Tag Archives: Curriculum

Soft skills are crucial for college and life success

23 May

Whether or not students choose college or vocational training at the end of their high school career, our goal as a society should be that children should be “college ready.” David T. Conley writes in the ASCD article, What Makes a Student College Ready? http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct08/vol66/num02/What-Makes-a-Student-College-Ready%C2%A2.aspxhttps://drwilda.com/2012/10/06/many-not-ready-for-higher-education/

Caralee J. Adams reports in the Education Week article, ‘Soft Skills’ Pushed as Part of College Readiness:

To make it in college, students need to be up for the academic rigor. But that’s not all. They also must be able to manage their own time, get along with roommates, and deal with setbacks. Resiliency and grit, along with the ability to communicate and advocate, are all crucial life skills. Yet, experts say, many teenagers lack them, and that’s hurting college-completion rates.
“Millennials have had helicopter parents who have protected them,” said Dan Jones, the president of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors and the director of counseling and psychological services at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. “They haven’t had the opportunity to struggle. When they come to college and bad things happen, they haven’t developed resiliency and self-soothing skills….”
“The expectations are not in alignment with reality,” said Harlan Cohen, the author of The Naked Roommate and 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into In College, published last year. “Students do not have the communication skills to navigate through adversity that is part of the normal transition to college….”
A holistic approach to college readiness that integrates academic content, college knowledge, and psychology may be what’s needed to help more students complete college, said Andrea Venezia, a project director at WestEd, a research organization based in San Francisco. Rather than compartmentalization of college-readiness efforts, she advocates early training that includes noncognitive strategies and habits of mind that give students internal strength to persist….http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/11/14/12softskills_ep.h32.html?tkn=WQRFgl%2Bkfw2CUbzDpa48iaX0xbRF0HCUXIpI&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

Soft skills are skills associated with “emotional intelligence.”

Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Melinda Smith, M.A. have written the excellent article, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for HELPGUIDE.Org.

What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and diffuse conflict. Emotional intelligence impacts many different aspects of your daily life, such as the way you behave and the way you interact with others.
If you have a high emotional intelligence you are able to recognize your own emotional state and the emotional states of others and engage with people in a way that draws them to you. You can use this understanding of emotions to relate better to other people, form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life.
Emotional intelligence consists of four attributes:
• Self-awareness – You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior, know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.
• Self-management – You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
• Social awareness – You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
• Relationship management – You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.
Why is emotional intelligence (EQ) so important?
As we know, it’s not the smartest people that are the most successful or the most fulfilled in life. You probably know people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their personal relationships. Intellectual intelligence or IQ isn’t enough on its own to be successful in life. IQ can help you get into college but it’s EQ that will help you manage the stress and emotions of sitting your final exams.
Emotional intelligence affects:
• Your performance at work. Emotional intelligence can help you navigate the social complexities of the workplace, lead and motivate others, and excel in your career. In fact, when it comes to gauging job candidates, many companies now view emotional intelligence as being as important as technical ability and require EQ testing before hiring.
• Your physical health. If you’re unable to manage your stress levels, it can lead to serious health problems. Uncontrolled stress can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process. The first step to improving emotional intelligence is to learn how to relieve stress.
• Your mental health. Uncontrolled stress can also impact your mental health, making you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. If you are unable to understand and manage your emotions, you’ll also be open to mood swings, while an inability to form strong relationships can leave you feeling lonely and isolated.
• Your relationships. By understanding your emotions and how to control them, you’re better able to express how you feel and understand how others are feeling. This allows you to communicate more effectively and forge stronger relationships, both at work and in your personal life. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq5_raising_emotional_intelligence.htm

Whether one calls success traits “emotional intelligence” or “soft skills” is really not important. The traits associated are those more likely to result in a successful outcome for the student.

Bradford Holmes of Varsity Tutors wrote in the U.S. News article, Hone the Top 5 Soft Skills Every College Student Needs about soft skills a college ready individual should possess:

1. Collaboration: It is imperative for college-bound students to function efficiently and appropriately in groups, collaborate on projects and accept constructive criticism when working with others. People who succeed only when working alone will struggle in college and beyond, as the majority of careers require collaboration.
Students can develop the skills necessary to effectively work with others in numerous ways, including participating in athletics and extracurricular activities. They can also opt to complete team-based projects such as service activities during their later years in high school.
2. Communication and interpersonal skills: A common complaint among employers is that young people do not know how to effectively carry on a conversation and are unable to do things like ask questions, listen actively and maintain eye contact.
The current prevalence of electronic devices has connected young individuals to one another, but many argue it has also lessened their ability to communicate face-to-face or via telephone. These skills will again be important not only in college, where students must engage with professors to gain references and recommendations for future endeavors, but beyond as well.
An inability to employ these skills effectively translates poorly in college and job interviews, for instance. High school students can improve these traits by conversing with their teachers in one-to-one settings. This is also excellent training for speaking with college professors. Obtaining an internship in a professional setting is also a wonderful method to enhance communication and interpersonal skills.
3. Problem-solving: Students will be faced with a number of unexpected challenges in life and receive little or no aid in overcoming them. They must be able to solve problems in creative ways and to determine solutions to issues with no prescribed formula.
Students who are accustomed to learned processes, and who cannot occasionally veer off-course, will struggle to handle unanticipated setbacks. Students can improve problem-solving abilities by enrolling in classes that use experiential learning rather than rote memorization. Students should also try new pursuits that place them in unfamiliar and even uncomfortable situations, such as debate club or Science Olympiad.
4. Time management: Whatever structure students may have had in high school to organize their work and complete assignments in a timely manner will be largely absent in college. It is imperative that they be fully self-sufficient in managing their time and prioritizing actions.
The ability to track multiple projects in an organized and efficient manner, as well as intelligently prioritize tasks, is also extremely important for students long after graduation.
Students can improve this skill by assuming responsibility in multiple areas during high school – nothing develops an ability to prioritize faster than necessity – or gaining professional employment experience through internships, volunteer work or other opportunities.
5. Leadership: While it is important to be able to function in a group, it is also important to demonstrate leadership skills when necessary. Both in college and within the workforce, the ability to assume the lead when the situation calls for it is a necessity for anyone who hopes to draw upon their knowledge and “hard” skills in a position of influence.
Companies wish to hire leaders, not followers. The best way for students to develop this skill as they prepare for college is to search for leadership opportunities in high school. This could mean, among other things, acting as captain of an athletic team, becoming involved in student government or leading an extracurricular group. http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/2014/05/12/hone-the-top-5-soft-skills-every-college-student-needs?src=usn_tw

Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education: Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Resources:

Linking Social Development and Behavior to School Readiness http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/erickson/

Social and Emotional Learning
http://www.edutopia.org/social-emotional-learning

Related:
College readiness: What are ‘soft skills’ https://drwilda.com/2012/11/14/college-readiness-what-are-soft-skills/

Many NOT ready for higher education https://drwilda.com/2012/10/06/many-not-ready-for-higher-education/

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’ https://drwilda.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Social and emotional learning: What is ‘Open Circle.’

6 Dec

Moi wrote in College readiness: What are ‘soft skills’: Whether one calls success traits “emotional intelligence” or “soft skills” is really not important. The traits associated are those more likely to result in a successful outcome for the student.
Margaret Rouse defines “soft skills” in the post, Soft Skills:

Soft skills are personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interactions, job performance and career prospects. Unlike hard skills, which are about a person’s skill set and ability to perform a certain type of task or activity, soft skills are interpersonal and broadly applicable.
Soft skills are often described by using terms often associated with personality traits, such as:
o optimism
o common sense
o responsibility
o a sense of humor
o integrity
and abilities that can be practiced (but require the individual to genuinely like other people) such as:
o empathy
o teamwork
o leadership
o communication
o good manners
o negotiation
o sociability
o the ability to teach.
It’s often said that hard skills will get you an interview but you need soft skills to get (and keep) the job.
http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/soft-skills

https://drwilda.com/2012/11/14/college-readiness-what-are-soft-skills/

K-12 education must not only prepare students by teaching basic skills, but they must prepare students for training after high school, either college or vocational. There should not only be a solid education foundation established in K-12, but there must be more accurate evaluation of whether individual students are “college ready.”

Nicole Leonard reported in the Boston.com article, Boston schools open doors to ‘Open Circle’:

So far, there are indications that Open Circle is making an impact. A program description by the Massachusetts Department of Education shows that teachers report an improved ability to identify students’ social and emotional needs; that students demonstrate improved social skills; and that the program has engendered an improvement in overall school climate.
“The beauty of Open Circle is that there is a consistent program, curriculum and language. Students get consistent messages,” said Efrain Toledano, principal at Tobin. “I think it’s phenomenal. It’s exactly what the students need,” he said.
Toledano, who came to Tobin this year from Dever-McCormack K-8 School, said he’s handled very few disciplinary referrals from Tobin’s elementary classrooms.
“People forget that these are children who learn through observation,” Toledano said. Having a positive emotional climate at school can help students who may have tumultuous home lives, he said.
“(Open Circle) gets students comfortable in a low-stakes atmosphere,” he said. “It lets them think about the kind of person they want to be.”
That comfort and consistency is key for a school like Tobin, which has one of the highest rates (93 percent) of low-income students eligible for free or reduced lunches.
“Open Circle’s a safe place for dialogue,” said Fizer, whose third-glass class is designated as a Sheltered English Instruction classroom, which focuses on providing bilingual support for English language learners. “It lets students lower their affective filter and relax . . . Everyone is comfortable emotionally, which opens the door to academic (success).”
While building students’ social skills may seem like a secondary priority in an environment focused on academics, the two are tied closely together, said Miranda. “Without the social piece, our academics falter,” she said.
Research indicates that a focus on social and emotional learning leads to increased academic performance. In a 2011 study involving over 270,000 kindergarten through high school students, students who participated in social and emotional learning programs such as Open Circle showed an 11 percentile-point increase in academic achievement, as well as improved social and emotional skills.
Open Circle’s success in Tobin’s K-5 classrooms has educators hoping to move the program into middle-school grade levels.
“I want to see it go all the way through,” said Toledano. “They have math and ELA (English and Language Arts). I want Open Circle to be another subject . . . (so) that we not just teach academics, but teach the whole child.”
This article was reported and written under the supervision of Northeastern University journalism instructor Lisa Chedekel, as part of a collaboration with The Boston Globe.
http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/roxbury/2013/12/boston_schools_open_doors_to_open_circle.html

Here is Open Circle’s description of their program:

What is Open Circle?
Open Circle is a leading provider of evidence-based curricula and professional development for social and emotional learning (SEL) in Kindergarten through Grade 5. Open Circle’s programming focuses on two goals: strengthening students’ SEL skills related to self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, interpersonal relationships and problem-solving; and fostering safe, caring and highly-engaging classroom and school communities. Since its inception in 1987, Open Circle has reached over two million children and trained over 13,000 educators.
View the history of Open Circle here: Open Circle Milestones (PDF) http://www.open-circle.org/files/OC_Milestones.pdf
Also, you can download a printable version of Open Circle’s Fact Sheet (PDF) http://www.open-circle.org/files/OC_FactSheet.pdf and our Video List (PDF) for a sampling of our YouTube videos. http://www.open-circle.org/files/OC_VideoList.pdf
Mission
Our mission is to work with school communities to help children become ethical people, contributing citizens and successful learners. By helping schools implement Open Circle, we foster the development of relationships that support safe, caring and respectful learning communities of children and adults.
Vision
We envision a world where social and emotional learning is universally embraced and integrated into all educational communities serving youth.
Core Values
We are dedicated to the following values as cornerstones of our organization and we endeavor to exemplify and act in accordance with these values at all times.
Social and Emotional Learning and Development
Learning through Relationships
Identity and Inclusion
Safe and Caring Environments
Youth Leadership and Development
Growth and Innovation
Integration of Research, Theory and Practice
Collaboration and Shared Leadership
Benefits
Unites schools with a common vocabulary, strategies and expectations for student behavior
Improves school safety, school climate and student and family engagement
Increases students’ ability to listen, speak up, calm down, show empathy, express anger appropriately, cooperate and solve problems
Reduces students peer exclusion, teasing, bullying and fighting
Improves educators’ classroom management, dialogue facilitation and ability to address students’ social and emotional needs
Strengthens educators’ own SEL skills, collaboration and trust
Buys back time for academics by proactively addressing behavior problems
Evidence-Based and Nationally-Recognized
Research has shown that Open Circle increases students’ demonstration of pro-social skills, decreases violence and other problem behaviors, and supports an easier transition to middle school. Open Circle is listed in the U.S. Department of Education’s Exemplary and Promising Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools Programs Guidebook; the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices; and the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning’s 2013 CASEL Guide to Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs. http://www.open-circle.org/about_us/

Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education: Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Resources:

Linking Social Development and Behavior to School Readiness
http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/erickson/

Social and Emotional Learning
http://www.edutopia.org/social-emotional-learning

Related:

College readiness: What are ‘soft skills’
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/14/college-readiness-what-are-soft-skills/

Many NOT ready for higher education
https://drwilda.com/2012/10/06/many-not-ready-for-higher-education/

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

The socioemotional content of school is important

5 Oct

Moi wrote in College readiness: What are ‘soft skills’
Whether one calls success traits “emotional intelligence” or “soft skills” is really not important. The traits associated are those more likely to result in a successful outcome for the student.

Margaret Rouse defines “soft skills” in the post, Soft Skills:

Soft skills are personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interactions, job performance and career prospects. Unlike hard skills, which are about a person’s skill set and ability to perform a certain type of task or activity, soft skills are interpersonal and broadly applicable.
Soft skills are often described by using terms often associated with personality traits, such as:
o optimism
o common sense
o responsibility
o a sense of humor
o integrity
and abilities that can be practiced (but require the individual to genuinely like other people) such as:
o empathy
o teamwork
o leadership
o communication
o good manners
o negotiation
o sociability
o the ability to teach.
It’s often said that hard skills will get you an interview but you need soft skills to get (and keep) the job.
http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/soft-skills
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/14/college-readiness-what-are-soft-skills/

K-12 education must not only prepare students by teaching basic skills, but they must prepare students for training after high school, either college or vocational. There should not only be a solid education foundation established in K-12, but there must be more accurate evaluation of whether individual students are “college ready.”

Kathleen M. Cashin and Bruce S. Cooper commented in the Education Week opinion piece, Remaking Schools as Socioemotional Places:

How can students engage in the learning process if they feel isolated, a condition that affects many students and teachers alike? For teachers are often working in isolation. And students, when they stare at computers all day, are hardly interacting with teachers or peers.
A homeless student, Marlene, a junior in a large urban public high school, told one of us (Kathleen) her feelings about online learning in her school: “I didn’t like it. All the kids weren’t really doing anything. It was all ‘read a passage and answer the questions.’ It was very boring, and I was very upset.” Marlene had been shifted to a classroom where instruction was computer-based because her regular classroom teacher felt Marlene was too disruptive in the traditional class. But Marlene found the experience isolating, “like being in a shelter. I missed interaction with my teachers.”
“Schools have lost much of their full, rich, active curriculum in their rush to teach basic English and math.”
Tragically, many schools are becoming test-preparation factories where the human, interpersonal side of learning gets lost in the urgent routine of identifying test needs, problems, and distractions from achievement, for the sole purpose of improving “test results.” Often, this tendency comes in tandem with computer-based learning rather than the more personal pupil-teacher relationship.
The joy, love, caring, and fun of being a child in a classroom have been diminished by the need to raise test scores, at all costs.
We argue for the reinstatement of the socioemotional dimensions of education—what was once called, in the educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom’s words, “the affective domain,” where teachers built into a lesson and the curriculum the human feelings, needs, and aspirations of their students, along with the cognitive demands of the learning experience.
Children should be asked what their point of view is and what it could be—how they would feel if, for example, they adopted the perspective of a struggling heroine in a story. Kids must also be encouraged to connect with one another—and the text—to start determining what’s true and real. This process of identifying and understanding is sometimes called critical thinking.
Thus, cognitive learning must be coupled with human, social, and emotional experiences, as they all go together. And schools must link the socioemotional with the cognitive by making these two changes:
1. Reinstate teaching and learning as the primary activity in schools. Children in such an environment would be encouraged to communicate, take challenges, and even learn to take risks without fear of failure and humiliation. In Ellen Galinsky’s 2010 book Mind in the Making, she writes that “Sad + Mad = You Can’t Add” is just another way of saying that children’s emotional status greatly affects their ability to learn….
Dropped or diminished in these program are classes in the arts, physical education, vocational-technical education, and some hands-on sciences and social studies. These courses are disappearing because they are not included in testing and, consequently, have become less valued.
2. Ensure that online learning does not supplant teacher and student interactions in the classroom. Online learning is here to stay, as it allows students to move at their own pace and drill down in areas of interest.
Online learning is everywhere and can reach even those students who cannot or will not come to school. However, it has several potential disadvantages, including: removing or minimizing the human interactions that are important to real learning; taking the joy and camaraderie out of education; isolating and limiting students’ voices and involvement; and making education lifeless and dull.
We believe that cutting costs, constricting classroom life to memorization and test preparation, and replacing human contact with online interaction hurt the growth and learning of the whole child, turning education into a “bucket to be filled” and not “a fire to be kindled,” to paraphrase a famous saying.
We must take the steps above to stop the decline of real education and to build the ability of schools to meet the socioemotional needs of our children and their teachers once again. And when cost-cutting policies are being implemented, programs for the neediest children cannot be first on the chopping block.
The key is to bring school leaders and the staff together, in an exciting, focused way….
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/10/02/06cashin.h33.html?tkn=YUCCmOYaREWJwyDohNbI9M2DnLCeBLLJXpdH&cmp=clp-sb-ascd

The Child Development Institute describes the stages of Stages of Social-Emotional Development by Erik Erikson:

Erikson’s Eight Stages of Development
1. Learning Basic Trust Versus Basic Mistrust (Hope)
Chronologically, this is the period of infancy through the first one or two years of life. The child, well – handled, nurtured, and loved, develops trust and security and a basic optimism. Badly handled, he becomes insecure and mistrustful.
2. Learning Autonomy Versus Shame (Will)
The second psychosocial crisis, Erikson believes, occurs during early childhood, probably between about 18 months or 2 years and 3½ to 4 years of age. The “well – parented” child emerges from this stage sure of himself, elated with his new found control, and proud rather than ashamed. Autonomy is not, however, entirely synonymous with assured self – possession, initiative, and independence but, at least for children in the early part of this psychosocial crisis, includes stormy self – will, tantrums, stubbornness, and negativism. For example, one sees may 2 year olds resolutely folding their arms to prevent their mothers from holding their hands as they cross the street. Also, the sound of “NO” rings through the house or the grocery store.
3. Learning Initiative Versus Guilt (Purpose)
Erikson believes that this third psychosocial crisis occurs during what he calls the “play age,” or the later preschool years (from about 3½ to, in the United States culture, entry into formal school). During it, the healthily developing child learns: (1) to imagine, to broaden his skills through active play of all sorts, including fantasy (2) to cooperate with others (3) to lead as well as to follow. Immobilized by guilt, he is: (1) fearful (2) hangs on the fringes of groups (3) continues to depend unduly on adults and (4) is restricted both in the development of play skills and in imagination.
4. Industry Versus Inferiority (Competence)
Erikson believes that the fourth psychosocial crisis is handled, for better or worse, during what he calls the “school age,” presumably up to and possibly including some of junior high school. Here the child learns to master the more formal skills of life: (1) relating with peers according to rules (2) progressing from free play to play that may be elaborately structured by rules and may demand formal teamwork, such as baseball and (3) mastering social studies, reading, arithmetic. Homework is a necessity, and the need for self-discipline increases yearly. The child who, because of his successive and successful resolutions of earlier psychosocial crisis, is trusting, autonomous, and full of initiative will learn easily enough to be industrious. However, the mistrusting child will doubt the future. The shame – and guilt-filled child will experience defeat and inferiority.
5. Learning Identity Versus Identity Diffusion (Fidelity)
During the fifth psychosocial crisis (adolescence, from about 13 or 14 to about 20) the child, now an adolescent, learns how to answer satisfactorily and happily the question of “Who am I?” But even the best – adjusted of adolescents experiences some role identity diffusion: most boys and probably most girls experiment with minor delinquency; rebellion flourishes; self – doubts flood the youngster, and so on.
Erikson believes that during successful early adolescence, mature time perspective is developed; the young person acquires self-certainty as opposed to self-consciousness and self-doubt. He comes to experiment with different – usually constructive – roles rather than adopting a “negative identity” (such as delinquency). He actually anticipates achievement, and achieves, rather than being “paralyzed” by feelings of inferiority or by an inadequate time perspective. In later adolescence, clear sexual identity – manhood or womanhood – is established. The adolescent seeks leadership (someone to inspire him), and gradually develops a set of ideals (socially congruent and desirable, in the case of the successful adolescent). Erikson believes that, in our culture, adolescence affords a “psychosocial moratorium,” particularly for middle – and upper-class American children. They do not yet have to “play for keeps,” but can experiment, trying various roles, and thus hopefully find the one most suitable for them.
6. Learning Intimacy Versus Isolation (Love)
The successful young adult, for the first time, can experience true intimacy – the sort of intimacy that makes possible good marriage or a genuine and enduring friendship.
7. Learning Generativity Versus Self-Absorption (Care)
In adulthood, the psychosocial crisis demands generativity, both in the sense of marriage and parenthood, and in the sense of working productively and creatively.
8. Integrity Versus Despair (Wisdom)
If the other seven psychosocial crisis have been successfully resolved, the mature adult develops the peak of adjustment; integrity. He trusts, he is independent and dares the new. He works hard, has found a well – defined role in life, and has developed a self-concept with which he is happy. He can be intimate without strain, guilt, regret, or lack of realism; and he is proud of what he creates – his children, his work, or his hobbies. If one or more of the earlier psychosocial crises have not been resolved, he may view himself and his life with disgust and despair.
These eight stages of man, or the psychosocial crises, are plausible and insightful descriptions of how personality develops but at present they are descriptions only. We possess at best rudimentary and tentative knowledge of just what sort of environment will result, for example, in traits of trust versus distrust, or clear personal identity versus diffusion. Helping the child through the various stages and the positive learning that should accompany them is a complex and difficult task, as any worried parent or teacher knows. Search for the best ways of accomplishing this task accounts for much of the research in the field of child development. http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/erickson/

Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education: Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/
In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Resources:

Linking Social Development and Behavior to School Readiness
http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/erickson/

Social and Emotional Learning
http://www.edutopia.org/social-emotional-learning

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Education is getting on the ‘emotional intelligence’ bandwagon

16 Sep

Moi wrote about emotional intelligence in Study: Kindness helps students become more popular and improves school culture: Whenever there is a mass murder like happened at Virginia Tech or Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, the focus turns to the killer. Often,these killers are loners with few social skills. More and more researchers are beginning to study the concept of emotional intelligence. ttp://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydevelopment/a/emotionalintell.htm

Business Balls.Com has a concise summary of emotional intelligence:

Emotional Intelligence – EQ – is a relatively recent behavioural model, rising to prominence with Daniel Goleman’s 1995 Book called ‘Emotional Intelligence’. The early Emotional Intelligence theory was originally developed during the 1970s and 80s by the work and writings of psychologists Howard Gardner (Harvard), Peter Salovey (Yale) and John ‘Jack’ Mayer (New Hampshire). Emotional Intelligence is increasingly relevant to organizational development and developing people, because the EQ principles provide a new way to understand and assess people’s behaviours, management styles, attitudes, interpersonal skills, and potential. Emotional Intelligence is an important consideration in human resources planning, job profiling, recruitment interviewing and selection, management development, customer relations and customer service, and more.
Emotional Intelligence links strongly with concepts of love and spirituality: bringing compassion and humanity to work, and also to ‘Multiple Intelligence’ theory which illustrates and measures the range of capabilities people possess, and the fact that everybody has a value.
The EQ concept argues that IQ, or conventional intelligence, is too narrow; that there are wider areas of Emotional Intelligence that dictate and enable how successful we are. Success requires more than IQ (Intelligence Quotient), which has tended to be the traditional measure of intelligence, ignoring eseential behavioural and character elements. We’ve all met people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially and inter-personally inept. And we know that despite possessing a high IQ rating, success does not automatically follow. http://www.businessballs.com/eq.htm
Researchers are studying social interactions among students and how these interactions affect the climate of a school.
Mathew Tabor wrote in the Education News article, Research: For Students, Kindness to Others Boosts Popularity, which describes a study about kindness behavior among adolescents. http://www.educationnews.org/k-12-schools/research-for-students-kindness-to-others-boosts-popularity/

https://drwilda.com/2012/12/30/study-kindness-helps-students-become-more-popular-and-improves-school-culture/

Jennifer Kahn wrote the intriguing New York Times piece, Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?

Kahn writes about a number of schools exploring teaching emotional intelligence.

Wade’s approach — used schoolwide at Garfield Elementary, in Oakland, Calif. — is part of a strategy known as social-emotional learning, which is based on the idea that emotional skills are crucial to academic performance.
“Something we now know, from doing dozens of studies, is that emotions can either enhance or hinder your ability to learn,” Marc Brackett, a senior research scientist in psychology at Yale University, told a crowd of educators at a conference last June. “They affect our attention and our memory. If you’re very anxious about something, or agitated, how well can you focus on what’s being taught?”
Once a small corner of education theory, S.E.L. has gained traction in recent years, driven in part by concerns over school violence, bullying and teen suicide. But while prevention programs tend to focus on a single problem, the goal of social-emotional learning is grander: to instill a deep psychological intelligence that will help children regulate their emotions….
For children, Brackett notes, school is an emotional caldron: a constant stream of academic and social challenges that can generate feelings ranging from loneliness to euphoria. Educators and parents have long assumed that a child’s ability to cope with such stresses is either innate — a matter of temperament — or else acquired “along the way,” in the rough and tumble of ordinary interaction. But in practice, Brackett says, many children never develop those crucial skills. “It’s like saying that a child doesn’t need to study English because she talks with her parents at home,” Brackett told me last spring. “Emotional skills are the same. A teacher might say, ‘Calm down!’ — but how exactly do you calm down when you’re feeling anxious? Where do you learn the skills to manage those feelings?”
A growing number of educators and psychologists now believe that the answer to that question is in school. George Lucas’s Edutopia foundation has lobbied for the teaching of social and emotional skills for the past decade; the State of Illinois passed a bill in 2003 making “social and emotional learning” a part of school curriculums. Thousands of schools now use one of the several dozen programs, including Brackett’s own, that have been approved as “evidence-based” by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, a Chicago-based nonprofit. All told, there are now tens of thousands of emotional-literacy programs running in cities nationwide.
The theory that kids need to learn to manage their emotions in order to reach their potential grew out of the research of a pair of psychology professors — John Mayer, at the University of New Hampshire, and Peter Salovey, at Yale. In the 1980s, Mayer and Salovey became curious about the ways in which emotions communicate information, and why some people seem more able to take advantage of those messages than others. While outlining the set of skills that defined this “emotional intelligence,” Salovey realized that it might be even more influential than he had originally suspected, affecting everything from problem solving to job satisfaction: “It was like, this is predictive!” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/magazine/can-emotional-intelligence-be-taught.html?ref=education&_r=0

A 2010 Education Week article by Sarah D. Sparks examined the skills necessary to succeed in school.

In Experts Begin to Identify Nonacademic Skills Key to Success, Sparks wrote:

More and more, research shows young people need the same cognitive and social-emotional skills to complete school and progress in the workplace, and, moreover, that those skills can be taught and tested like any other subject in school.
“The problem is college eligibility was what we focused on previously, not readiness; we haven’t really defined what ‘readiness’ means,” said Elena Silva, a senior policy analyst with Education Sector, a Washington think tank, at the Building a Better Student research seminar held here Dec. 8-10. “We focused on whether they have the course credits, the time spent … and that’s important, but we haven’t figured out if they have what they need to be really college-ready,” she said. Students are “getting through high school graduation and even then, they’re not ready.”
While 43 states, Washington and the U.S. Virgin Islands have adopted the common-core academic standards as a benchmark for helping students to be considered ready for college or work, research also points to five key noncognitive indicators that a student will need to be able to complete college and become successfully employed, according to Paul R. Sackett, a psychology professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He was one of 21 researchers discussing the issue at the seminar, held by the Washington-based American Educational Research Association, the Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service, and the New York City-based College Board, which administers the SAT college-entrance exam.
Dispositions for Success
Across education and industry, research by Mr. Sackett; Neal Schmitt, a psychology professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing; and others shows the biggest predictor of success is a student’s conscientiousness, as measured by such traits as dependability, perseverance through tasks, and work ethic. Agreeableness, including teamwork, and emotional stability were the next-best predictors of college achievement, followed by variations on extroversion and openness to new experiences, Mr. Sackett found.
“If you take a close look at these commercial tests [given during job interviews], they are compound traits of the top three traits” predicting post-high school success, he said, and the top three traits are also closely associated with a student’s ability to perform well on a task and avoid bad work behavior, such as theft or absenteeism.
Each student’s personality is different, of course, Mr. Sackett said, but, “we have to differentiate between that and behavior.”
“You can learn to behave contrary to your disposition,” he added. “You can learn to behave in dependable ways. For some people, it’s second nature, for others, it’s a real struggle.” Either way, he said, schools can teach and measure noncognitive, college-readiness skills just as they do reading or mathematics—and they may be just as important.
Most schools do not teach or measure nonacademic readiness indicators directly, though they do pop up through conduct reports, attendance, team-project evaluations, and other areas. However, several groups are developing more-comprehensive assessments they hope will help school administrators predict a student’s academic and social-emotional readiness trajectory. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/12/23/15aera.h30.html?tkn=MSMF39tcQfiHMOukF6dwvGXGLdcwAX4+3++y&intc=es

K-12 education must not only prepare students by teaching basic skills, but they must prepare students for training after high school, either college or vocational. There should not only be a solid education foundation established in K-12, but there must be more accurate evaluation of whether individual students are “college ready.”

Resources:

Creating a Culture of Respect and Kindness
http://www.growingseeds.net/respect.php

Prevent Bullying, Promote Kindness: 20 Things All Schools Can Do
http://www2.cortland.edu/dotAsset/340b8b7f-e067-4231-9dd8-1eaed2a8962e.pdf

Related:

College readiness: What are ‘soft skills’
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/14/college-readiness-what-are-soft-skills/

Many NOT ready for higher education
https://drwilda.com/2012/10/06/many-not-ready-for-higher-education/

What the ACT college readiness assessment means
https://drwilda.com/2012/08/25/what-the-act-college-readiness-assessment-means/

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

ACT to assess college readiness for 3rd-10th Grades
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/04/act-to-assess-college-readiness-for-3rd-10th-grades/

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The International Baccalaureate program as a way to save struggling schools

30 Apr

In The International Baccalaureate program and vocational students, moi said this:

There is an “arms race” going on in American Education. More people are asking whether college is the right choice for many. The U.S. has de-emphasized high quality vocational and technical training in the rush to increase the number of students who proceed to college in pursuit of a B.A. Often a graduate degree follows. The Harvard paper, Pathways to Prosperity argues for more high quality vocational and technical opportunities:

The implication of this work is that a focus on college readiness alone does not equip young people with all of the skills and abilities they will need in the workplace, or to successfully complete the transition from adolescence to adulthood. This was highlighted in a 2008 report published by Child Trends, which compared research on the competencies required for college readiness, workplace readiness and healthy youth development. The report found significant overlaps. High personal expectations, self-management, critical thinking, and academic achievement are viewed as highly important for success in all three areas. But the report also uncovered some striking differences. For instance: while career planning, previous work experience, decision making, listening skills, integrity, and creativity are all considered vital in the workplace, they hardly figure in college readiness.

http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news_events/features/2011/Pathways_to_Prosperity_Feb2011.pdf

There is a reluctance to promote vocational opportunities in the U.S. because the is a fear of tracking individuals into vocational training and denying certain groups access to a college education. The compromise could be a combination of both quality technical training with a solid academic foundation. Individuals may have a series of careers over the course of a career and a solid foundation which provides a degree of flexibility is desired for survival in the future. See, Why go to college? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/the-international-baccalaureate-program-and-vocational-students/

Claudia Rowe has written the Seattle Times article, Can more rigorous academics help Rainier Beach?

Rarely have the stakes been so high at Seattle’s Rainier Beach High School:

Student enrollment continues to plummet. Test scores continue to droop. And whispers of imminent closure abound.

But with 1,700 teenagers in Rainier Beach’s attendance zone, most of them now traveling out of the neighborhood to get their education, Seattle needs the beleaguered South End high school to succeed as never before — and in a big way.

The answer?

Parents at Rainier Beach believe it lies in a rigorous academic program created in Switzerland for the children of diplomats. And if they earn the necessary certification, Rainier Beach will become Seattle’s next International Baccalaureate World School, a place where college-bound students take a rigorous slate of advanced courses and test their performance against some of the most privileged young people on earth.

You could call it a Hail Mary pass for survival.

The IB program, as it is known, has a track record of saving schools previously written off, using teens’ natural impulse toward challenge and questioning to ignite an interest in education on their terms. This has worked in places like inner-city Chicago and in the poorer areas of California’s Central Valley, where teachers have seen many once-struggling students blossom as school leaders.

Closer to home, the IB has already effected similar turnarounds in Tacoma, and in Seattle, at Ingraham and Chief Sealth high schools.

But the high-minded, internationally focused program also forces confrontation with uncomfortable realities: IB’s college-prep focus tends to attract whiter, more affluent families; it requires academic skills that many students entering Rainier Beach do not possess. And at a high-poverty school like Beach, its price alone could be a deal-breaker — no matter how talented the students.

“When I saw that it cost over $700 to take the tests, I was like, ‘Whoa!’ ” said Kaeleabe Teferi, 17, a senior at Ingraham, which has been offering the IB for a decade. “I don’t qualify for free-and-reduced lunch, but it was still kind of a hard-sell with my parents.”

Kaeleabe is one of the few black students in line for an IB diploma at Ingraham this year, a fact he shrugs off and attributes to the dearth of black youth enrolled in honors classes, which act as a feeder system for the program.

But an image of elitism clings to the International Baccalaureate and remains a concern for parents at Rainier Beach, well aware that their students are — in numerous ways — not typical IB kids.

“It’s a predominantly white program — that’s what you see when you look at the literature, all white faces,” said Carlina Brown, president of Beach’s parent-teacher-student association.

“So I was like, ‘How am I going to present this to parents who are almost entirely black?’ ”

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018096833_rainierbeachib29m.html

Other Seattle schools who have started International Baccalaureate programs have had some success according to Rowe.

Tamar Lewin has a great article in the New York Times which describes the International Baccalaureate program. In International Program Catches On In U.S. Schools Lewin reports:      

The alphabet soup of college admissions is getting more complicated as the International Baccalaureate, or I.B., grows in popularity as an alternative to the better-known Advanced Placement program.

The College Board’s A.P. program, which offers a long menu of single-subject courses, is still by far the most common option for giving students a head start on college work, and a potential edge in admissions.

The lesser-known I.B., a two-year curriculum developed in the 1960s at an international school in Switzerland, first took hold in the United States in private schools. But it is now offered in more than 700 American high schools — more than 90 percent of them public schools — and almost 200 more have begun the long certification process.

Many parents, schools and students see the program as a rigorous and more internationally focused curriculum, and a way to impress college admissions officers.

To earn an I.B. diploma, students must devote their full junior and senior years to the program, which requires English and another language, math, science, social science and art, plus a course on theory of knowledge, a 4,000-word essay, oral presentations and community service….

“Our students don’t have as much diversity as people in some other areas, so this makes them open their eyes,” said Deb Pinkham, the program’s English teacher.

The I.B. program is used in 139 countries, and its international focus has drawn criticism from some quarters.

Some parents say it is anti-American and too closely tied to both the United Nations and radical environmentalism. From its start in 1968 until 1976, the program was financed partly by Unesco. It is now associated with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and until recently it endorsed the Earth Charter, a declaration of principles of sustainability that originated at the United Nations.

“When there is a program at the school with a specific agenda, which in this case is the United Nations agenda, I have a problem with it,” said Ann Marie Banfield, who unsuccessfully opposed the adoption of the I.B. program in Bedford, N.H.

Others object to its cost — the organization charges $10,000 a year per school, $141 per student and $96 per exam — and say it is neither as effective as the A.P. program nor likely to reach as many students.

We have 337 kids, and 80 of them take at least one of our 16 A.P. classes,” said John Eppolito, a parent who opposes the planned introduction of the I.B. in Incline Village, Nev. “If we switched to the I.B., the district estimates that 15 kids would get a I.B. diploma in two years.”

I.B. opponents have created a Web site, truthaboutib.com, to serve as a clearinghouse for their views.

Many schools, and many parents, see the I.B. partly as a way to show college admissions offices that students have chosen a rigorous program, with tests graded by I.B. examiners around the world. …[Emphasis Added]

One of the educators interviewed in the Lewin article observed that the IB program might be better suited for kids who are more creative and either are not as good or do not like to memorize. There shouldn’t be a one size fits all in education and parents should be honest about what education options will work for a particular child. Even children from the same family may find that different education options will work for each child.

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The slow reading movement

31 Jan

The Slow Reading Movement is part of the “slow movement” which aims to decrease the pace of life and promote greater comprehension. Holly Ramer of AP reports on the slow reading movement. In the article, NH Professor Pushes For Return of the Slow Reading which was reprinted in the Seattle Times, Ramer reports:

At a time when people spend much of their time skimming websites, text messages and e-mails, an English professor at the University of New Hampshire is making the case for slowing down as a way to gain more meaning and pleasure out of the written word.

Thomas Newkirk isn’t the first or most prominent proponent of the so-called “slow reading” movement, but he argues it’s becoming all the more important in a culture and educational system that often treats reading as fast food to be gobbled up as quickly as possible.

“You see schools where reading is turned into a race, you see kids on the stopwatch to see how many words they can read in a minute,” he said. “That tells students a story about what reading is. It tells students to be fast is to be good.”

Newkirk is encouraging schools from elementary through college to return to old strategies such as reading aloud and memorization as a way to help students truly “taste” the words. He uses those techniques in his own classroom, where students have told him that they’ve become so accustomed from flitting from page to page online that they have trouble concentrating while reading printed books.

“One student told me even when he was reading a regular book, he’d come to a word and it would almost act like a hyper link. It would just send his mind off to some other thing,” Newkirk said. “I think they recognize they’re missing out on something.”

The idea is not to read everything as slowly as possible, however. As with the slow food movement, the goal is a closer connection between readers and their information, said John Miedema, whose 2009 book “Slow Reading” explores the movement.

“It’s not just about students reading as slowly as possible,” he said. “To me, slow reading is about bringing more of the person to bear on the book.”

Wikipedia has additional information about slow reading

The University of New Hampshire where Professor Newkirk teaches has a press release which summarizes his case for slow reading. In Key To Children Reading More is Fostering Reading More Slowly Newkirk’s philosophy is summarized:

Newkirk proposes several strategies for “slowing down and reclaiming the acoustical properties of written language—for savoring it, for enjoying the infinite ways a sentence can unfold—and for returning to passages that sustain and inspire us. Many of these strategies are literally as old as the hills.”

  • Memorizing: Memorization is often called “knowing by heart,” and for good reason. Memorizing enables us to possess a text in a special way.
  • Reading Aloud: Reading aloud is a regular activity in elementary classrooms, but it dies too soon. Well-chosen and well-read texts are one of the best advertisements for literacy. By reading aloud, teachers can create a bridge to texts that students might read; they can help reluctant readers imagine a human voice animating the words on the page.
  • Attending to Beginnings: Writers often struggle with their beginnings because they are making so many commitments; they are establishing a voice, nrrator, and point of view that are right for what will follow. These openings often suggest a conflict. They raise a question, pose a problem, create an “itch to be scratched.” Readers need to be just as deliberate and not rush through these carefully constructed beginnings. As teachers, we can model this slowness.
  • Rethinking Time Limits on Reading Tests: We currently give students with disabilities additional time to complete standardized tests; we should extend this opportunity to all students. Tests place too high a premium on speed, and limits are often set for administrative convenience rather than because of a reasoned belief in what makes good readers.
  • Annotating a Page: In this activity, students probe the craft of a favorite writer. They pick a page they really like, photocopy it, and tape the photocopy to a larger piece of paper so they have wide margins in which they can make notations. Their job is to give the page a close reading and mark word choices, sentence patterns, images, dialogue—anything they find effective. A variation of this activity is a quote and comment assignment in which students copy out passages by hand that they find particularly meaningful and then comment on why they chose those passages. Copying a passage slows us down and creates an intimacy with the writer’s style—a feel for word choice and for how sentences are formed.
  • Reading Poetry: Even in this age of efficiency and consumption, it is unlikely that anyone will reward students for reading a million poems. Poems can’t be checked off that way. They demand a slower pace and usually several readings—and they are usually at their best when read aloud.
  • Savoring Passages: Children know something that adults often forget—the deep pleasure of repetition, of rereading, or of having parents reread, until the words seem to be part of them.

Thomas Newkirk is a professor of English at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author and editor of a number of books, including “Holding On to Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones: Six Literacy Principles Worth Fighting For(2009), “Teaching the Neglected ‘R’ “(2007), and “Misreading Masculinity”(2004), which was cited by Instructor Magazine as one of the most significant books for teachers in the past decade. Newkirk is a former teacher of at-risk high school students in Boston, former director of UNH’s freshman English program, and the director and founder of its New Hampshire Literacy Institutes. He has studied literacy learning at a variety of educational levels, from preschool to college.

Professor Newkirk has written the article, Reading is not a race: The virtues of the ‘slow reading’ movement for the Washington Post:

This obsession with speed has not always been dominant. The McGuffey readers encouraged patience and repeated readings that would lead to oral performance. But in the 1920s, reading educators argued that oral reading was too slow and inefficient—in fact, students needed to cut themselves off from any connection to sound and oral performance.

One popular guide at the time advised teachers to have students — literally — hold their tongue while reading, thus preventing sounding out words. Another technique was to bring a piece of wood to class and bite down on it while reading. Another was to allow them to chew gum while reading. If sound was turned off in these ways, students could process bigger visual chunks.

I myself am a slow reader. Always have been. I enter a book or essay carefully, trying to get a feel for this writer/narrator/teller that I will spend time with. I hear the language, feel the movement of sentences, pay attention to punctuation, sense pauses, feel the writer’s energy (or lack of it), construct the voice and temperament of the writer.

If I am going to spend time with an author, I want to hear his or her voice — I want some human connection.

I have therefore joined the slow reading movement. Like the slow food movement, it is about more than just slowing down, though that is part of it. It is about an intimacy with authors; it is about paying attention, about caring, about rereading and savoring what we read. It is about finding the right pace. About pleasure more than efficiency.

Slow reading is also about recovering old practices that have traditionally aided readers in paying attention — oral performance, annotation, exploring complex and difficult passages. It is about reading that generates ideas for writing, what Ralph Waldo Emerson called “creative reading.” And even memorization.    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/reading-is-not-a-race-the-virtues-of-the-slow-reading-movement/2012/01/25/gIQA4RVCbQ_blog.html

There should be a variety of strategies to help people read and comprehend. There shouldn’t be a one size fits all approach to education. The goal remains providing a good basic education for all.

See, Illiteracy in America   https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/illiteracy-in-america/

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