Tag Archives: Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child:

School choice: Community schools

23 Oct

Moi wrote in Improving education: Community schools:
There is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is only what works to produce academic achievement in each population of children. That is why school choice is so important. For some communities and for some children, “community schools” might improve education achievement. The Coalition for Community Schools is a great resource for those interested in “community schools.”

A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings and weekends.
Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. Partners work to achieve these results:
o Children are ready to learn when they enter school and every day thereafter. All students learn and achieve to high standards.
o Young people are well prepared for adult roles in the workplace, as parents and as citizens.
o Families and neighborhoods are safe, supportive and engaged.
o Parents and community members are involved with the school and their own life-long learning.
To learn more about the Coalition’s vision of a community school, read the section An Enduring Vision in the Coalition’s report, Making the Difference: Research and Practice in Community Schools. Also, watch as the U.S. Secretary of Education speak of the importance of community schools on Charlie Rose.
For more information on what it means to be a community school, read Community Schools: Partnerships for Excellence (PDF, 426k).
http://www.communityschools.org/aboutschools/what_is_a_community_school.aspx

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post wrote an interesting article about “community schools.”

In Why community schools are part of the answer, Strauss wrote:

Community schools, by directly dealing with many of the out-of-school issues that affect how students do in school — such as violence, family mobility, etc. — help to create the conditions that allow young people to actually concentrate on academics. Community schools seek to create conditions for learning that include:
*Fostering early childhood development through high-quality comprehensive programs.
*Providing students qualified teachers, challenging curriculum and high standards and expectations.
*Addressing the basic physical, mental and emotional health needs of families.
*Creating safe, supportive school climates through community engagement.
There is not a single model of community school initiatives but rather a number of different ones that share common principles, according to the Coalition for Community Schools. The coalition is an alliance of elementary, secondary and post-secondary organizations at the state, local and national level that are involved with education, youth development, community planning and development, family support, health and human services and more.
One of the many models of community schools, which serve millions of children around the country, is called “Schools of the 21st Century,” which provides school-based child care and family support services.
Created by Edward Ziegler, a professor at Yale University who was an architect of the Head Start program, this model is now being used in 1,300 schools across the country and turns regular public schools into year-round centers where different services are provided to families the before, during and after school hours. You can learn about other models here.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-community-schools-are-part-of-the-answer/2011/12/15/gIQAdu9T4O_blog.html

Strauss has updated here report with a piece by Brock Cohen.

In the Washington Post article, Why community schools are a no-brainer, Cohen wrote:

The community schools framework rejects this notion. This is because each of its foundational principles reveals the imperative of addressing low achievement through a holistic course of action. Such a transition represents a radical departure from past school initiatives because it has the audacity to shine a light on gaps carved out by social inequity. As importantly, the movement’s current champions (Sen. Liu among them) refuse to shy away from naming poverty and social injustice as the primary impediments to student learning. As a call to arms, they direct us to the sprawling body of evidence that proves how futile any reform effort will become without quickly addressing 0-4 poverty-induced learning gaps, summer literacy erosion, or a failure to ensure that all children have quality physical and mental health care.
They also emphasize how community schools are as much an exercise in sober fiscal pragmatism as they are a moral call to action. The consequences of academic failure are everyone’s problem, costing the state over $58 billion each year in incarceration expenses, health care, and taxable income.
But the gaps aren’t insurmountable. They can gradually narrow by leveraging partnerships; engaging families; and re-defining schools as safe, stable, welcoming community spaces. And because the needs of children vary across demographics and geographies, the model embraces flexibility: Each school site should customize its own approach in conjunction with local agencies and civic partners that understand the primacy of nurturing the whole child. So while community schools seek to address all domains of student need, some may allocate more resources toward specific services or strategies. For example:
• Pasadena’s Madison Elementary has teamed with Healthy Start to provide comprehensive on-site health, wellness, and social, and parent education to all of its students and families
• Four Redwood City Schools have formed a consortium with civic partners to make 0-5 education and enrichment a regional imperative.
• Behind the support of the Community Heath & Adolescent Mentoring Program for Success (CHAMPS), Oakland Tech High has detailed programs in place to boost student engagement and youth leadership.
• Joining forces with Inner City Struggle (ICS), East L.A.’s Esteban E. Torres High School offers primary healthcare, mental health, reproductive services, and dental care to all of its students.
Past school reform initiatives focused on channeling limited fiscal and human resource inputs to schools and districts. What makes the community schools framework more substantive and sustainable is that it establishes inputs as the process by which each of a child’s needs domains are fulfilled. If community partners and resources (as inputs) are actively engaged in addressing these needs (health, wellness, literacy and cognitive growth) the outcomes will take care of themselves.
The past decade-plus of school reform has been as notable for its soaring rhetoric as for its inaction on the issues that truly hinder learning and achievement. But as an educator who’s fresh from the classroom, I cannot stress how gratifying it is to see evidence of collective and intentional action springing up in schools throughout the state. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that each of the schools on the Pathways to Partnerships bus tour has shown seismic improvements in campus-wide learning, health, and wellness since fully committing to the community schools framework. But scores of others throughout California have followed the same pattern.
Still, it goes without saying that community schools are not a cure for soaring child poverty (afflicting 1 in 4 children statewide). And an even bigger nemesis may be the “not my kid” mindset that seems to afflict a vast number of citizens who remain undeterred by California’s nationwide ranking of 49 in per-pupil expenditures…. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/23/why-community-schools-are-a-no-brainer/

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.
The National Education Association (NEA) describes the “whole child” approach to learning in the paper, Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child.

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires:

• Addressing multiple dimensions, including students’ physical, social and emotional health and well-being.
• Ensuring equity, adequacy and sustainability in resources and quality among public schools and districts.
• Ensuring that students are actively engaged in a wide variety of experiences and settings within—and outside—the classroom.
• Providing students with mentors and counselors as necessary to make them feel safe and secure.
• Ensuring that the condition of schools is modern and up-to-date, and that schools provide access to a broad array of resources.
• Reducing class size so that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.
• Encouraging parental and community involvement. http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/WholeChildBackgrounder.pdf

ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach.

Sean Slade, director of Healthy School Communities, a program of the ASCD, an education leadership organization wrote the Washington Post article, Taking a stand for ‘the whole child’ approach to school reform.

A whole child approach to education enhances learning by addressing each student’s social, emotional, physical, and academic needs through the shared contributions of schools, families, communities, and policymakers. It is a move away from education policy that far too narrowly focuses on student standardized test scores as the key school accountability measure and that has resulted in the narrowing of curriculum as well as rigid teaching and learning environments.
The true measure of student success is much more than a test score, and ensuring that young people achieve in and out of school requires support well beyond effective academic instruction. The demands of the 21st century require a new approach to education to fully prepare our nation’s youth for college, career, and citizenship.
Our last two Vision in Action Award Winners, Price Laboratory School (PLS) in Iowa and Quest Early College High School in Texas, exemplify what we mean. Both of these schools work to ensure that each child is healthy, safe, supported, engaged and challenged, whether it is through foundation of daily physical education for all grades K-12; or the weekly health programs promoting empowerment, fresh and organic foods, as is the case at Price Lab; or yearlong personal wellness plans, and a focus on social/emotional as well as physical health at Quest
Lessons and projects extend outside the classroom walls and into the local community. They are adapted to engage students and reworked to provide for personal learning styles and interest. Advisory groups – or “families” as they are called at Quest – abound and are a crucial part in making each teacher, student and family feel respected. And in both schools all are expected to achieve and are provided the mechanisms to do so. They don’t just set the bar high. They provide the steps and supports to get over that bar.
Both schools have gone beyond just a vision for educating the whole child to actions that result in learners who are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically active, artistically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling.
But this ideal should not be found only in the the occasional school. It should be found in all schools….
If you think a child’s worth is more than a test score, sign ASCD’s petition to create a President’s Council on the Whole Child.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/taking-a-stand-for-the-whole-child-approach-to-school-reform/2012/02/05/gIQARBcM0Q_blog.html

Many of the schools and neighborhoods facing challenges are where there are pockets of high unemployment and underemployment with high levels of family instability. Children in these neighborhoods face a myriad of challenges which require an more comprehensive approach to education. See, Christina Silva’s Huffington Post article, 1 in 5 U.S. Children Lives in Poverty http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/17/1-in-5-us-children-live-i_n_929424.html

ASCD is promoting the Whole Child Initiative:

Explore resources and opportunities for action here and on http://www.wholechildeducation.org, and together we’ll change the face of education policy and practice. Find sets of indicators related to each tenet below. Taken together across all five tenets and the central necessities of collaboration, coordination, and integration, these indicators may serve as a needs assessment, set of strategic goals and outcomes, framework for decision making, or the definition of what a whole child approach to education truly requires. Download theindicators (PDF).
Whole Child Tenets
o Each student enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle.
o Each student learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults.
o Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community.
o Each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults.
o Each student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and participation in a global environment.
http://www.ascd.org/whole-child.aspx

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 ©

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Study: Bored students may be stressed rather than bored

14 Oct

Moi wrote in Motivation is increasingly researched as a key ingredient in student achievement

Moi wrote in It’s the culture and the values, stupid:

Every week in the Seattle Stranger there is a column I, Anonymous , which gives one reader the chance to rant anonymously about any topic or person that has provoked such a reaction that venting and a good old fashion rant is necessary. Sometimes, the rants are poetic or touching. Most of the time, they are just plain hilarious. This is a recent rant, which is from a teacher, not an educator

I say hello with a big smile every morning as you shuffle in the door, but I secretly seethe with hatred for almost each and every one of you. Your stupidity and willful ignorance know no bounds. I have seen a lot of morons in my 10 years of teaching high school, but you guys take the cake. Your intellectual curiosity is nonexistent, your critical thinking skills are on par with that of a head trauma victim, and for a group of people who have never accomplished anything in their lives, you sure have a magnified sense of entitlement. I often wonder if your parents still wipe your asses for you, because you certainly don’t seem to be able to do anything on your own.
A handful of you are nice, sweet kids. That small group will go on and live a joyful and intellectual life filled with love, adventure, and discovery. The vast majority of you useless fuckwits will waste your life and follow in the footsteps of your equally pathetic parents. Enjoy your future of wage slavery and lower-middle-class banality.
Amazing how teachers are blamed for the state of education in this country. Look what you give us to work with. I am done trying to teach the unteachable.

Moi doesn’t blame most teachers for the state of education in this country, but puts the blame on the culture and the unprepared and disengaged parents that culture has produced. Moi also blames a culture of moral relativism as well which says there really are no preferred options. There are no boundaries, I can do what I feel is right for ME. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/04/its-the-culture-and-the-values-stupid/ https://drwilda.com/2012/10/02/motivation-is-increasingly-researched-as-a-key-ingredient-in-student-achievement/

Sarah D. Sparks reports in the Education Week article, Studies Link Students’ Boredom to Stress:

Boredom is one of the most consistent experiences of school and one that can be frustrating and disheartening for teachers. According to findingsRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader in the High School Survey of Student Engagement, conducted by the Indiana University Bloomington, boredom is nearly universal among American students. Of a representative sample of more than 275,000 high school students surveyed in 27 states from 2006 to 2009, 65 percent reported being bored in class at least once a day.

Lack of Focus

Under Mr. Eastman and his colleagues’ definition, a student who is bored cannot focus attention to engage in the class activity—and blames that inability to focus on the outside environment. A dry lecture style or an uninteresting topic might trigger boredom, Mr. Eastman said, but so can other issues that interfere with a student’s attention and working memory.

Getting to the Roots

When students feel bored, research shows they are aware of their own difficulty paying attention. A student may attribute the experience to not being interested in the material or the lecture style. But new studies show that any stress or distraction that takes up working memory—from emotional trauma to attention deficit hyperactivity disorders—all could be contributing to the problem.

For example, students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are more likely to report feeling bored than students with normal attention. Students tackling material that is too difficult for them—and thus taking up more working memory—also are more likely to report it is “boring” rather than simply frustrating, Mr. Eastman and other researchers found.

“When people are in a negative emotional state, discouraged, or down, we know that causes attention problems,” Mr. Eastman said. “We know when people are stressed it makes it harder to focus and pay attention at a very basic, fundamental level.”

Like any type of stress, boredom hampers the prefrontal cortex, the brain area positioned just behind that student’s furrowed brow that allows a student to reason and hold different facts in working memory. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/10/10/07boredom_ep.h32.html?tkn=VMPF3anAix33lAsD%2BFnoz1mgquEbELuvXvaO&cmp=clp-edweek

Here is the press release from the American Psychological Association:

PRESS RELEASE

September 26, 2012
For Immediate Release

Contact: Anna Mikulak
Association for Psychological Science
202.293.9300
amikulak@psychologicalscience.org

I’m Bored!” – Research on Attention Sheds Light on the Unengaged Mind

Related Topics: Attention, Cognitive Processes, Cognitive Psychology, Emotions, Perspectives on Psychological Science, Thinking

You’re waiting in the reception area of your doctor’s office. The magazines are uninteresting. The pictures on the wall are dull. The second hand on the wall clock moves so excruciatingly slowly that you’re sure it must be broken. You feel depleted and irritated about being stuck in this seemingly endless moment. You want to be engaged by something—anything—when a thought, so familiar from childhood, comes to mind: “I’m bored!”

Although boredom is often seen as a trivial and temporary discomfort that can be alleviated by a simple change in circumstances, it can also be a chronic and pervasive stressor that can have significant consequences for health and well-being.

Boredom at work may cause serious accidents when safety depends on continuous vigilance, as in medical monitoring or long-haul truck driving. On a behavioral level, boredom has been linked with problems with impulse control, leading to overeating and binge eating, drug and alcohol abuse, and problem gambling. Boredom has even been associated with mortality, lending grim weight to the popular phrase “bored to death.”

Although it’s clear that boredom can be a serious problem, the scientific study of boredom remains an obscure niche of research, and boredom itself is still poorly understood. Even though it’s a common experience, boredom hasn’t been clearly defined within the scientific community.

Psychological scientist John Eastwood of York University (Ontario, Canada) and colleagues at the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo wanted to understand the mental processes that underlie our feelings of boredom in order to create a precise definition of boredom that can be applied across a variety of theoretical frameworks. Their new article, which brings together existing research on attention and boredom, is published in the September 2012 issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Drawing from research across many areas of psychological science and neuroscience, Eastwood and colleagues define boredom as “an aversive state of wanting, but being unable, to engage in satisfying activity,” which arises from failures in one of the brain’s attention networks.

Specifically, we’re bored when:

  • We have difficulty paying attention to the internal information (e.g., thoughts or feelings) or external information (e.g., environmental stimuli) required for participating in satisfying activity
  • We’re aware of the fact that we’re having difficulty paying attention
  • We believe that the environment is responsible for our aversive state (e.g., “this task is boring,” “there is nothing to do”).

The researchers are confident that integrating the disparate fields of cognitive neuroscience, social psychology, and clinical psychology will produce a more thorough understanding of boredom and attention—phenomena which are ubiquitous and intimately linked.

Armed with a precise and broadly applicable definition of boredom that gets at the underlying mental processes, the authors identify important next steps in research on boredom. Eastwood and his colleagues hope to help in the discovery and development of new strategies that ease the problems of boredom sufferers and address the potential dangers of cognitive errors that are often associated with boredom.

###

For more information about this study, please contact: John D. Eastwood at johneast@yorku.ca.

Perspectives on Psychological Science is ranked among the top 10 general psychology journals for impact by the Institute for Scientific Information. It publishes an eclectic mix of thought-provoking articles on the latest important advances in psychology. For a copy of the article “The Unengaged Mind: Defining Boredom in Terms of Attention” and access to other Perspectives on Psychological Science research findings, please contact Anna Mikulak at 202-293-9300 or amikulak@psychologicalscience.org.

Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education

Moi writes this blog around a set of principles which are:

All children have a right to a good basic education.

  1. Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved.

  2. Society should support and foster strong families.

  3. Society should promote the idea that parents are responsible for parenting their children and people who are not prepared to accept that responsibility should not be parenting children.

  4. The sexualization of the culture has had devastating effects on children, particularly young women. For many there has been the lure of the “booty call” rather than focusing on genuine achievement.

    Education is a life long pursuit

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.

The National Education Association (NEA) describes the “whole child” approach to learning in the paper, Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child:

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires:

Addressing multiple dimensions, including students’ physical, social and emotional health and well-being.

Ensuring equity, adequacy and sustainability in resources and quality among public schools and districts.

Ensuring that students are actively engaged in a wide variety of experiences and settings within—and outside—the classroom.

Providing students with mentors and counselors as necessary to make them feel safe and secure.

Ensuring that the condition of schools is modern and up-to-date, and that schools provide access to a broad array of resources.

Reducing class size so that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.

Encouraging parental and community involvement. http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/WholeChildBackgrounder.pdf

ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

Related:

Research papers: Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform                                                                               https://drwilda.com/2012/05/30/research-papers-student-motivation-an-overlooked-piece-of-school-reform/

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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

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Responsive teaching

18 Sep

Moi said 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.

The National Education Association (NEA) describes the “whole child” approach to learning in the paper, Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child:

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires:

Addressing multiple dimensions, including students’ physical, social and emotional health and well-being.

Ensuring equity, adequacy and sustainability in resources and quality among public schools and districts.

Ensuring that students are actively engaged in a wide variety of experiences and settings within—and outside—the classroom.

Providing students with mentors and counselors as necessary to make them feel safe and secure.

Ensuring that the condition of schools is modern and up-to-date, and that schools provide access to a broad array of resources.

Reducing class size so that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.

Encouraging parental and community involvement. http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/WholeChildBackgrounder.pdf

ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

Christina A. Samuels describes “responsive teaching” in the 2008 Education Week article, Responsive Teaching:

In practice, RTI can look quite different from school to school. But several key components are necessary for a successful program, researchers say. Students are generally screened early in the school year to determine if they may have educational difficulties, and to help their teachers figure out what extra lessons they may need.

Children with such difficulties are given increasingly intense instruction geared to bolstering the areas where they need help. The interventions must be scientifically based and teachers must present the lessons as they were designed to be taught. Additional tests, or “progress monitoring,” continues for those students through the school year, to make sure the extra lessons are working.

Finally, if a student still hasn’t responded to several different interventions, he or she may need further evaluation, or special education services.

Federal special education law specifically allows states to use RTI as a tool for identifying children with learning disabilities. However, the hope among some proponents of RTI is that by providing instruction as soon as a problem is noted, children can be steered away from special education….

IOWA’S PRINCIPLES FOR RTI
All students are part of one proactive educational system
• Belief that all students can learn
• Use available resources to teach all students

Use scientific, research-based instruction
• Curriculum and instructional approaches must have a high probability of success for most students
• Use instructional time efficiently and effectively

Use instructionally relevant assessments that are reliable and valid
• SCREENING: Collecting data for the purpose of identifying low- and high-performing students at risk for not having their needs met
• DIAGNOSTIC: Gathering information from multiple sources to determine why students are not benefiting from instruction
• FORMATIVE: Frequent, ongoing collection of information, including both formal and informal data, to guide instruction

Use a problem-solving method to make decisions based on a continuum of student needs
• Provide strong core curriculum, instruction, and assessment
• Provide increasing levels of support based on increasing levels of student needs

Data are used to guide instructional decisions
• To align curriculum and instruction to assessment data
• To allocate resources
• To drive professional development decisions

Professional development and follow-up modeling and coaching to ensure effective instruction at all levels
• Provide ongoing training and support to assimilate new knowledge and skills
• Anticipate and be willing to meet the newly emerging needs based on student performance

Leadership is vital
• Strong administrative support to ensure commitment and resources
• Strong teacher support to share in the common goal of improving instruction
• Leadership team to build internal capacity and sustainability over time

SOURCE: Iowa Department of Education                                         http://www.edweek.org/tsb/articles/2008/09/10/01rti.h02.html?tkn=WOSDnI3HlWLBNfcrzyzcwghb8yKAqYXw6HP%2B&intc=es

A study supports “Responsive Teaching” as an effective strategy for helping many children make academic gains.

Jaclyn Zubrzycki reports in the Education Week article, Research Links ‘Responsive’ Teaching to Academic Gains:

In this second in-depth study of Responsive Classroom led by Ms. Rimm-Kaufman, 24 elementary schools in an unnamed Virginia district were randomly assigned to either receive training, materials, coaching, and administrative support to implement Responsive Classroom or to be part of a control group that did not adopt the approach. The researchers followed 2,904 students, taught by 295 teachers, from 3rd to 5th grade, and examined their academic performance on the 5th grade state standardized test.

The researchers also used surveys and observations to determine the degree to which Responsive Classroom practices were used in every elementary school in the district, as the approach involves practices that may also be used by teachers who were not teaching in the Responsive Classroom schools.

Simply being assigned to implement Responsive Classroom strategies did not have a direct effect on student scores, the researchers found, but there was a strong indirect effect: Schools in which teachers adhered more closely to the approach had significantly higher math scores, especially for students who had had low math scores in 2nd grade. Even within the group of schools that was not assigned to use Responsive Classroom, more-frequent use of the approach’s strategies was correlated with higher math achievement. In both the control and treatment groups, using more Responsive Classroom practices was associated with a 23-point gain on state standardized tests. Which specific program components were associated with higher performance will be the topic of a different paper, Ms. Rimm-Kaufman said, but preliminary findings show that the program’s focus on academic choice, which involves allowing students to choose among different activities to accomplish the same learning goals, may be particularly effective.

On the other hand, students in schools that were assigned to implement the program but did not do so with strong fidelity actually saw a small negative effect on their scores. “If you have lackluster fidelity, you don’t see gains in whatever the intervention happens to be,” Ms. Rimm-Kaufman said. But she said the dropoff in scores could also be tied to “something about schools and teachers that is both predicting use of practices and predicting achievement gains.” A school with a principal who was adept at helping teachers prioritize, for instance, might be more likely to implement Responsive Classroom with fidelity and also have higher test scores.

A Schoolwide Effort

The fact that the schools that implemented the program more faithfully saw better results is no surprise, said CASEL’s Mr. Goren. Previous research on similar programs has also indicated that social-emotional-learning programs are more effective when they are whole-school initiatives. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/09/13/04responsive.h32.html?tkn=OTLFQBaxSAzFYuW8%2FfLrhWZWEe7pAYkXBPim&intc=es

Citation:

Efficacy of the Responsive Classroom Approach: Results from a Three Year, Longitudinal Randomized Control Trial

Authors and Affiliations:

Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman, Ross Larsen, Alison Baroody,

University of Virginia

Tim Curby,

George Mason University

Eileen Merritt, Tashia Abry, Julie Thomas, Michelle Ko

University of Virginia                                                                         https://www.sree.org/conferences/2012f/program/downloads/abstracts/683.pdf

In order to ensure that ALL children have a good 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:

What is responsive teaching?                              https://education.alberta.ca/apps/Readtolive/Workshops/Ws1bottem.htm

Relational Intervention Equips Parents of Toddlers with Evidence-based Practice                                                     http://msass.case.edu/childrenandfamilies/intervention.html

Responsive Classroom                           http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/

Related:

Oregon State University study: Ability to pay attention in preschool may predict college success                    https://drwilda.com/2012/08/08/oregon-state-university-study-ability-to-pay-attention-in-preschool-may-predict-college-success/

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

Missouri program: Parent home visits                    https://drwilda.com/2012/05/30/missouri-program-parent-home-visits/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

KIPP charters try ‘blended learning’

15 Aug

n The ‘whole child’ approach to education moi said:

Moi writes this blog around a set of principles which are:

All children have a right to a good basic education.

  1. Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved.

  2. Society should support and foster strong families.

  3. Society should promote the idea that parents are responsible for parenting their children and people who are not prepared to accept that responsibility should not be parenting children.

  4. The sexualization of the culture has had devastating effects on children, particularly young women. For many there has been the lure of the “booty call” rather than focusing on genuine achievement.

    Education is a life long pursuit

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.

The National Education Association (NEA) describes the “whole child” approach to learning in the paper, Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child:

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires:

Addressing multiple dimensions, including students’ physical, social and emotional health and well-being.

Ensuring equity, adequacy and sustainability in resources and quality among public schools and districts.

Ensuring that students are actively engaged in a wide variety of experiences and settings within—and outside—the classroom.

Providing students with mentors and counselors as necessary to make them feel safe and secure.

Ensuring that the condition of schools is modern and up-to-date, and that schools provide access to a broad array of resources.

Reducing class size so that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.

Encouraging parental and community involvement. http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/WholeChildBackgrounder.pdf

ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

Julia Lawrence reports in the Education Week article, KIPP’s Latest LA School Experiments With Blended Learning:

Although the idea that online education could be viable for children as young as elementary-school age could appear obscene to some parents, for children who are surrounded by computers and gadgets like smartphones and tablets, keeping a school a computer-free zone would seem crazy. You can’t expect a children to take school seriously when their school experience is completely divorced from their everyday life….

Still, even that kind of instructional paradigm leaves a lot of room for useful applications of technology. One of the approaches gaining popularity, and that makes good use of the traditional classroom setting, is the idea of blended learning. Although some teaching is still done in the classroom — with desks, a blackboard and a teacher playing a traditional role — the “heavy lifting” is done with online tools.

KIPP, one of the most successful chains of charter schools in the country, is currently trying just this approach. The KIPP schools credit most of their success to lavishing individualized attention on all its students and by keeping their student-teacher ratios low. In most KIPP schools, class sizes are set at no higher than 20 students.

But the typical approach hit a snag. When severe fiscal constraints forced the Los Angeles Unified School District to rejigger its charter school funding formulas, the latest KIPP charter to be opened in South Los Angeles had its budget slashed by nearly $200,000. The traditional approach of small classrooms and plenty of teachers was no longer an option, so the school decided to attempt something different. http://www.educationnews.orgKIPP’s Latest LA School Experiments With Blended Learning

The “blended learning’ approach has been around several years.

Penn State University describes “blended learning” in What is Blended Learning?

What is Blended?

A blended learning approach combines face to face classroom methods with computer-mediated activities to form an integrated instructional approach. In the past, digital materials have served in a supplementary role, helping to support face to face instruction.

For example, a blended approach to a traditional, face to face course might mean that the class meets once per week instead of the usual three-session format. Learning activities that otherwise would have taken place during classroom time can be moved online.

As of now, there is no consensus on a single agree-upon definition for blended learning. The Resources page contains cites to several articles that provide definitions. In addition, the terms “blended,” “hybrid,” and “mixed-mode” are used interchangeably in current research literature. For the purposes of the Blended Learning Initiative at Penn State, the term “blended” is preferred.

Why Blend?

The goal of a blended approach is to join the best aspects of both face to face and online instruction. Classroom time can be used to engage students in advanced interactive experiences.  Meanwhile, the online portion of the course can provide students with multimedia-rich content at any time of day, anywhere the student has internet access, from Penn State computer labs, the coffee shop, or the students’ homes. This allows for an increase in scheduling flexibility for students.

In addition to flexibility and convenience for students, according to research shared at the ALN Conference Workshop on Blended Learning & Higher Education November 17, 2005, there is early evidence that a blended instructional approach can result in learning outcome gains and increased enrollment retention (http://www.uic.edu/depts/oee/blended/workshop/bibliography.pdf).

Blended learning is on the rise in higher education. 93% of higher ed instructors and admin say they are using blended learning strategies somewhere in their institution. 7 in 10 expect more than 40% of their schools’ courses to be blended by 2013 (Bonk, C. J. & Graham, C. R. (Eds.). (in press).

How to Blend?

There are no rules in place to prescribe what the ideal blend might be (Bonk reference). The term “blended” encompasses a broad continuum, and can include any integration of face to face and online instructional content. The blend of face to face and online materials will vary depending on the content, the needs of the students, and the preferences of the instructor. See the section of this site titled Instructional Strategies for information on selecting an ideal blend and designing a blended course.

Considerations

Creating high-quality blended instruction can present considerable challenges. Foremost is the need for resources to create the online materials to be used in the courses. Materials development is a time and labor intensive process, just as it is in any instructional medium. In addition, blended instruction is likely to be a new concept to many students and faculty. Instructional designers involved in course development or redesign will need to be able to answer questions related to:

  • what blended instruction is
  • why blended instruction  is employed 
  • how best to leverage the advantages of a blended approach 

http://weblearning.psu.edu/blended-learning-initiative/what_is_blended_learning

John Watson studied several “blended learning’ programs for the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL).

In Blended Learning: The Convergence of Online and Face-to-Face Education, Watson writes:

What are the key lessons that these and other blended programs demonstrate?

First, there is no single type of blended education, and over time we can expect all the spaces along the continuum from fully online to fully face-to-face to be filled. Online curricula will evolve as a ubiquitous component of classroom instruction. At the same time, an increasing number of programs that are primarily distance-based may include a face-to-face teaching component.

Programs designed to use a blended approach from the outset are still in a learning mode, and experience and data will provide guidelines, but absolutes will be hard to find. “As blended learning evolves it needs to stay student focused and avoid artificial, mandated boundaries,” says Susan Stagner, Vice-President, Management and Services, for K12 Inc.

Second, in the same way that online teaching is recognized as different than face-to-face teaching, blended learning is also unique and requires new methods of instruction, content development, and professional development. Online program leaders know that they cannot simply use face-to-face teaching methods in an online class, and vice versa. In addition, as content delivery becomes increasingly digital and online, assessments will need to be designed to test for content presented in various formats.

Third, for school districts and programs that use both fully online and blended courses, content will need to be readily accessible as learning objects to support both types of instruction. Text-based content will be less effective than animation, video, simulations and other engaging and illustrative content that can convey concepts visually and dynamically, more effectively than either paper or an instructor drawing on the blackboard. Teachers will need to be able to access online content quickly and easily to keep the flow of the classroom instruction moving.

Fourth, because blended learning relies on a significant level of web-based communication and content, it relies on a course management system or a learning management system to organize the content and facilitate communication. The presence of software that organizes the course may, in fact, be a distinguishing characteristic between a truly blended course and a face-to-face course that simply incorporates a few digital elements.

Finally, because blended learning can vary in many ways, it may present challenges for research and policy. Because it does not make sense to attempt to fit education into pre-set conceptions based on old methods of teaching and learning, state education policies should allow innovation in directions that may not be foreseeable at this time. In addition, research efforts aimed at quantifying the effects of educational technologies should account for the myriad types of learning that combine online and face-to-face delivery. http://www.inacol.org/research/promisingpractices/NACOL_PP-BlendedLearning-lr.pdf

The question which must be addressed in whether “blended learning’ is appropriate for a particular learning situation.

Resources:

The rise of K-12 blended learning            http://www.innosightinstitute.org/media-room/publications/education-publications/the-rise-of-k-12-blended-learning/

Blended Learning Tool Kit                                            http://blended.online.ucf.edu/

7 Reasons Why Blended Learning Makes Sense http://edtechdigest.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/7-reasons-why-blended-learning-makes-sense/

Blended Learning, Real Teaching – YouTube

6 Pros and Cons of a Hybrid Education                                              http://edudemic.com/2012/05/6-pros-and-cons-of-a-hybrid-education/

Related:

Flipped classrooms are more difficult in poorer schools https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/flipped-classrooms-are-more-difficult-in-poorer-schools/

The digital divide in classrooms                          https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/the-digital-divide-in-classrooms/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

The ‘whole child’ approach to education

10 Feb

Moi writes this blog around a set of principles which are:

All children have a right to a good basic education.

  1. Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved.
  2. Society should support and foster strong families.
  3. Society should promote the idea that parents are responsible for parenting their children and people who are not prepared to accept that responsibility should not be parenting children.
  4. The sexualization of the culture has had devastating effects on children, particularly young women. For many there has been the lure of the “booty call” rather than focusing on genuine achievement.

    Education is a life long pursuit

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.

The National Education Association (NEA) describes the “whole child” approach to learning in the paper, Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child:

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires:

Addressing multiple dimensions, including students’ physical, social and emotional health and well-being.

Ensuring equity, adequacy and sustainability in resources and quality among public schools and districts.

Ensuring that students are actively engaged in a wide variety of experiences and settings within—and outside—the classroom.

Providing students with mentors and counselors as necessary to make them feel safe and secure.

Ensuring that the condition of schools is modern and up-to-date, and that schools provide access to a broad array of resources.

Reducing class size so that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.

Encouraging parental and community involvement. http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/WholeChildBackgrounder.pdf

ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach.

 

Sean Slade, director of Healthy School Communities, a program of the ASCD, an education leadership organization wrote the Washington Post article, Taking a stand for ‘the whole child’ approach to school reform.

A whole child approach to education enhances learning by addressing each student’s social, emotional, physical, and academic needs through the shared contributions of schools, families, communities, and policymakers. It is a move away from education policy that far too narrowly focuses on student standardized test scores as the key school accountability measure and that has resulted in the narrowing of curriculum as well as rigid teaching and learning environments.

The true measure of student success is much more than a test score, and ensuring that young people achieve in and out of school requires support well beyond effective academic instruction. The demands of the 21st century require a new approach to education to fully prepare our nation’s youth for college, career, and citizenship.

Our last two Vision in Action Award Winners, Price Laboratory School (PLS) in Iowa and Quest Early College High School in Texas, exemplify what we mean. Both of these schools work to ensure that each child is healthy, safe, supported, engaged and challenged, whether it is through foundation of daily physical education for all grades K-12; or the weekly health programs promoting empowerment, fresh and organic foods, as is the case at Price Lab; or yearlong personal wellness plans, and a focus on social/emotional as well as physical health at Quest

Lessons and projects extend outside the classroom walls and into the local community. They are adapted to engage students and reworked to provide for personal learning styles and interest. Advisory groups – or “families” as they are called at Quest – abound and are a crucial part in making each teacher, student and family feel respected. And in both schools all are expected to achieve and are provided the mechanisms to do so. They don’t just set the bar high. They provide the steps and supports to get over that bar.

Both schools have gone beyond just a vision for educating the whole child to actions that result in learners who are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically active, artistically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling.

But this ideal should not be found only in the the occasional school. It should be found in all schools….

If you think a child’s worth is more than a test score, sign ASCD’s petition to create a President’s Council on the Whole Child.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/taking-a-stand-for-the-whole-child-approach-to-school-reform/2012/02/05/gIQARBcM0Q_blog.html

Many of the schools and neighborhoods facing challenges are where there are pockets of high unemployment and underemployment with high levels of family instability. Children in these neighborhoods face a myriad of challenges which require an more comprehensive approach to education. See, Christina Silva’s Huffington Post article, 1 in 5 U.S. Children Lives in Poverty

ASCD is promoting the Whole Child Initiative:

Explore resources and opportunities for action here and on www.wholechildeducation.org, and together we’ll change the face of education policy and practice. Find sets of indicators related to each tenet below. Taken together across all five tenets and the central necessities of collaboration, coordination, and integration, these indicators may serve as a needs assessment, set of strategic goals and outcomes, framework for decision making, or the definition of what a whole child approach to education truly requires. Download the indicators (PDF).

Whole Child Tenets

  • Each student enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle.
  • Each student learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults.
  • Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community.
  • Each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults.
  • Each student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and participation in a global environment.

http://www.ascd.org/whole-child.aspx

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 ©

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©