Community in Schools
The psychological sense one belongs in the classroom and community is considered necessary for student success. According to Webster's 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 Maslow's 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)."
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