Aside from location, tuition fee, and facilities, there are still other factors that should be considered in choosing a school for your child. The influx of progressive schools in the country may have made you think twice about enrolling your child in time-tested traditional schools you have always known or may have attended. If you have come to a crossroad like this, it may serve you well to consider the following factors when choosing between progressive and traditional schools:
Your values Your values can dictate your goals for your child. Consider doing this exercise: List down seven principles that you value.Arrange them according to your priority. Always remember that the top three are usually non-negotiable so look for schools whose vision-mission statements coincide with these three values. Not all schools accurately apply their mission-vision statements though, so research on the overall image that the school projects. At least you’re a step closer towards making your choice.
Most traditional schools prioritize excellence and discipline while progressive schools focus on the affective (or the emotional) part of learning. Traditional schools are now starting to integrate some subjects for optimum understanding of a topic. Progressive schools, on the other hand, are also starting to include drills in their implementation. Thus, the difference between these schools is starting to blur. Your job, therefore, is to look into the values they uphold.
Feedback from alumni How can you tell if the school walks the talk? Ask the alumni or their parents, or a friend of a parent. Remember, though, that not all feedback may be accurate but it may have more than a grain of truth in it. Weigh the credibility of the source and the feedback.
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As you receive the positive feedback, ask yourself if this is the same goal you have for your child. If you receive negative feedback, determine if the positive feedback outweighs the negative ones and if you are willing to accept these as challenges.
Your child’s personality At this stage, you are the best judge of character for your child. As you examine the approach of the school, try to evaluate if it would be the best approach for your child’s personality. Progressive schools have a better child-teacher ratio compared to traditional schools. Thus, if you feel that your child’s personality may benefit more from an environment that may have more time for nurturing then progressive school can be a better option. Moreover, most boys learn best when they move around. Most traditional schools are not that open to this kind of learning environment. If your child tends to be a kinesthetic learner, then, again, a progressive school may be better for him or her.
Traditional schools, on the other hand, are best known for establishing self-discipline and are more focused on helping your child gain knowledge. If you feel that your child would benefit more from a strongly structured environment, then a traditional school would be better. You may know this when your child loves memorizing facts and wants to do more structured activities like writing. It should be noted, however, that for traditional school your child should already be capable of sitting down for a longer period of time and can follow basic instructions.