Indonesia: Selecting A Learning Environment – 5 Things To Remember
Selecting a school is a daunting process for all parents in Indonesia. The following are some helpful things to remember when you begin the school selection process for your children:
1. Speak with as many people at the school as possible.
This seems straightforward but remember to speak with the headteacher and senior management team. Get a sense for how authentic and positive they are about their purpose and whether they really rally around the school’s vision. See how they interact with other staff and children. Do they know the children’s names and see them as individuals? These things help you understand how the school is run and the priorities of those in charge.
2. Look for the social signals.
If you get to experience the classroom environment pay attention to how children interact with their peers and other adults in the classroom. Note the atmosphere and whether the children work in a purposeful way. Do they cooperate with one another? It’s also worth looking at classroom grouping practices.
3. Stick around for a break.
It’s worth sticking around for break time as this can give you a real sense of how children act socially with one another. This is important because research1 has highlighted the importance of “place” in shaping children’s experience of school. The playground may be just another playground to you but your child will have many memories referencing that playground environment. Is it a friendly one?
4. Relationships matter.
Children are learning about relationships just as much as anything else at school. Disputes and arguments are part of that experience and it’s worth noting how disputes are handled by teachers. Are children working together and playing together, taking turns and sharing? It is also worth asking about the school’s core values and philosophy for learning, and what resources back these up.
5. What do the school’s hallways tell you?
Are the halls decorated with child-led, child-centred content? Is there evidence that displays like a “Winners”, or “Leaders”, are not just a “tick-box” exercise, but are used in a meaningful way to acknowledge where children have practised social and moral values championed by the school?
We all learn about relationships throughout our entire lives. Schools that understand the importance of actively helping children develop relationship skills are more likely to contribute to the formation of happy, healthy young adults.
There are many other aspects worth investigating before enrolling your child in a new school and it is often most efficient to just go and visit the school campus. If it’s a good fit the school should at least “feel right” after spending some time on campus, whether on a guided tour, a classroom sit-in or open house.
We would love to know: how are you evaluating schools in Jakarta for your children? How are you measuring schools in Indonesia for your preschool, primary, secondary and junior college-aged children?
We’d love to hear from you on Instagram or Facebook, just use #schoolinjakarta and mention @siskelapagading and tell us what you are looking for in a great school.
1 Territorialising’ the primary school playground: deconstructing the geography of playtime. Thompson, Sarah. Taylor & Francis Online