Relationships and caring are at the heart of student learning. Students who work in trusting environments are more likely to stay in school and achieve their full potentials. Parents are primarily responsible for providing the love a child needs to excel but teachers and other professionals inside schools, including speech language pathologists, occupational therapist, and physical therapists can play an important role as well.
Every year, more than 1.2 million U.S. students drop out of high school. Dropping out of school does not happen overnight, but rather is a process that can start any time after the child enters the school system.
In 1994, researchers explained various pressures on students in terms of “push” and “pull” dropout factors. Certain adverse situations within the school environment, such as poor grades or missing too many school days, can lead to consequences that push a student out of education. Other factors, such as pregnancy or the belief that getting a GED would be faster, lead students to pull out of the school system.
That same year, other researchers added a third factor to the list of reasons kids drop out, “falling” out. Students fall out of school when they become apathetic with school or disillusioned with the thought of completing school. They may not like a particular school or school in general, or feel they do not belong there. Unlike decisions to dropout due to pushing or pulling, falling out of school is not an active decision but rather a side effect of educational and personal support.
Loving the Child
Loving approaches to education provide students with the support they need to maintain a positive attitude about education and remain in school. Students’ experiential learning happens through relationships they have with teachers and other professionals within the school, which happens in addition to the didactic, one-way learning that occurs during lectures.
A safe learning environment is essential to freeing a child’s intellectual curiosity and creativity. A comprehensive violence prevention plan which includes conflict resolution and crisis management can provide a sense of safety within school walls. A safe environment creates a constructive setting in which students in all grade levels can learn. Children develop positive social attitudes and effective interpersonal skills that encourage students to participate fully in the learning process without fear of violence or other negative consequences.
All professionals within the school are essential components of the successful and supportive learning environment, as these professionals serve as role models, facilitate academic relationships, and provide positive feedback. These loving academic relationships help guide students in their knowledge development and impact their attitudes toward continuing their educations.
A loving attitude sets children up for success. The approach provides the positive reinforcement that encourages children to stay in school and make the most of the education experience.
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