School Issues That Negatively Impact Student Learning
The education system in America is comprised of a plethora of schools that each act as a microcosm of the community in which they serve. Cambridge International School explains “Schools today are not just classrooms, buildings, playgrounds, resources – digital and physical, students, parents, teachers, caretakers independent of each other, but a space where all these and more come together to interact and co-exist.” A school is like its own ecosystem (community of living organisms and nonliving components in an environment), because of the interactions between nonliving and living components. The school issues that can negatively impact student learning could be attributed to any part that makes up this ecosystem including “the full variety of actors (i.e., living species) and all non-living elements in use for education through teaching and learning.” There are over 250 distinct factors or activities that influence student achievement. Some of the more common examples of school issues that negatively impact student learning include the following:
- Class and curriculum structure: students struggle in chaos and thrive when there is structure.
- School climate: a school that does not maintain a welcoming and safe environment for learning can negatively impact student achievement.
- Teacher behavior and personality: If a teacher displays a preference towards certain students or uses derogatory and humiliating language, that can lower student morale and adversely affect student learning.
- Teaching methods: all educators have distinct methods of teaching, and each student learns differently. If teachers do not cast a wide net and utilize differentiated teaching strategies, students learning will suffer.
- Peer relationships: peer conflict can make students feel less secure about their social status among peers, increase their stress levels, and lower motivation in education.
South Dakota State University asserts “Students’ personal attributes and aptitudes, their social interactions with peers, teachers, and their families, and larger familial and societal structures (e.g., socioeconomic status, school quality, community problems) all impact student learning to various degrees.” There are a variety of multifaceted, complex, and interconnected factors that influence a student’s achievement and educational outcome.
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