School Choice


Return to: ETAP 623 FALL 2015 - Byrne & Zhang section 8550 | Connor's Introduction Page | Connor Breen's Portfolio Page


Overview and Purpose

When a child is about to begin school, his/her parents have a lot to keep in mind. Today's parents are looking at alternatives to the public schooling system. This mini course is designed to educate specific professionals in the education field who will be advising parents/members of the community about school choice. During this course participants will take a closer look at what choices parents have when selecting a school, the pros and cons of these options, and how their school choice will benefit the specific needs of their child/children.

Needs Assessment

In today's educational society, we have many different levels of learners. Students all over absorb and process information uniquely and at their own pace. A proper learning environment is key to each student’s ability to achieve success. If we want to reach our learners, we must examine each individual's multidimensional characteristics and identify that person's learning style. (Dunn, Dunn, & Price, 1989) Schools throughout our communities offer many different learning environments and options for our students. With so many schools to choose from, parents/caregivers can struggle in selecting the right fit for their child.It is for these reasons that information on school choice needs to be readily available for parents/guardians.

Mini course participants will include educators and other professionals in the education field seeking knowledge about school choice and the options that are provided. It is specifically designed for those who will be advising parents/members of the community about schooling opportunities for their children.

Educators will become familiar with the idea of school choice, and what it means to give parents different options when selecting a school for their child/children. They will also explore the characteristics of each school choice, and the opportunities afforded to the students who attend these schools.

Instruction will be conducted online with students being able to complete their work at their own convenience, and in a location of their choosing.

The main goal of this mini course is to provide accurate information to educators and professionals who will be assisting parents and caregivers choose a school that is an appropriate fit for their child.

Performance Objectives

  • Using an internet website and the resources at their disposal, learners will identify the major attributes looked at when deciding on a school
  • Given two school choices, learners will be able to identify the pros and cons of each
  • When discussing school choice with a parent of guardian, educators will be able to give an informative and well reasoned school choice
  • Given a school choice scenario, where the participant is talking with a parent and child, the educator will be able to use the information to provide both with a school of best fit
  • Educators will develop a list of strategies and/or questions to ask in order to determine the school that best fits for a child and his/her needs

Course Units

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Unit 1: What choices do parents have?

  1. The learner will become familiar with the different schooling options for children
  2. The learner will become aware of the idea of school choice and the process of selecting a school
  3. The learner will become aware of how school choice can have a long lasting impact on a child's school experience

Unit 2: Which choice is the right choice?

  1. The learner will become aware of how selecting a school for a particular child is an individualized process
  2. The learner will create a compare and contrast matrix to analyze different schooling options
  3. The learner will use a child's characteristics to identify the school of best fit
  4. The learner will analyze all additional classes/programs offered to parents and their children and how they promote learning

Unit 3: The Pros and Cons of the different school choices

  1. The learner will look at pros and cons of different schooling choices
  2. The learner will evaluate certain schooling options and assess student ability to achieve in each

Extended Resources

Dunn, R., & Dunn, K. (1992). Teaching secondary students through their individual learning styles: Practical approaches for grades 7-12. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

School Choice International. (2015). Find the Best School. Retrieved from