How To Select An Educational Model For Your Child

An educational model is the framework and values that guide a school in their approach to learning. The traditional (and most familiar) approach is the teacher-led model where students learn in order to pass tests. At the other end of the spectrum, there are models which are entirely student-led and have no exams.

Knowing how to select an educational model for your child is important. When thinking of your child’s education, it’s likely you will have considered things like where the school is, how well they perform in tests, and which qualifications are offered. But while a school might be able to deliver great grades to the majority of their students, it will never be the case that their educational model is appropriate for all their students.

This is why knowing how to select an educational model for your child is essential. In addition to the typical questions you might ask of a school, we’ll show you how to assess whether the environment on offer will help your child with their intellectual, emotional and physical well-being.

 

1. Will the curriculum and teaching style work well for my child?

 

At the heart of any educational model is the method they use to take a learner from the beginning to the end of their educational journey. As such, it’s essential to find out if the curriculum they follow and the teaching style they prefer are a match for your child. Accordingly, you should consider the following:

            – Will my child know what they need to do to complete a course, a qualification or their education?
            – Will my child be able to do this within the environment on offer?

Achieving a respected qualification is a crucial step in your child’s further education and career ambitions. As a result the lessons and activities that the model uses to guide learners to this point are important. Equally important though is the journey your child takes to get there. Some children will benefit more from books, lectures and clear objectives. Others will flourish with media rich projects, interactions and student-led learning.

 

2. Will my child’s interests and needs be catered for?

 

Different educational models place a different emphasis on the role of a student’s needs and extracurricular activities. Some models choose to focus their resources on curriculum-related issues. Some models support extra-curricular interests but keep them separate from the academic activities. And others choose to incorporate outside interests as co-curricular activities. That’s why it’s important to ask:

            – Does my child need to be supported with their outside activities?
            – Should this be incorporated in their learning?

Encouraging students to follow a passion outside of their school-subjects is great for a variety of reasons, and when this passion can be used in the classroom students tend to learn more and with more enthusiasm.

 

3. Will my child benefit from a purely academic approach, or one that brings in professional relevance

 

Some educational models focus purely on academic subjects and disciplines. Others though, like arts schools or health colleges, combine academic studies with some sort of professional training. Taking into account the ambitions of your child, there are some questions to ask to decide on the best educational model available.

            – Will my child benefit from learning a professional skill?
            – How are these professional courses designed?

Some children can benefit greatly from models that incorporate courses which are run with respected partners. They can be from disciplines as varied as engineering, cooking or marketing, but in all cases have the ability to augment a child’s education with real-world experience.

 

4. How often does my child need to interact with teachers and other students?

 

While some educational models are based on in-class teaching, others rely on a hybrid approach. This means they use online classes, emails and message boards, in addition to face-to-face interactions. The same is also true of interactions between the students themselves. Regardless of whether learning is offline or online, you should ask the following questions.

            – Does the model ensure high quality teacher-student interaction?
            – How does it encourage socialisation?

In the case of teacher-student interactions, it’s important to pick a model which helps your child. Some children excel when encouraged to work on their own initiative and schedule meaning teacher interactions happen as needed and with a focus on partnership. Other learners require regular face-to.face time with a more teacher-led approach. In terms of socialisation, it’s also essential to consider whether your child needs to hone social skills in general, collaborate with other children or simply make new friends. Depending on the objective, the best model will be different.

December 23, 2020, Cascais

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