The paper 'Adelaide School of English' is a great example of a case study on education. Adelaide School of English is a large public co-education institution in Australia. Located in West Croydon, the institution caters to the needs of new students while preparing them for entry into ordinary secondary schools – both private and public – in the country. Since the school caters to the needs of secondary school students having different backgrounds, it emphasizes the need to develop tolerance as a way of maintaining the wellbeing of all its students. As a result of this, the school seeks to mold students into tolerant individuals who are of use not only in their immediate communities but also in the world as global citizens. The kind of social class-based discourse promoted In general, there are two perspectives on social classes in society.
To start with, class divisions within the society can be understood as arising from the relationship between individuals and material wealth. Differential access to wealth creates a pyramid-like society where a minority of the population controls the highest percentage of material wealth (Tait, 2012, p.
14). On the other hand, social classes in relation to social power develop a model that divides the population into classes based on their access to social power (Trevor, 2011, p. 10). With this, there are three main classes in the society, each varying from the others in terms of the social power wielded by its members and the access to resources enjoyed. The high class is made up of a clique of individuals in the society who have unlimited access to social power and wealth.
On the other hand, members of the middle and low class have little access to these privileges, with the social class remaining dependent on the two classes for survival (Campbell & Sherrington, 2002, p. 47). The effect of social classes on the education system is of great importance to the Adelaide School of English. In general, students of the school come from any of the following backgrounds: students from refugee or migrant populations in the country, temporary residents in the country who are eligible and students from overseas who are fully paying fees (Adelaide School of English 2013).
Because of this, the school seeks to dismantle divisions among students based on social classes. For instance, the mission of the school seeks to encourage students to develop into global citizens who can be of benefit to their communities (Adelaide School of English 2013). This means that the school encourages its students to be fully assimilated into the community, without the stigma associated with their social backgrounds. Emphasis on integrating and helping students to equally compete for opportunities in the society is reflected in different elements of the school.
These include a strong system of student counseling services, participation in initiatives that seek to cater to the needs of students with special needs and different practices of the school that are based on equality and intercultural coexistence. The kind of gender discourse promoted In general, the Adelaide School of English promotes a liberal approach towards gender discourse. According to Teese and Polesel (2003), a liberal approach to the concepts of masculinity and femininity seeks to treat all individuals equally, regardless of their sex and gender (p.
41). Under this approach, individuals are judged by their achievements, character, and actions as individuals without reference to their gender (Cuervo & Wyn, 2011, p. 36). One way in which this approach to gender is encouraged at Adelaide School of English is through policies that encourage equal access to extra-curricular activities for both boys and girls in the school (Adelaide School of English 2013). Another way in which the liberal approach to gender discourse is encouraged in the school is through the physical division of boys and girls within the school.
The school is a co-education institution having a population of about 436 students, of which 183 are girls and the rest boys (Adelaide School of English 2013). Boys are separated from girls in the sense of the school uniforms worn, the kind of facilities used and the general relationship between boys and girls in the school. Also, the liberal gender discourse encouraged in the school is reflected in the staffing of the school. Both male and female teachers share important responsibilities in the management of the school. These include the position of the school principal, the post of students’ counselor and other responsibilities in the administration of the school.
These posts are shared equally between male and female teachers in the school. These practices and values underscore the liberal approach to gender discourse adopted by the school. Also, this approach is a reflection of the general trend in the Australian education system which emphasizes the need for equality for both boys and girls (Tait, 2012, p. 38). The kind of sexuality discourse promoted Sexuality discourse is an important aspect of the Adelaide School of English.
This is because of the fact that the school, much as it is a co-education institution, caters to students whose ages fall between 14 and 18 years of age. According to Jones (2011), discourses in sexuality influence the practices and policies adopted by the school (p. 374). With regard to the sexuality of the school, these practices and policies influence the way students develop their identity. In general, sexuality discourses in education seek to enhance privileged ideals and values among the students (Jones, 2011, p.
371). As such, the school develops an approach to sexuality that teaches against practices that threaten these established ideals and values. Adelaide School of English promotes a liberal approach to sexuality discourse. According to Gill (2004, p. 86), this approach focuses on developing skills and knowledge on sexuality in individual students so that the students themselves can make personal choices and decisions. The culture, values, and practices of the school seek to enable students to acquire knowledge and training about sexuality matters. Training is incorporated in the curriculum of the school and takes place formally under the auspices of the student counseling office and informally during interactions between students and teachers.
Also, the official policy of the school bans the use of any word that is considered sexually offensive (Adelaide School of English 2013). This is implemented under an official policy of the school which seeks to discourage any use of sexuality categorizations to marginalize other students. Such policies give protection against homophobia and other issues to do with sexuality – which affect students in the school. In essence, the Adelaide School of English endeavors to influence students so that they can behave in such a manner that risks are avoided.
This is important for their individual benefit and for the general society and is regarded as the most ideal form of sexual expression in the school. Conclusion In conclusion, the overall identity that Adelaide School of English seeks to develop in its students is centered on the need to not only adapt to the Australian society but also to develop skills and knowledge that can be of use in the society. By adopting a liberal approach towards the discourse on sexuality and gender, the school succeeds in helping students develop their natural capabilities and achieve full potential in their professional and career lives.
This avoids instances of stigmatization based on gender, sexuality or social classes.
Adelaide Secondary School of English (2013). Retrieved 27 November 2013, from http://www.adsecenglish.sa.edu.au/
Campbell, C. & Sherrington, G. (2002). The history of education. Change: Transformations in Education, 5 (1), 45 – 54.
Cuervo, H. & Wyn, J. (2011). Rethinking youth transitions in Australia: A historical and multidimensional approach.
Gill, J. (2004). Beyond the Great Divide: Single Sex or Coeducation? Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.
Jones, T., M. (2011). Saving rhetorical children: Sexuality education discourses from conservative to post-modern. Sex Education, 11(4), 369 – 387.
Tait, G. (2012). Making Sense of Mass Education. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Teese, R. & Polesel, J. (2003). Undemocratic Schooling: Equity and Quality in Mass Secondary Education in Australia. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.
Trevor, G. (2011). Social justice in Australian education: Rethinking what we know for contemporary times.