There are four environmental factors that can effect a rural school. These enviromental factors include geographic location, socio-economics, political climate, and community support for education. I live in a rural community so these above mentioned factors are just a few that I feel effect my community. My community is located in a rural area, which is mainly associated with farming. The socio-economic status of the community consists mainly of low to middle class. The political climate of the community consists mainly of the Democratic Party. Also the support for education from the community is one of great support and community members tend to become involved in actvities or show support. Due to the lo socio-economic status of the community the school is provided with programs to help students with learning. The school has Title I, free/reducd lunches, and reading and math programs to increase learning asa well as special services such as Speech, Resource, Physical and Occupational Therapy.
There are also four enviromental factors that can affect the teaching and learning process of the school district. The geographic location of the district is a mix of rural communities due to a consolidation of three small schools. The socio-economics of the school district includes mainly the low and middle class status. The political climate of the district is a mix of Democrat and Republican with a majority being Democratic. The three school communities show a large amount of support for the educational needs of all students. The district also provides several opportunities for students at all socio-economic levels to learn and grow. The district provides daycare and a preschool program. There are also home daycares in the area so the school works with these as well to make sure thier children are growing and devleoping skills as well.
There are also classroom factors that can affect the teaching and learning process. One factor is the physical features of the classroom. The classrooms are too small for the number of students who are in each room. The rooms are cramped for space due to the number of students, desks, and all the equipment and materials needed to function in a classroom. A second classroom factor is the availabilty of technology equipment and resources. With today's society it is important for each student to develop their computer and technology skills and this is just not possible for a rural area school due to the lack of funds to provide students with computers. In most classrooms there is only 1 computer for the teacher and students to share. Some of the classrooms have a teacher computer and then a student computer. There is a computer lab available but students are only give 1 time through the week to use the lab. Another classroom factor is the extent of parental involvement. Because of the socio-economic status levels, many parents must work, therefore, are only somewhat active in the school. To help get parents more active the school provides after school activities to allow parents to come and have fun. Also daily and weekly notes are sent home for parents to read or sign. These notes provide information about up comming activities in the classroom, school, district, and community.
Whne a teacher designs instruction and assess learning they must consider student characteristics. There may be special education students in the classroom that need modificiations. There could also be students who have to be given medications to help them focus. This can also lead to modifications or shorter work times. some classrooms may have ELL students, which will need work read in thier native language. Students skill and prior knowledge can als influence how a teacher plans and implements instruction.
Contextual factors can affect the teaching and learning process in the classroom. A community, school, and districts environmental factors can affect teaching and learning. Classroom factors and student characteristics can also affect teaching and learning. A teacher must remember all, or possible, contextual factors that are present in the school, district, and community in which the work. By understanding and knowing the contextual factors a teacher can better prepare their classroom instruction so that all students are learning.
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