ERIC Number: ED431829
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Simple Justice: Thinking about Teaching and Learning, Equity and the Fight for Small Schools.
Teaching is an intellectual task of serious proportions, in part because the student and situation are constantly changing. The task of teaching involves, as well as intellectual commitment, an ethical stance with an implied moral contract. A good teacher communicates a deep regard for students' lives and the belief that each student is unique and worthy of reverence. Regard extends to the insistence that students have access to tools with which to negotiate and transform the world. Ernest Gaines'"A Lesson before Dying" illustrates the position of a teacher faced with a resistant student and the self-reflection that comes with struggling to teach well. Teaching and learning are fundamentally relational, but large schools are most often structured in ways that make real relationship impossible. A small schools philosophy is a restructuring strategy that is aimed at the disconnection between teacher and student that often comes with the large school. The call for small schools puts the student at the center of the educational enterprise and places parents and communities at the center of school life. The fundamental message of the teacher is that the student can change his or her life. This task is easier in the small school environment. (Contains five references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A