Classrooms are environments that model the larger world. Learning how to work together, solve problems, and negotiate points of view are vital skills needed to be taught. Students learn how to interact in a class setting and take with them skills to use in future professional and social relationships. These important skills are constructed socially as they learn through one another viewpoints and interactions. Students figure out how to negotiate with each other which in turn helps each person negotiate their own world, making sense of their values within the larger society. “The abilities to continually reconstruct one’s value stance and to create compatible value systems are both essential to mature development.” (Calhoun, Weil, & Joyce, 2015, p. 249) When they are finished in our classrooms, they will need to know how to problem solve with their peers. Working with others effectively is a crucial life-long skill.
Mortimer Adler’s “Paidea Principles” outline what schools should focus on as their objectives. http://www.paideia.org/about-paideia/philosophy/ “That the three callings for which schooling should prepare all Americans are, (a) to earn a decent livelihood, (b) to be a good citizen of the nation and the world, and (c) to make a good life for one’s self.” (National Paideia Center, 2015). In order to be good citizens and make a good life for one’s self, students need to know how to negotiate in the world. They will face difficult obstacles and interactions that need social skills to solve. Instilling positive, productive, and healthy democratic processes in classrooms will prepare students to be good citizens in the world.
Calhoun, E., Weil, M., & Joyce, B. (2015). Models of Teaching. (9th ed.) Boston: Pearson.
National Paideia Center. (2015) Paideia: Active Learning. Retrieved February 6, 2016, from http://www.paideia.org/about-paideia/philosophy/