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They may be modified in the light of further knowledge gained at subsequent stages of the project. School children in China: School garden in Panama: The keys to the development of children and their future livelihoods are adequate nutrition and education. These priorities are reflected in the first and second Millennium Development Goals. The reality facing millions of children, however, is that these goals are far from being met.

Children who go to school hungry cannot learn well. They have decreased physical activity, diminished cognitive abilities, and reduced resistance to infections. Their school performance is often poor and they may drop out of school early.

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In the long term, chronic malnutrition decreases individual potential and has adverse affects on productivity, incomes and national development. Investments in nutrition and in education are essential to break the cycle of poverty and malnutrition. In this regard, it is important to stress that school gardens are a platform for learning. They should not be regarded as bulk sources of food or income, but rather as a way to better nutrition and education.

FAO encourages schools to create learning gardens of moderate size, which can be easily managed by students, teachers and parents, but which include a variety of nutritious vegetables and fruits, as well as occasionally some small-scale livestock such as chickens or rabbits. Production methods are kept simple so that they can be easily replicated by students and parents at their homes. Food systems are the unifying concept. The experience promotes the environmental, social and physical well being of the school community and fosters a better understanding of how the natural world sustains us.

In this sense, poverty alleviation is one of the five priority themes of the Europe strategy adopted by the European Council European Commission, a that commits EU actors and Member States to work for smart, sustainable and integrated growth Valls and Padros, Education and permanent education became a key strategy in European policies guaranteeing immigrants' social and economic integration De Paola and Brunello, Immigrant and Roma students are two groups that have historically experienced the greatest educational inequalities resulting from segregation and low expectations Arabadjieva, ; Miguel-Luken and Solana-Solana, The right to education is a fundamental human right, reflected in a free compulsory primary and secondary education and the possibility of accessing other levels of studies without discrimination.

When dropout rates are reduced, educational success and social impact in terms of the completion of upper secondary education and participation in tertiary education European Commission, are related both to social inclusion and access to various social areas such as employment, housing, health and political participation, access to resources, the use of public institutions and the availability of personal networks Rusk, ; Briggs, As explained by Flecha and Soler , these actions are transferable to different countries and to many environments because they contain universal components Racionero-Plaza and Puig, Learning Communities, based on SEAs, are inclusive educational experiences that confront new social needs while raising an equal educational response by working toward social cohesion.

Schools and their community environments through Learning Communities may have a key role in overcoming inequalities suffered by vulnerable populations. In this article we focus on the SEA: It comprises all forms of education and learning that aim to ensure that all adults participate in their societies and the world of work. It denotes the entire body of learning processes, formal, non-formal and informal, whereby those regarded as adults by the society in which they live, develop and enrich their capabilities for living and working, both in their own interests and those of their communities, organizations and societies.

The case study presented in this article shows how Family Education contributes to the transformation of the expectations of higher education and children's expectations of reaching higher education in an urban primary school in Catalonia Spain. As an introduction, on the one hand, this article presents what the previous literature described regarding Family Education as a successful action and, on the other, the kind of community participation that has been proven scientifically to be successful for the community and its children.

In addition to the introduction, the article is structured in four sections that provide data and evidence of a direct relationship between Family Education, expectations of higher education and the improvement of children's academic results. First, we detail the theoretical approach used for Family education and its impact on the education and expectations of students; seconds, we explain the methodology used to develop the research and how it has been carried out as well as the chosen sample and the techniques used; third, we present the main results regarding how Family Education contributes to academic improvement and expectations toward higher education; finally, the conclusion offers a brief summary on the article's main contributions.

The promotion of Family Education, especially in highly vulnerable contexts, shows results that can offer alternatives to school failure in children from these contexts, thereby breaking the cycle of inequality that exists alongside low socioeconomic levels. Extensive research finds that socioeconomic level is a significant predictor of academic success for young people of racial or ethnic minorities Furstenberg et al. Different studies point to the importance of high parenthood expectations in relation to children's academic success Castro et al. Parents' completed levels of education may, for example, affect children's academic achievement Black et al.

According to Fall and Roberts , research consistently shows that students of poor or single-parent families whose parents do not have a high school diploma are at a higher risk of school dropout compared to students of families without risk factors.

Original Research ARTICLE

One of these potential support factors is social support Malecki and Demaray, Different results are derived from the different availabilities of cultural, social and economic resources in the family that can limit educational opportunities and, as a consequence, children's first working experiences entering the labor market.

Research indicates that those with a higher educational level have more opportunities in the labor market; conversely, those with lower educational levels tend to have temporary jobs that are precarious De Vries and Wolbers, ; Santa Cruz et al. In this context, European organizations such as the European Commission b and European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights have noted that the lack of academic training, precariousness and inactivity are key factors that increase the vulnerability to poverty.

In particular, Learning Communities from SEAs is a project that begins at school but integrates the entire community. Learning Communities is a project of social and cultural transformation of an educational center and its surroundings to achieve an Information Society for all people Valls, Learning Communities are considered relevant means of combatting social fragmentation and exclusion, as they promote and attribute a key role to families and the community. Thus, Family Education is considered one of the tools for overcoming this social exclusion through dialogic learning, according to which students learn through dialogue and interaction between all educative agents with whom they are related inside and outside the classroom Elboj et al.

INCLUD-ED shows that social inequalities can be overcome by promoting the education of families and demonstrated that the family environment can be transformed.

Educational Possibilities of Keeping Goats in Elementary Schools in Japan

These actions are characterized by reorganizing the resources available in the school and the community to support the academic success of all students rather than segregating some according to their capacity or reducing their education and depriving them of opportunities. SEAs improve educational outcomes for many children and adolescents Flecha and Soler, These actions are derived from a rigorous analysis of educational systems, especially 27 case studies in schools attended by families of low socioeconomic status who still obtained excellent educational outcomes in schools throughout Europe Valls and Padros, Family Education programmes address non-academic families.

This action in particular emphasizes promoting basic education among community members, in addition to other adult educational and cultural activities. When children are supported by these environments, their interest toward school and participation increases. The educational research shows the benefits derived from establishing strong and honest links between the members of the school community are collected widely Epstein, As the literature presents it, mature students who participate in Lifelong Learning programmes have the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge and improve their personal lives and community well-being Merriam and Kee, For these reasons, especially in lower socioeconomic students, social support should be considered, especially parents and teachers, as an objective for intervention Malecki and Demaray, ; Tellado, Through a study carried out by Carrillo et al.

First, to address reproductive theories Bourdieu and Passeron, , several authors develop theories able to transform inequalities, since they recognize the ability of agents to transform their situations Giroux, ; Bernstein, ; Freire, ; Touraine, Apple and Bene , through their inclusive school models, show that education can be a transformative tool for social inequalities. Currently, international consensus relates to how schools can modify people's life trajectories and, consequently, their social structures Giroux and Flecha, ; DeLuca and Rosenblatt, Giddens tells us that we are all influenced by our social context, our structure, and our developing activity in the social world around us; at the same time, we are structured by it, so we can create and modify the environment.

Empirical evidence maintains that family involvement in schools improves children's learning Dearing et al. The benefits of families or community members' school participation indicate an independence from economic level, family background, educational level or belonging to a vulnerable group Henderson and Mapp, ; Koutroba et al. Specifically, the literature indicates that families' participation in educational centers contributes generally to the children's educational success Epstein, ; Sheldon and Epstein, ; Barron et al. Particularly, Dearing et al. Furthermore, even in those cases when family involvement levels are low, a gap exists between the literacy performances of children with either more or less educated parents; when family involvement is high, this gap disappears.

In addition, when families participate and the center improves its educational quality OCDE, ; Flecha, ; Tellado and Sava, ; INCLUD-ED, , behavioral and affective areas of children's development are affected, as is the quality of parent-child interpersonal relationships, and positive attitudes toward school are generated Epstein, ; Pomerantz et al. In this sense, family participation increases children's cultural and educational interactions with these social agents and can contribute to reversing the tendency of school failure, even in children coming from non-academic families Rogoff et al.

Therefore, measures and policies must be implemented based on family participation Giroux and Flecha, ; Teddlie and Reynolds, ; DeLuca and Rosenblatt, In many cases, family participation in the educational system in the European context is materialized through the associations of mothers and fathers with the School Council Egido, However, this participation is insufficient to transform reality. Comellas states that the presence of relatives in educational decisions related to their children is usually guaranteed, but a lack of real participation continues.

Thus, INCLUD-ED acquires special significance with regard to the current evolution of scientific knowledge about European education and its relation to social exclusion and inclusion Valls and Padros, Five community types are identified in this project according to the level and area of involvement. Of the five, two do not have any kind of effect; specifically, informative participation and consultative participation are based on simple information or consultation without any kind of decision-making power.

Despite favoring contact and coexistence, these two forms of family involvement play a very small role in terms of results and continuity in studies. As Wenger , p. This activity involves family and community members in the evaluation of students' learning processes or school programmes. Decision-making processes occur by becoming representatives in the school's decision-making bodies. The democratic participation of families and the community in decision-making processes helps to promote cultural acceptance and to improve the educational performance of children belonging to cultural minorities previously silenced, as Weis and Fine noted.

This activity occurs when families and other community members participate in students' learning process or in their own training as adults within the center. In the first case, people from the community, and specifically family members, join the centre's academic activities, thereby contributing human resources to learning. In the second case, families and members of the community participate in training programmes.

This type of participation includes attending family education programmes that responds to family's needs such as literacy courses, graduate courses, dialogical literary gatherings or sewing classes, among others. Redding emphasizes that when families are related to each other, social capital increases; children receive the attention of a greater number of adults; and parents share guidelines, norms, and educational experiences. This fact implies that we must build a meeting space, a school for everyone and everyone. Freire , p. In the CM, knowledge arises from the dialogue between the scientific evidence contributed by the researchers and the community, who from their life experiences Habermas, make fundamental contributions interpreting the school's reality.

This dialogue shows in previous searches for example: In this sense, the social sciences face the challenge of going beyond diagnosing the situation of poverty and exclusion to have a social impact or to contribute to the formulation of policies and measures based on evidence oriented to solve social problems Flecha et al. The methodology used in the research contemplates the seven principles of the CM. Firstly, universality of language and starting from the premise that all humans regardless of their culture, ethnic, or academic background can communicate and interact with others.

Secondly, people as transformative social agent, for this reason, is essential the creation of liberation spaces. Thirdly communicative rationality, people use knowledge to search for a wide consensus rather than imposing. In the same line, the fourth principle is the common sense. The fifth principle is related to the premise of an interpretive hierarchy, the comments of the people under the study may be as solid or more than those of the research team.

Then, equal epistemological level, the investigators participate in the research under the same conditions as the people under the study. And finally, dialogic knowledge the knowledge resulting from the research is the result of a dialogue between all the agents. To prepare this case study, first, a secondary documentary analysis was carried out.

  1. Retrato Em Branco E Preto (aka Zingaro).
  2. Books - Breaking the Cycle.
  3. Pushover (Iris Thorne Mysteries -- Book 5).
  4. Educational Possibilities of Keeping Goats in Elementary Schools in Japan.
  5. Breaking the Cycle: How Schools Can Overcome Urban Challenges.
  6. On the one hand, the notes of the children of the different courses have been consulted, in order to see the results. And on the other hand, participation data in adult training have been consulted, observing the number of participants in each activity and the results achieved. Data provided was used to contextualize and thoroughly know the school as well as to obtain evidence of the school's transformation.

    Likewise, the three authors of this article are volunteers in the Mediterrani School, so they have direct contact with different school agents, a fact that facilitated the possibility of carrying out the fieldwork and built the trust participants had when explaining their thoughts and experiences. This neighborhood was created in the s as a result of the city's industrialization with the installation of petrochemical companies.

    The high rates of students with severe situations of poverty and a high rate of absenteeism has grown since its inception. A clear example is the — academic year, when absenteeism reached Faced with this situation and a lack of solutions, in , the center opted for the transformation to a Learning Community 2 and the application of Successful Educational Actions. A dialogical procedure began in which researchers from the Community of Researchers in Excellence for All CREA , families, teachers, children and community members, through an egalitarian dialogue, agreed to become a Learning Community.

    As one of the first stages of transformation in the Learning Community, all educational agents dreamed about the school they wanted. By sharing the families' dreams, they realized one commonplace trait: Families made it clear that they did not want concessions. They wanted their children to learn.

    To achieve this dream, many families acquired a commitment from the start with the school. With relatives' demands and leadership's persistence, the school has expanded the educational offerings, and this year — begins the first year of secondary school. Family Education started in the academic year —, when the school and families conducted adult training courses. Specifically, in adult training, the type of activities that were developed in these 5 years varied depending on family members' needs and demands.

    All activities aimed at improving the skills and knowledge necessary for today's society. In the Mediterrani School, the most in-demand courses are instrumental training courses. These courses are focused on adults with low SES to increase their skills in reading, writing, and elementary calculations. Some of them are oriented to prepare the participants to take exams to access vocational training. In the case of Mediterrani School families, they prepare for the primary and secondary school graduate exams.

    These courses are attended by people who did not finish their primary or secondary education and people who graduated in their native country with certifications that are not recognized in Spain. In the — school year, two mothers, Lorena and Amina, passed the instrumental exam and obtained their official certification after the training they received at the Mediterrani School. Lorena was the first Roma mother in the school who took the course at the same school and passed the exam.

    Next, she planned to sign up for the graduate school, asked for the assessment to fulfill the need she had for a driving license; thereupon, she signed up at the driving school. Passing the Instrumental Training exam encouraged her, in her own words, to feel more intelligent. In the — school year, she attended the secondary education training course. On the other hand, Amina, after passing the exam, began the secondary education training course.

    Amina also participates in other activities both inside and outside the school, particularly in dialogical literary gatherings DLGs. DLGs are another form of adult education that takes place each year. The majority of the participants are Moroccans, but Roma women also participate.

    DLGs are exceptional for the diversity among the participants: All the schools prepared in advance and adjusted their methods of keeping goats by trial and error according to the situation and were able to use the goats in education. The participants recognized educational benefits and fulfillment while at the same time feeling some burden, and all wanted to recommend other grades or elementary schools to keep goats, if possible. In the interviews, only the participants of one school responded that their goat was unsuitable for the current caregiving grade.

    This school had an adult male goat for the first time, and because of its large size the school personnel felt it was a safety risk for the children in the current grade who were providing care. In addition, there were other teachers in the school who hoped to show children the birth of goats. After the initial survey, the school replaced the male goat with a pregnant goat. The male goat was given to a facility for adult people.

    The effects of changing individual goats by this replacement were investigated in this school.

    Breaking the Cycle

    Three years after the initial interview and participant observation, a similar survey was conducted. An animal care committee was established in this school when the goat was replaced. On school days, the committee members in the fifth and sixth grades took care of the goats, taking turns performing the work before and after school, during break times between classes, and during cleaning time, and the teachers helped and supervised them. At the time the goat was replaced, the school built a new hygienic pen, which was easy to clean and a fence around the paddock to ensure safety for children and goats.

    The teacher said that his concerns about the risks toward the children were considerably reduced, since the new goat was smaller and tamer. As with the previous male, for safety reasons, the teacher sometimes took care of the goat instead of the children. After replacing the goat, the children were able to undertake more work by themselves, and the teacher was able to encourage them to consider voluntary behaviors that would improve the quality of life of the goats.

    The teacher volunteered to be the adviser when the animal care committee was established. The teacher was able to take advantage of his past experience and knowledge but also learned in the course of interaction with the goats. As the result of births, there were five goats at one time. Due to restrictions of food supply and space and the burden of their care, the offspring were given to other facilities.

    The teacher also felt regret that they gave up the male adult goat that the children had grown up with and felt affection toward, and he wondered if there had been something else they should have done for the goat instead of parting with it. Regarding the changes in the children, the teacher reported his impression that the children came to feel that they took more care of the goats by themselves, compared to the former situation with the male goat, because the interactions between children and goats increased; for example, they came to be able to take the goats for a walk.

    The animal care committee was actually popular, and many children applied for membership, exceeding the committee capacity and requiring turnover among the members. Furthermore, although the official care was carried out by the animal care committee in the fifth and sixth grades, many other children, including those in the lower grades, came to visit the goats voluntarily and interacted with them freely in break times between classes. School subjects utilizing the goats were also expanded, such as sketching in drawing and manual arts, verbal expression in Japanese, and environmental education in integrated study.

    As for the educational use of goats in the future, the teacher expressed the novel hope that the goats could participate with the children at athletic meets, although hygiene issues related to goat excrement on school grounds would have to be overcome in advance. Regarding the appropriateness of the current grades to take care of the goats, the teacher changed his judgment to appropriate because the children really enjoyed caregiving, and the size of the goats was appropriate for them.

    The teacher expressed his former opinion that he could not recommend that other graded or elementary schools that had not kept goats keep them unless the conditions of an adequate care system were satisfied, but he also wished to emphasize the benefits of keeping goats, if possible, because the positive impacts were great. The teachers and school staff recognized the following effects of keeping goats: They showed improvement in the quality of their school life and their interpersonal interactional skills, and their learning was promoted.

    Effects that were expected before the start of keeping goats were mostly achieved. These effects were consistent with previous reports on effects of keeping small animals in schools 3 — 7. Experience in interacting with animals offers children the opportunity to understand the similarities and differences between humans and animals and to learn non-verbal communication skills.

    Through a variety of real experiences, children who are physically and psychologically developing come to show interest in other creatures and non-living things, to understand relationships between the self and others and the environment, and to behave appropriately Because goats are medium-sized animals whose facial height is close to that of children, pupils could easily interact with them and observe their facial expressions and behavior.

    Goats have social cognitive abilities that make it possible for them to communicate with humans without specific training Furthermore, children could not take care of the goats alone but needed to cooperate with friends, which led to strengthening of group cohesion.

    The children worked efficiently, assigning roles within the group. Since caregiving continues across the years, the children transferred their tasks by teaching the lower-graders how to take care of the goats. In the process, children were able to foster leadership skills and self-efficacy To achieve their common goal to improve the welfare of the goats, the children enhanced their understanding of others and cooperation and unity with them.

    These are important social skills, especially in Japanese society, which values group-oriented behaviors Keeping goats should be a valuable experience for modern children, who are accustomed to playing video games that they can control by themselves as they wish Unlike small animals that are typically kept in classrooms, goats are medium sized, kept outside, and novel in the urban community.

    The goats attracted attention both inside and outside the schools. This could lead to the formation of community schools. The schools in this study were located in urban areas, but there were senior neighbors who had lived on farms and kept goats or seen them daily when they were children. For them, goats were nostalgic animals. By contrast, goats are novel animals for present-day children.

    Regardless of age, people tended to show interest in the goats. Some schools became meeting places for children and neighbors, triggered by goat caregiving on holidays. Today, with urbanization and fear of crime and traffic accidents, children have fewer opportunities to play outside freely and interact with people of various ages 20 — Goats can become a social lubricant that connects children with their parents and community, although there were people who felt the burden of caregiving on holidays. Goats are different from pets because they are originally farm animals.

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    They can also be living teaching material about systems of agriculture and the natural environment. Common challenges between keeping goats and keeping small animals are the burden of caregiving on holidays as well as veterinary treatment in case of illness or injury 3 , 4 , 6. The differences are greater difficulty and responsibility in guaranteeing professional treatment in emergencies, in obtaining information about care, and in providing care to goats, which are unusual animals in urban areas.

    Generally speaking, the Japanese native breeds used in the schools in this study, Shiba yagi and Tokara yagi , are adapted to the environment in Japan and rarely need veterinary treatment. Moreover, unlike small animals 8 , goats have a body size that reduces the risk that children will accidentally injure or kill them. All the schools in this study maintained cooperative relationships with farms or universities for professional treatment, but not all schools were located in areas that experts could immediately reach in case of necessity, unlike cases of health care for pets.

    In actuality, there were no reports in which experts were unable to arrive in time because of long distances, but the participants who were personnel responsible for goat-keeping were probably anxious in case of emergency. Goats presented another risk different from small animals.

    The possibility of accidents can be reduced if children do not crouch beside the goats and do not make loud sounds or run, which can create panic in the goats because of fear. Keeping goats also requires more consideration toward neighbors, compared to keeping small animals. Vocalizations and odor of goats kept outside might be a nuisance.

    It is important to set pens and paddocks away from neighboring houses and to groom the goats and clean up the keeping sites regularly in order to reduce the odor. One way of reducing vocalizations is to choose male goats, because females frequently make high-pitched vocalizations while in estrus. The concerns that the participants expressed before they began keeping goats included the difficulty of maintaining a care system on holidays and the risk of injury to the children. However, it is possible to solve or reduce such problems.

    The schools in this study regarded the process of handling these issues as a positive part of education. You can cope with problems one by one to come up with a solution, by thinking carefully. In the process, you can learn a lot. In this process, they encountered new challenges, such as the need for greater space and food supply due to the birth of offspring, but they solved these problems. The schools turned issues that might have been barriers into educational opportunities.

    There were common effects and challenges between keeping goats and keeping small animals in elementary schools. However, the responsibility and burden were greater for keeping goats than for keeping small animals. This derives from the fact that goats are larger and children have to care for them while considering their inner states, and while cooperating with others.

    However, this is why goats stimulate interest, cooperation, and empathy in children, and bring about greater benefits. Benefits and challenges are two sides of the same coin.

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    The results of the present study suggest key factors in the popularity of keeping goats in elementary schools. When schools and teachers actively send out information about goats around them, people learn about the states and efforts of the schools and come to understand and cooperate with them. People are curious to visit the schools and share experiences with children, strengthening ties of interpersonal relations and increasing cooperation. Schools and teachers can obtain support from other organizations, such as local governments and veterinary medical association, for public and professional assistance and consultation in their community.

    Understanding and cooperation of parents and neighbors are also indispensable. Such factors make these schools distinctive in their community. Goats can be kept by any grades of elementary school children in accordance with the purpose of their learning.


    The juvenile period is important in life span development in terms of cognition 24 and interpersonal relationships Goats can play roles for children as teaching tools for cognitive development, as objects of empathy in social development, and as promoters of caregiving in non-cognitive development. Goats can be expected to expand educational opportunities and bring about many synergistic effects on child development.

    The characteristics of goats as a species are worthy of consideration in animal selection as school animals. Goats are diurnal animals and thus consistent with the time of school activities. This is also advantageous in terms of animal welfare. Goats are herbivorous and can easily derive food from residues 11 , such as weeds, fallen leaves, and leftovers of school lunches, making them almost self-sufficient. Their excrement contains little moisture, and it is easy to clean up and make into compost, which can be used for growing plants: In addition, goats are of a moderate size to interact with children.

    Children sometimes treat small animals carelessly, and adults must pay more attention to their welfare 8.