Here are SoundOut’s basics of schools:


  1. Schools are places where learning can happen.
  2. Public schools are funded by taxpayers and operated by the government in order to ensure an educated population.



  1. Learning is an act of acquiring knowledge and skills, either on purpose or by accident.
  2. Everyone can constantly learn all of the time, no matter what their age, race, gender or amount of intelligence.



  1. Teaching is the act of actively fostering learning. It can be done as a teacher, through facilitating, as a coach, parent or friend.
  2. Anyone can teach things to other people, no matter what their age is. A teacher is hired to teach things for a job; students can be teachers too.



  1. Leadership is the act of using control to achieve goals.
  2. Every single person is a leader, whether or not another person calls them that or not. You lead your own life, and you influence others to do what you want them to.



  1. The curriculum is made of books, websites, teaching styles and activities, as well as the unseen curriculum, including attitudes, discrimination, and the culture of schools.
  2. Curriculum is sometimes mandated by school boards and state education agencies, and sometimes chosen directly by individual teachers.



  1. Testing, including assessments, is supposed to be used to determine how well students remember and understand specific subjects. Some testing is required, some is not.
  2. There are many other ways to determine how well a student is learning a subject, including portfolios, self-evaluations and other tools.



  1. Any activity happening outside the regular classroom still in school is an extracurricular activity, including sports, clubs, honor society and more.
  2. Extracurriculars were originally intended for every student to find something to attach to throughout the school day; not specific students to excel further throughout the day.



  1. Social interaction, including introduction, negotiation, conflict, resolution and performance, was an original purpose for schools and is often cited as a need for their continued existence.
  2. Every single person in a school is part of that school community, and because of that student voice is only as strong as the quietest voice in schools.


[/one_half][one_fourth_last padding=”0 0px 0 5px”]

The United States K-12 Education System © 2015 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut


The Canadian K-12 Education System © 2015 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut


Related Content


Published by SoundOut

SoundOut is an international technical support project focused on student voice, student engagement and Meaningful Student Involvement. We offer workshops, tools and technical assistance to K-12 schools including teachers, administrators and students themselves. For more information visit our About Us page.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.