Caring is a key concept in alternative education and positive parenting. With the rise of this concept, more and more schools are claiming to be benevolent. But is this really the case? How do you distinguish a school which is truly benevolent from another which is not?
I know how difficult the choice of school is for parents. Indeed, we know that children need to find themselves in a reassuring and positive environment in order to flourish. In order to avoid stressing and to be sure of your choice, I will give you here some ideas which will allow you to recognize a caring school.
Caring education: what is it?
The educational benevolence is an approach based on values such as empathy, listening, mutual respect and recognition of the importance of nature. Based on respect for the child, this pedagogy, also called non-violent education, positive education or respectful education, excludes violence in all its forms: verbal, psychological or physical. The environment is thus ideal for the child to flourish, develop his links with others and discover all his capacities.
In a caring school, educators should respect the child’s needs, his abilities, his nature and his emotions. Children must be able to follow their own pace and not adapt to imposed standards. For example, instead of yelling at a child, the teacher should reassure him and encourage him to express his feelings.
You will understand, as benevolence is at the heart of learning, there is no room for cries, threats, blackmail, criticism or even physical violence (beatings, spankings …) in a caring school.
According to studies carried out on this method of education, it has several considerable advantages. In fact, benevolence favors intellectual development and learning skills. I came across the La Jonchère school website which highlights the different principles of benevolent education, I invite you to visit this page if you wish find out more on the advantages of this method.
Is the learning method truly benevolent?
Like almost all parents, I am mortified when I think of the violence that reigns in certain schools, especially in public schools. The choice was therefore obvious, I had to find an alternative school for my little one. Indeed, as it offers a benevolent and reassuring setting, benevolent education is the one that best meets my requirements and my expectations.
But I quickly realized that the schools are not all as benevolent as they claim and that some have only the name. Indeed, many parents have observed that in fact, some schools subject children to obligations and therefore do not respect their rhythm. However, this is a fundamental principle of alternative or benevolent education. You should therefore find out about the learning methods applied in the school. Above all, don’t just believe what the school says when it claims to be benevolent!
Normally, you won’t even have to ask to find out how the learning goes. By visiting the school site or when you visit the premises, you should be able to see if, in fact, the school respects the rhythm and the needs of the child. A school which imposes obligations on the youngest, which aims to fill them with knowledge instead of letting them develop at their own pace or which practices assessments, is definitely not a caring school.
The different values of a caring school
To recognize a school that is actually benevolent, you have to be attentive to its values. The three points that I will present to you here are important principles that a caring school must respect. If any of these items are missing, it is very likely that school is not what your child needs.
First principle: the well-being of the child
A caring school always puts the well-being of the child at the heart of its projects. The objective is to let the child flourish and learn on its own. To do this, the teacher or the teacher must create a reassuring and harmonious environment. To promote the development of the child and avoid negative feelings linked to rating systems (lack of self-confidence, humiliation, fears, etc.), a caring school will ban assessment in all its forms. Moreover, evaluations create competition which can be a source of violence in children.
Within the framework of the benevolent school, it is the cooperation between students that is wanted. Thus, children of different ages can be grouped together in the same class. This principle promotes cooperation between large and small.
Second principle: respect for the needs and specificities of the child
As part of caring education, educators should follow a training in order to be able to meet the needs of the students. Indeed, I imagine how difficult it is to keep cool and be patient with children in any situation. Taking training is essential to measure your actions and words and avoid yelling at children.
Each speaker must master the principles of alternative education to be able to create the harmonious environment necessary for learning. He must be sufficiently armed to overcome difficulties and demonstrate self-control throughout the school year.
The team must also master the different methods and tools inherent in benevolent learning. Nonviolent communication (a set of methods applied to treat students with respect) is one example.
Third principle: respect for the environment and the link to nature
A caring school must also put ecology and the link to nature at the heart of its project. In addition to language learning and the various activities offered, educators will therefore use educational tools that make it possible to make students of eco-citizens. Thus, ecological practices such as energy savings, waste sorting, gardening, composting, knowledge of animals or even vegetarianism are on the program.
In a school benevolent, the link to nature is maintained by providing children with a garden, an educational farm or even a small vegetable garden. Some schools offer nature workshops or class outside, in the garden or in a yurt to maintain this link with nature. If the school doesn’t offer all of these, consider asking if there are outings to the park or other natural location.