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Caeli Welker
ELISA Program Artifact
December 2, 2016

Preparing Students for Fully Active Citizenship

Education plays a major role in forming the minds of the younger generations, because these

generations will eventually play their own roles in society. The Hapschule in Gaming, Austria does a

tremendous job of preparing its students for the real world through the climate of the school. To be a

part of a society is to be able to work in collaboration with others. Therefore, it is of the utmost

importance that these younger generations learn how to cooperate with each other. One way a school

can prepare its students is through classroom climate. As stated by Heyneman, there is an “association

between classroom climate and civic behavior.”(2002/03) The way a school treats its students can

greatly impact how they view themselves as a part of the student body and eventually as a part of

society. This practice is extremely evident in the Hapschule in Gaming. There, students are treated as

adults and with respect. They are treated equally and fairly, and they are taught important cooperation

skills which involve each other and the school. Not only are they taught cooperation skills and how to

respect one another, they are also taught to uphold true and good values and how to act and live within

a society as an active citizen. These four points will help form the students and prepare them as they

take their intended place. It is up to the schools to teach the students these skills so that they may

effectively participate in society.

The school climate of the Hapschule is one of respect, responsibility and cooperation. Not only

are the students expected to respect the teachers and faculty, but in return the teachers and faculty

respect the students. The Hapschule presents its students with experiences that are “consistent with

those citizenship principles.” (Heyneman, 2002/03) The school as a whole treats the students as adults,
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as citizens who will eventually hold their own place in society with the responsibilities that come with

being a fully active citizen.

Not only are the teachers of the Hapschule proactive in showing respect to their students, they

are also consistent in the values they hold to be of the utmost importance. For example, every teacher

at the Hapschule holds the value of discipline to a very high standard. Every teacher expects his or her

students to complete their homework on time, pay attention in class and work their hardest to do well

and succeed. As a result, these “valued norms among teachers has an important effect on school

culture.” (Heyneman, 2002/03) This value of discipline within the school effects the students and

encourages them to hold each other to a higher standard. The positive influence on school climate

brought about by consistent values will, in turn, help the students to practice these same values in all of

their future endeavors.

In addition, within each classroom, teachers at the Hapschule treat their students equally and

fairly. Teachers do not show signs of favoritism or discrimination. This directly influences the way

the students view each other and the way they will view all kinds of people once they have reached

adulthood. This equality will pave the way to social cohesion within society and give students the

ability to treat all citizens equally.

Eventually, the present generation will take their rightful place within society; therefore,

students, by ways of these many examples, are being formed for social cohesion. Social cohesion is

rooted in human cooperation, which is necessary for economic development. “Cooperation offers the

possibility for individuals and nations to accumulate or maximize economic gains.” (Heyneman,

2002/03) The most important skill a student must have in order to be socially cohesive is the ability to

cooperate with one another to reach success. Student cooperation is especially evident in the
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Hapschule of Gaming. One can easily notice how the students are able to work collaboratively with

each other in order to reach an intended goal. As future citizens, this skill of cooperation, which the

Hapschule is successfully teaching, will help the students to smoothly and effectively cooperate within

society.

The Hapschule of Gaming, Austria is teaching its students valuable skills by way of example

and school climate. “The public school experience is intended to mold desired behavior of future

citizens,” (Heyneman, 2002/03) and the Hapschule is doing just this. The school climate is one of

respect, every student is treated like the active citizen he or she will eventually become. This way, the

school is able to teach its students how to act within society. Second, the teachers at the Hapschule

show examples of good values which directly influences the school climate and, consequently,

influences the students. The students are able to hold their teachers and fellow students to a higher

standard. By practicing such values within a school setting, the students will be able to carry them over

to help them participate in society. Third, within the classroom, each student is treated fairly. This

teaches the students to treat all citizens equally. Finally, the students at the Hapschule is a climate

which promotes collaboration skills. Students are able to work together effectively and strive for a

common goal. This skill is of the utmost importance because society runs on human cooperation.

Through its positive climate, the students at the Hapschule are taught such views that will lead them to

social cohesion and to effectively take their places within society.


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Reference

Heyneman, Stephen P. "Defining the Influence of Education on Social Cohesion." ​International


Journal of Educational Policy, Research, and Practice​. Vol. 3&4. N.p.: n.p., 2002/03. 73-97.
Print.