, Educational Technology, Elementary Education, Ethical Instruction, Flexible Scheduling, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Interdisciplinary Approach, Intergenerational Programs, Literacy, Mixed Age Grouping, Numeracy, Parent Participation, School Health Services, School Libraries, School Surveys, Scientific Literacy, Summer Programs, Telecommunications, Thematic Approach
California/Princeton Fulfillment Services, 1445 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing, NJ 08618 ($10, plus shipping).
Publication Type: Books; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Princeton, NJ.
Identifiers: Basic Schools; Character Education; Learning Communities; School Based Services