of the
Gideon Public Schools

An educational philosophy is a definitely thought out, consistent attitude toward education. The philosophy of a school is the foundation upon which educational objectives are established and it is the basis upon which to structure a school program designed to meet the educational objectives. The philosophy is the guideline for doing all that the school does.

For Americans, democracy is the way of life that provides for a high degree of individual freedom and development. Under democracy, the worth and happiness of the individual are of the utmost importance. Democracy recognizes that the very best way to build a better life for all is through a healthy balance of individual and group effort. It must be remembered, however, that democracy is not guaranteed to a people by any higher power without regard to their own efforts. Unless they constantly work to improve their way of life, they will eventually discover that they have lost even that heritage of democracy which has been left to them by their ancestors. The public school system must play a vital role in teaching students the value of democracy and the work that is necessary to maintain democracy.

Democracy recognizes that society is in a constant state of change. All individuals are constantly in a process of physical, mental, social, and emotional change is commonly referred to as growth. This growth occurs whether it is directed or not, but when it is directed it is called "education. "Many agencies contribute to the education of the individual, but the school is the only agency that has as its specific purpose the direction of such growth. Our goal is to produce graduates that will become productive members of society. Thus, we believe it is our responsibility to provide an educational program that will help produce well rounded citizens. Our foremost focus must be academics. We have a responsibility to teach students to learn to use their minds well. In addition, we recognize the need to provide education that will lead to healthful living and adequate social and emotional development.

We believe full access to the provisions offered by the public schools of the United States of America is the birthright of every boy and girl in the nation. Public schools, therefore, should accept all students as they are and provide them with a stimulating environment and opportunities for learning that will result in continuing life benefits for themselves and the society in which they live.

We believe the school's goals should be simple. Each student should master a limited number of essential skills and areas of knowledge. With the rate at which knowledge is multiplying in today's world, it is impossible to teach all knowledge. Thus, we recognize the need to focus on vital knowledge and to provide students with the skills that will allow them to find and construct knowledge on their own. Within this context the school's goals should apply to all students. The school's atmosphere should be marked by an attitude of unanxious expectation, trust, and of decency between faculty and students.

We believe teaching and learning should be personalized to the maximum extent feasible. We realize we must study each pupil under our direction as an individual. We should learn all we can about each studentís background, interests, aptitudes, abilities, and desires. We must attempt to direct the studentís growth toward success as an individual and as part of the group.

We must teach the basic fundamentals in a better way than we have done before, but we must teach individuals in order that they may develop into well-balanced, well-rounded citizens physically, mentally, morally, and emotionally.

We believe the governing practical metaphor of the school should be the student-as-worker. The student should demonstrate competence in mathematics, science, language, history, and social studies before being awarded a diploma.

We believe public education must be designed to prepare students for the future. Thus, we must be visionary in our application of knowledge, technology, and educational methods. We must provide educational programs that will meet the needs of college-bound students as well as those with more vocational needs. We must offer a breadth in the school program at all levels that will provide for the individual needs, interests, desires, and abilities of all students. We must offer a program of guidance and direction that will enable each student to take the greatest advantage of that part of the school program best suited for him. And we must always work to offer a quality of instruction that will insure speedy and efficient learning on the part of all students. We must accept the obligation to provide an educational program that will help each individual develop his/her social, physical, emotional, and spiritual potentialities to the greatest extent possible.

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Last Updated 11/17/98