The Secret Of A Successful School Does Not Require Money
Science & Tech / /
Most of the factors that help to make schools more successful require a particular sum of money - teachers suggest. However, a new American study suggests one factor that does not involve money, and can play an important role in the progress of students, even in the poorest schools.
The study included 96 public schools in Ohio, a secret "ingredient" for success of students researchers called "social capital." It includes a network of relationships between school officials, teachers, parents and the local community on which bases is built mutual trust and specific standards that promote students' progress.
The researchers found that students from different schools with higher levels of "social capital" achieve better results in state tests in mathematics and reading. The results confirmed this hypothesis in both poor and affluent schools.
In schools with high social capital, the teachers had intensive contacts with the parents, the high level of mutual trust with students and regulated studying environment.
"Social capital is available to all schools, regardless of wealth, and can provide real benefits for student achievement," said Roger Goddard, co-author of the study.
Goddard also said that schools in wealthy areas have somewhat an advantage when it comes to this factor, but its value is negligible in terms of student outcomes.
"Wealthy schools do have an advantage in terms of social capital, but it is not overwhelming. All kinds of schools can develop high levels of social capital that will help their students," Goddard added.
Each school was given an overall assessment of the social capital on the basis of evaluation of teachers. They were asked to evaluate whether their school has frequent contacts with the parents, whether teachers believe their students, and whether the parental involvement affects progress in learning.
The researchers then examined whether the results of social capital can be linked to the success of students who passed the tests in mathematics and reading, taking into account the environment in which the schools are located, school size, socio-economic status of the families and the percentage of students who passed the tests.
Even after all this tests, based on the level of social capital, it was possible to predict how many students will be successful on the state tests.
"This suggests that a student's success isn't just based on the wealth of his or her neighborhood," Goddard said. "That's an important and hopeful message. The involvement of parents and community members in support of student and school success matters to children's learning. "