logic for a search method

You should take small steps, especially when you are still trying to
get to grips with the language.

I'll help you a little by pointing out that this can be a single
query. What you are trying to do is find stuff that match the
conditions 'name LIKE ? OR place LIKE ?'. So this should be a one line

I would also suggest you look up named_scope (railscasts.com has a
screencast about it) which you could use here.

Good luck.

Alberto (or anyone)...

How do I pass in the params from the controller to use the method...

Something like

  # @schools = School.search(params[:search_by_name],

But that gives me ..

wrong number of arguments (2 for 1)

the params in the Controller is a method that returns the hash coming
to the request. So you can pass the whole params method in the call.

@schools = School.search(params)