He will be more tolerant, patient, compassionate and well adjusted. His notion of society would be an inclusive one. If the institution represents a miniature society, it would sow the seeds of love, tolerance and democracy at a very tender age. Or else, the child’s vision and philosophy would remain parochial and rather restricted.
Like any society, each school has its own particular ethos. I know of a school where playing the violin is part of the curriculum. The school takes pride in having its own orchestra, and every child who comes out of the school comes out a violinist. One can say here that playing the violin is an important part of the ethos of that school.
Another school may be traditionally brilliant in academics, and people may refer to this as its academic culture or ethos.
‘Ethos’ is a broad term which covers other aspects of human behaviour as well. For instance, the children of a particular school may greet visitors and elders in a special way that is specific to that school. Their mode of greeting, then, may be said to be integral to the ethos of the school, and is one of the contributing factors to making that school a miniature society by itself.
Though, by and large, the rules of regulations of any standard school are similar to those of another, there are always subtle variations which separate them and help to define their individuality. This doing of common things in one’s own way is also the hallmark of a society.
Every society has its own red-letter days, days it marks out for special observances, and a school is no exception. Almost every school calendar in the country will have a Prize Day, a Sports Day, a Teacher’s Day, a Children’s Day, perhaps a Founder’s Day, and other days when functions or special programmes are held. Just as it is in the case of society at large, these occasions lend colour and spice to life, and often open up opportunities for the expression and display of special abilities.
Though the school may be said to be, as we have done, a micro-society within a macro-society, to a very large number of children, it is the society they most relate to during their school life. If they want recognition, they seek it more through their school activities than through pursuits outside the school. Even their most treasured moments are moments spent in the company of their school friends. It is only when they leave the confines of school and, sometimes, of college, that the outside world comes into their life in a big way.
Lucky is the child whose two societies—the school and the community he belongs to—blend harmoniously; if they do not, it can confuse the child and play havoc with his values. In rare instances, it can also generate the creative tension that gives birth to a genius.