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Community in Schools The psychological sense one belongs in the classroom and community is considered necessary for student success According to Websters New Collegiate Dictionary to belong is To have a proper appropriate or suitable place To be naturally associated with something To fit into a group naturally 2005 Research indicates students often have other aspects of the Maslows Hierarchy of Needs met but will consequently rank their sense of belonging low students responded they did not feel they belonged anywhere not in schools in their families or in the community Academic Innovations 1997 Today most school have a much higher student to teacher ratio making students feel unsafe and some feel as though they do not belong One study indicates the ideal size for middle or high schools is 200 students with class size from 15 to 20 But most school enrollments are much larger and reducing school size is not economically feasible therefore principals must organize students and teachers to create the feel of a smaller school which increases student safety belonging respect relevance and competence Kaplan L Ownings W 2000 Students must develop an attachment with teachers in order to have confidence they belong When this does not happen students do poorly academically and often times develop at-risk behavior In a time where traditional families barely exist teachers become the most impressionable adults in students lives If a relationship is not developed to promote learning learning will not exist Schools must promote a sense of community and belonging by strengthening teacher student relationships When doing research on this topic one could use various different methods of collecting data First one could do a direct observation of teachers instructing the class The observer could have specific items to look for an example would be how many times does the teacher give positive feedback Additionally the observer could observe more than one teacher to see if any type of correlation exists between those
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