By Abdallah Zbir
By Abdallah Zbir
Morocco World News
Chicago, September 28, 2012
In the world of academics, the terms viability and validity have a significant presence and bear a heavy dose of interpretations. Most schooling disciplines show a vested interest in developing supportive, practical, applicable and suitable educational policies and maintaining an appropriate documentation of its development. This interest is underpinned and supported by extensive researches, numerous studies and literature reviews of the efficacy and productivity of educational policies.
Schools may vary in their size, demographic populations, missions, visions and in their instructive, administrative and financial practices and operations. However, a simple review of their academic records and criteria reveal a shared direction and generalizable conclusions. All schools strive to allow their students a supportive, productive and advancing academic environment. An environment where effective learning is encouraged, efforts and contributions are praised and appreciated, positive attitudes are encouraged, communication is enhanced and values of quality, viability, and validity are demanded and promoted.
In a response to questions on the viability and validity of school’s curriculum, educators are directing their attentions to the notable changes the American education has been experiencing over the recent years. They are giving chronological review of its programs development, considering the rate and quality of its efficacy and positive outcomes. They are also raising a shared concern among educators on American students’ inability to compete their international counterparts in basically technology-related subjects which consequently “contributes to a potentially weakened scenario in relation to maintaining the Nation’s quality of life, defense, and productivity.” (National Academy of Sciences, 2002) This is a concern that cannot be challenged, unless major efforts are made at federal, state and local levels to plan, implement and develop the most effective viable and valid curricula.
Ms. Valorie Gorny, a vice-president of one of California’s school districts once responded in an interview on the viability and validity of her school district’s technology instruction explained that “Schools act purposefully in pursuit of their educational goals. For example, one school may be working to raise student achievement scores, whereas another works to increase the rate and quality of parental involvement.” Yet, their goals are centered on providing a quality of learning and ensuring success and growth of their students in this ever-challenging world”. To serve these goals, policy makers shall develop viable and valid curricular guidelines and enable processes of improvement and assessment.
In an interview with Mr. Sami Hijazi, an active and dedicated member of Al-Hadi School of Accelerative Learning’ Board of Directors, on administering procedures of educational policies and the foundations of their viability and validity, he insisted on the urgent need for schools to develop a curriculum that is consistent with our values and our goals and can permit an ongoing process of review, revision, examination and documentation of all curriculum-related activities. A process that can maintain consistency with students’ ever-changing needs and enable modification and adoption whenever needed and demanded.
For him, teaching and learning activities would fail to meet the students’ needs and the community expectations at large unless significant contributions from all members of the community are encouraged and praised at all levels and stages of educational policies’ discussion, adoption, revision and documentation.
Mr. Hijazi said, “To serve the multiple purposes of production, regulation, innovation, socialization, and maintenance in schools, communication must promote high levels of shared understandings.” This shared understanding can be reachable and achievable only under the direction of a leader who “listens and is open to teachers’ suggestions, gives genuine and frequent praise, and respects the professional competence of the faculty.” He should be leader that reflects an adequate and sufficient awareness of today’s challenges and barriers in the world of academics.
It is obvious that education is experiencing serious challenges in numerous domains. Issues of diversity, multiplicity, technology and economic difficulties are enforcing new directions and understanding of education. Policy makers are required to respond to a more flexible schooling system. Directors at districts and schools levels are encouraged to vary their options and adopt new administering menus. Internet-based training seminars, study-group sessions, on-campus staff-training orientations, literature reviews, study projects and partnerships with colleges and academic institutions can ensure significant gains in educational policies’ development. Adopting effective communicative systems and proper processes of documentation and assessment can also add to the efforts being made to strengthen the foundations of our education and allow its practices a viable and valid support.
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