Sunday, 13 December 2009

Partnership Between School and Homes Colegio Luso Internacional do Porto - A Study by Artur Victoria

Partnership between schools and homes it is the responsibility of headmasters and preschool staff to ensure that all children and their parents are put in touch with the schools where the children are to begin their school careers. When children start school, contact between their homes and school should be established in collaboration with preschool. The aim should be for the transition from preschool to compulsory education to be smooth enough for the children to experience the activities of the two as a continuous whole.
Preschool and compulsory school staff should study the content and working methods of each others institutions. Field trips, joint conferences and/or services exchanges should be employed as a means of promoting unanimity of approach towards working methods and child development. This is particularly important in the case of children with home languages other than Portuguese, because language development is dependent on the measures taken on behalf of these children at preschool and compulsory school levels being consistent and well thought out. Special attention must be paid to children who are about to start school but are not attending preschool.
Together with parents and preschool institutions, schools must try to prevent individual pupils from encountering problems when they start school. Groups of different sizes and variable working methods will make it possible for schooling to be adjusted to maturity differences Schooling may be postponed if a child has not attained the maturity required in order to participate in instruction. The standpoint adopted by parents and their opinions concerning the child s needs must be decisive here. If schooling is postponed for a year, the child must be provided with a preschool plan, and in cases of this kind, participation in preschool activities is compulsory.
The primary and principal responsibilities for a pupil s are and upbringing rests with the home. School activities must support the home in its provision of an upbringing shaped regarding to the fundamental democratic values of our society. It can be very important for differences regarding norms and opinions on various questions to be discussed between schools and parents, so as to resolve any clashes that may occur.
School attendance is compulsory. It is the duty of a child s parents to ensure that the child completes its schooling. If a pupil has to be absent, owing to illness for example, its parents, or the person with whom the pupil is living, must immediately notify the school of the reason for the pupil s absence. Prior notice of absence must be given wherever possible. Attendance records must be kept in schools to enable parents to make sure that their children are at school during the school day. A system of this kind must include arrangements for promptly getting in touch with homes. It is the duty of schools to notify homes, if absence occurs without prior notice, and also to investigate cases of high absenteeism.
In order to contribute towards the positive development of each pupil, a school must be familiar with the pupil s entire situation. Schools should therefore keep themselves informed concerning the pupil s home conditions. Parents must be given the opportunity of following the work done at school, and they should also be enabled to take part in it. Contacts between schools and homes will benefit from the two sides getting to know one another. It is the duty of the school to ensure that contacts of this kind are established.

Schools must also support partnership between the parents of different children, so that they can join in discussing such things as the planning of the school day, rules of contact and measures regarding the pupil’s leisure.
It is the duty of schools to get in touch with the parents of all pupils twice per school year. Responsibility for these contacts rests with the form master or mistress. These personal interviews and the direct contact they afford with parents are valuable. Contact can therefore be established by means of personal interviews, in which the pupil should if possible take part it is important for home language teachers to attend interviews with immigrant children and their parents and for remedial teachers to take part in interviews concerning children with particular difficulties. Class meetings can also be important, however, and several different types of contact should be developed and utilized.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Preventing Pupils difficulties - Colegio Luso Internacional do Porto

Schools must try to prevent pupils from running into difficulties in the course of their school work. Content, working methods and organization must therefore be designed so as to be readily adjustable to the individuality of different pupils. Local decision-making powers, vested in the individual school, the work unit and the class, concerning subject matter, working methods and work procedures, are therefore essential in order for a school to discharge its duties successfully. If a pupil encounters difficulties in the course of his (or her) school work, consideration must be given to the possibility of altering school working methods. Teaching must be planned so as to permit a variable working method. The liberty which a school enjoys in the deployment of resources and regarding methods and the selection of subject matter provides good opportunities of this type of preventive work. Pupils with differing dispositions and interests must be able to experience school work as something capable of furthering their own development. Schools must offer variegated contents. Pupils must be allowed to participate in planning. And they must be able to choose different fields of study which are relevant to goals and main teaching items. Free options account for roughly one third of all school time at senior level. While at junior and intermediate levels time can be reserved for project studies. In certain cases assignments of this kind can be made to last longer for some pupils than for others. At the same time one must be alive to the conflict which often exists between the current. Schools must prepare pupils adequately for future working life and for future studies, for example in the form of recurrent education. Total adjustment to the pupils' spontaneous interests can result in their encountering great difficulties when they come to enter working life or continue their studies, in which case their school difficulties are converted into impediments later on in life. It therefore remains the task -and a difficult task -of teachers to try to steer the pupils' spontaneous desire for knowledge into important fields. and to utilize their practical vocational orientation together with conversations and interviews as a means of getting them to realize the value of different types of knowledge and skill. Schools must not isolate school work from the life of the community by making all activities freely chosen work, otherwise the pupils will suffer a shock when they come up against the demands which life involves. Gaps in elementary knowledge can result in lifelong social or psychological helplessness. Lack of previous knowledge tends to make pupils regard themselves as 'untalented', in which case schools help to accentuate social inequalities. It is above all necessary for basic training in the skills of speech, reading, writing and arithmetic to be conducted consistently and with determination. Shortcomings with regard to these skills aggravate school difficulties at higher levels. Boundaries between school levels must not be allowed to constitute boundaries regarding the practice of skills. Continuous reading instruction, for example, must be available to pupils at any level. As stated earlier, working methods must also be adapted to suit different pupils. Methods with an excessively verbal emphasis are particularly prejudicial to many pupils. Work based entirely on written material and written instructions gives an advantage to pupils whose ambition and educational motivation makes them less dependent on personal and emotional contact with a teacher for the maintenance of their endeavor. On the other hand it can very easily cause difficulties for pupils without these qualifications. Extensive scope must instead be allotted to investigatory elements in the natural and social environment and also to practical tasks. Methods of this kind are greatly facilitated by different teachers co-operating in teaching teams.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Adoption activities at CLIP

Adoption activities are another way of developing a sense of social responsibility and strengthening community sense in a school. Senior pupils can help younger ones at preschool level, during lessons, in the school library or as part of an induction process senior pupils should be allowed to lead various group activities. Senior level classes can look after new classes, for example when pupils start school or when they change from one level to another. Pupils should be enabled to participate in the planning and conduct of open air days and camp schools.Pupils should be given the opportunity of developing different interests while working in groups under the leadership of associations, teachers, recreational staff, cultural workers, parents, fellow-pupils or other persons.
Activities at junior level can follow on from what the pupils have been accustomed to in their preschool career. The boundaries between lessons and free activities can be made flexible. Pupils may appreciate being given time during free activities to complete a task begun during lessons. Free and creative activities, singing, music, drama, pictorial work, story telling and short assemblies have a stimulating effect on the imagination and sensitivities.

At intermediate and senior levels - and already at junior level in many cases - discussions can be held of various questions arising out of the work done during lesson time or out of projects and optional courses. It is also important that constant efforts be made in various subjects to find new ways ahead and for discussions, the participation of cultural workers and representatives of associations and readings of literature to be employed as a means of encouraging the pupils to develop a full life during their leisure outside the school day.

Other activities can relate to general sporting and hobby interests and to aesthetic and ideological interests. This category includes, for example, team games, folk dancing, pictorial work and design, the care of animals and pets, orchestral music-making, motor engineering, model building and typing.A third group of activities comprises those which are run by the leaders of various organizations. To a great extent they may be identical with other activities, but they may also form part of the youth work done by the organizations concerned. Their content must be adapted to the age and maturity of the pupilsMusical activities by pupils can acquire considerable scope.

To facilitate even more extensive pupil participation than free activities allow, the headmaster may exempt pupils from lessons totaling up to 20 periods per year so as to enable them to participate in musical activities.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Pupil's responsabilities at school

Pupil's responsibilities at Colegio Luso Internacional do Porto have been trained, achieving the greatest possible impact. It is also important as a means of individualizing working methods within different pupils groups and carrying out project studies or integrated projects. Co-operation in working teams also provides teachers with an opportunity of supporting and assisting one another.
Good co-operation between teachers and pupils is essential for success. Above all, co-operation is manifested in the everyday context through the joint planning of courses and through efforts to agree on the concrete objectives of a series of lessons.
Most consultation and partnership in school take place on an informal basis, but schools also need certain more fixed procedures of consultation and decision making. The purpose of this liberty concerning the planning of conferences in schools is the same as that of the free deployment of resources, namely for activities to be decided on and realistically planned at local level. This question should be covered in the school working plan;
Educational planning can be conducted on a concrete basis together with a particular group of pupils, in a work unit or in a class. In some cases there may be a desire to raise questions which are common to the teaching of a subject in several work units, throughout a school level or in the whole of a school management e.g. questions concerning printed teaching materials. The delegates attending conferences will then have to be selected accordingly. On other occasions the task of a conference may be to plan optional subjects or leisure activities together with associations and parents, or else to plan open air days, joint assemblies or cultural activities in school, in which case conferences of different kinds will be called for.
Educational planning meetings summoned by the headmaster or his nominee must be attended by equal numbers of pupil and teacher representatives, senior level pupil representatives being also entitled to participate in decision making. If planning can be done at class committee meetings attended by all pupils and not only by their representatives, this arrangement is to be preferred. It is important for discussions to be based on alternatives presented by the teachers.
If pupil participation is to be through the medium of representatives, the school must ensure that the representatives have a previous opportunity of discussing matters with their classmates. Afterwards they must be given an opportunity of apprising their classmates of the decisions arrived.
One of the goals of school is to give children and young person's a democratic education. Among other things, pupils must be able, together with their classmates, to allocate duties, organize reports on their work and put on exhibitions, to assume responsibility for younger pupils in need of assistance and to participate in efforts to establish a good environment at school. The pupils need practice in rational argument and in appraising categorical statements and critically examining simplified solutions to complex questions. They must accustom themselves to listening to other people's arguments and suggestions, even if these are very different from their own. They should be encouraged to develop a reflective attitude.
Pupils are to play an active part in shaping the school working environment. Collective duties for different pupil groups are calculated to break down alienation counteract mobbing and vandalizing tendencies and increase the pupils' self-confidence. Activities demanding co-operation and the shouldering of responsibility are a vital contribution towards illustrating the importance of democratic agreements and rules.
The pupils' participation in the internal work of the school also supplements their practical vocational orientation. For example, school library work, participation in the design of their immediate environment, leadership of free activity groups, the arrangement of exhibitions, participation in internal school information through pupil magazines, and the lending of assistance to younger children can provide pupils with a useful understanding of the way in which a workplace operates.
Pupil associations at school provide the pupils with an opportunity of gathering round subjects of common interest. In this way they acquire the habit of acting in various capacities within a regular association, and it becomes second nature to them to abide by democratic decisions but also to endeavor by democratic means to secure alterations to things which they disapprove of. Pupils should be encouraged to distribute elective appointments in class committees, pupil committees and pupil associations evenly between boys and girls. Pupil associations can be of various kinds.
Younger pupils can form hobby societies and class societies, and older pupils can develop societies covering a wide range of activities, e.g. sports, music, reading, drama, photography and various ideological topics such as temperance, religion and politics. The vitality of these societies very often tends to fluctuate, but schools can support and activate them by enabling them to participate in various contexts - for example, by contributing programs to school assemblies, publishing articles in a school magazine, putting on exhibitions etc. By giving them financial assistance, by giving various assignments to individual members and, if possible, by letting teachers who are particularly interested become members of the societies. School societies should have extensive powers of initiating free activities within their several spheres.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The promises of CLIP - Colegio Luso Internacional do Porto by Artur Victoria

Cooperative Learning: the instructional program of CLIP is based on the premise that students can and should learn from each other, and that they must shoulder the greatest responsibility for their education.

• Diversity and Cross-Cultural Education: the underlying concept of International Education is a learning process that positions the study of the diverse expressions of human life at the core of its program of studies.
• Individual Needs and Concerns: the program focuses on the needs and concerns of each individual student. The central programmatic focus in this regard is the Teacher Advisor Program coordinated by the Guidance Counselor.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

CLIP - A New School

A village is not characterized by persons - clones of each other. Rather, each villager, each member of the community, has a unique physiognomy, occupies a well defined place, possesses a personality that is simultaneously distinct and socially viable. The village, contrary to the city, collaborates more than competes, and its progress is generally the result of common effort. Are we saying that the world of the future will be the New Jerusalem, the civitas Dei, the utopian society revisited? Of course not.
What is certain is the fact that the world as we used to know it, is no more. In its place we have something different that, in the making of history, we have created. This act of creation, if authentic, apparently is not well understood.
And why?
The paradigmatic vision that, in the last three hundred years has served as the perceptional instrument of reality, is highly impersonal and mechanistic. The fundamental problem of the 17th century was characterized by the preoccupation with the notion of order, intellectual and social. The world was perceived as a complex of competing forces, thus requiring the establishment of order necessary to harmony and as the fomenter of progress. This paradigm, whose revealing metaphor is the notion of the machine, is called by Joanna Macy "patriarchal," by Don Oliver "modernity," and by Richard Katz "the scarcity paradigm." It also includes the concept of singular cause – singular effect, with the result that all human relationships are perceived as occurring in a linear progression of cause and effect. This paradigm influenced not only the social sciences, but until very recently informed the methodology of modern sciences. Seth Kreisberg, in a brilliant analysis of this Subject, says the following:
The view of reality as made up of separate and competing entities reinforces, or perhaps creates, the view that power means strong defenses, invulnerability, inflexibility, in short, domination. Power consists of separate entities struggling amongst one another for strength, control, superiority and their separate interests.
This concept of power, which has been called power-over. defined in the modern era by Hobbes and continued by Max Weber, Bertrand Russell and others, seems related to less developed forms of human relationships, and has served as moral justification for many acts of social and political aggression. In the mechanistic model any attempt to prevent disorder, or to restore order, is considered "good", since such effort is exerted to achieve the ultimate good of the community. The ultimate good of the community is not, however, the result of a consensus established by a dynamic society. In the mechanistic model, the ultimate good of society is a static and prescribed concept.
Our schools still function in accordance with this model. The educational process is conceived as a cluster of distinct elements: teachers who know and teach, students who know nothing and learn, administrators who know more than anybody else and control. The curriculum, prescribed and untouchable, is passed from the teacher to the student as a biblical testament to be dictated, received, and reproduced letter by letter, dot by dot. Any deviation from this norm is considered as a more or less subversive act, deserving of correction and punishment.
Teachers and students are thus considered as competing entities to be mediated by the curriculum. Reform in the traditional school thus means, above all, a curricular revision, or at most, a revision of the hierarchy.
The analysis of the relationships among the different entities is rarely conceived in horizontal terms: in this model the pyramid remains as the graphic image of those relationships.
The influence of the mechanistic model in international education is reflected in the notion that ethnic or multicultural studies can be reduced to the examination of exotic or minority cultures. The majority, or dominant, culture is rarely included in the same plane as the others, and the notion that it can be influenced by the minority or dependent cultures receives little or no consideration. We speak of the Portuguese influence in Africa and in Asia more frequently than we speak of the extent to which our culture was transformed by that association. similar parallels could be established for linguistic relations among peoples.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

CLIP philosophy

Preparing this innovative educational program - in 1989 - the success case is actually shown. At the beginning the coordination between national curricula and international subjects was a preoccupation in order to get the official equivalence from the educational authoritiesThe program of studies of the Colegio Luso Internacional do Porto will follow an innovative curriculum designed to prepare students for the International Baccalaureate, or for a professional diploma in International Business Administration. The curriculum will emphasize communication and computing skills, critical thinking, research techniques, multicultural education, and an integrated approach to curriculum design ...Even though the greatest portion of class time is already allocated to specific disciplines, theschedule gives students the opportunity to pursue learning in other areas. The elective program will offer courses in Economics, Philosophy, Psychology, Social Anthropology, Organization Studies, Classical Languages, Computing Sciences, Individual Studies, Modern Foreign Languages (English, French, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Japanese), Research Projects,and any course offered in the Professional Program.In addition to, or in place of, the elective program students will be encouraged to undertake independent studies in various disciplines, under the guidance and supervision of a qualified teacher.Since the philosophy of the Colegio Luso Internacional do Porto defines the student as a researcher, it is imperative that they become proficient in the processes, methodology and technology of research.All students will, therefore, take a series of courses in Research Technology. This course will provide each student an extensive "hands-on" computer experience. Students will be expected to keyboard at 35 wpm, master a word-processing and database software. The teacher, working cooperatively with other subject matter teachers will develop theme materials pertinent to an integrated curriculum.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

International Education

There are those who react to this conjuncture with a certain resigned realism, searching for their children a way of turning them into images of the foreigner, by sending them to schools where the curriculum, the teacher, and the language are those of the supposed invader - As we say with all candor and pragmatism: if you cannot beat them, join them!
The typical, and we could say, natural reaction is, however, to scurry to the barricades, to decree the purity of the language and culture, and to punish severely any assault upon the established standards.
These mechanisms of self-defense are manifested daily, and reflect the great anxiety fomented by the dizzy rhythm of today's socio-political evolution.
Hence, the primacy of education as a way to beset’fears and to illuminate the new paths to be treads. An educational process capable of attaining these objectives must be founded on a vision of the world as a whole entity, on the equanimous acceptance of cultural and linguistic diversity, on the affirmation of the duly recognized value of the culture of each individual and group, on the conception of the human being and of the social aggregate as organisms in continuous development.
This new concept of education has appeared in many forms, some more complete than others" such as multicultural and multi linguistic education, or an international education.
International education, for many, may at first seem to be no more than a good language program, or for others it may consist in the acquisition to a thorough knowledge of geography; for some of us, Portuguese, international education may be the effort to maintain those virtues of cordiality and hospitality toward other people with which we like to associate ourselves.
International education may appear still to others as the search for knowledge about the world, the development of a good plan of contemporary studies.
For some it may be like a great a Noah's ark, where students from the most diverse backgrounds may be gathered to be taught history and geography, mathematics and physics, in all languages, or in a pre-determined home language.
It may be for others, to provide an adequate education to the ever increasing number of marginal students: the returned emigrant child incapable of functioning in Portuguese, the son or daughter of the businessman or business woman, euro bureaucrat, or foreign diplomat that establishes residence here. It may be still for others the concretization of the urbs, cosmopolitan and conscious of the variety and richness inherent in people from many lands.
The reacquisition of control over our reality includes a dynamic educational process that prepares men and women for a society where the hierarchies may be less and less hierarchies of power oveKL and more and more hierarchies of cooperation: where differences may cease to foster discrimination, but may become catalysts for development; where the concept of unity may not be an absolute synonym of uniformity. The metaphor of the global village appears, thus, to be quite appropriate.
The Town of Porto and in general the northern of Portugal will have its International school known as CLIP – the Oporto International School.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Beginning a new concept of education

For some it may be like a great a Noah's ark, where students from the most diverse backgrounds may be gathered to be taught history and geography, mathematics and physics, in all languages, or in a pre-determined lingua franca. It may be for others, to provide an adequate education to the ever increasing number of marginal students: the returned emigrant child incapable of functioning in Portuguese, the son or daughter of the businessman or business woman euro bureaucrat, or foreign diplomat that establishes residence here. It may be still for others the concretization of the urbs, cosmopolitan and conscious of the variety and richness inherent in people from many lands.

All of these points of view, although partially valid, are not sufficient to resolve the problems, anxieties, and challenges which are repeatedly thrown on our path. The lack of preparedness characteristic of our tentative answer to the exigencies of today's world is reflected in the fears and terrors mentioned a few moments ago, which so often provoke the emergence of the dark side of our frail humanity: dehumanizing racism, paralyzing complexes of superiority or of inferiority, purposeless chauvinism that lacerate the ephemeral temporality of our existence.
The reacquisition of control over our reality includes a dynamic educational process that prepares men and women for a society where the hierarchies may be less and less hierarchies of power over and more and more hierarchies of cooperation: where differences may cease to foster discrimination, but may become catalysts for development; where the concept of unity may not be an absolute synonym of uniformity.