Tag Archives: whole child approach

Alternative discipline: Helping disruptive children stay in school

12 Nov

Moi wrote in Inappropriate discipline: The first step on the road to education failure:

Joan Gausted of the University of Oregon has an excellent article in Eric Digest 78, School Discipline

School discipline has two main goals: (1) ensure the safety of staff and students, and (2) create an environment conducive to learning. Serious student misconduct involving violent or criminal behavior defeats these goals and often makes headlines in the process. However, the commonest discipline problems involve noncriminal student behavior (Moles 1989).

The issue for schools is how to maintain order, yet deal with noncriminal student behavior and keep children in school.

Alan Schwartz has a provocative article in the New York Times about a longitudinal study of discipline conducted in Texas. In School Discipline Study Raises Fresh Questions  Schwartz reports:

Raising new questions about the effectiveness of school discipline, a report scheduled for release on Tuesday found that 31 percent of Texas students were suspended off campus or expelled at least once during their years in middle and high school — at an average of almost four times apiece.

Donna St. George has written a Washington Post article which elaborates on the Texas study.

In the article, Study shows wide varieties in discipline methods among very similar schools, St. George reports:

The report, released Tuesday, challenges a common misperception that the only way schools can manage behavior is through suspension, said Michael D. Thompson, a co-author of the report, done by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and Texas A&M University’s Public Policy Research Institute. “The bottom line is that schools can get different outcomes with very similar student bodies,” he said. “School administrators and school superintendents and teachers can have a dramatic impact….”

The results showed that suspension or expulsion greatly increased a student’s risk of being held back a grade, dropping out or landing in the juvenile justice system. Such ideas have been probed in other research, but not with such a large population and across a lengthy period, experts said. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-exposes-some-some-myths-about-school-discipline/2011/07/18/gIQAV0sZMI_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

Family First Aid has a good discussion about the types of behavior problems that result in suspension or expulsion.  Dore Francis has a guide, which lists what parents should do if their child is suspended. The guide gives detailed instructions to these steps and other steps. Francis also lists what questions to ask after meeting with school officials. https://drwilda.com/2011/12/13/inappropriate-discipline-the-first-step-on-the-road-to-education-failure/

Nirvi Shah has written the interesting Education Week report, Suspended in School: Punished But Still Learning about alternative discipline methods:

Some of the students at Success Academy here are doing International Baccalaureate-level work. Most of the classes have just five or six students. And every nine weeks, groups of students are required to make major presentations to their classmates and hand in thick binders full of even more- detailed reports.

But this Baltimore public high school isn’t for elite students. Admission depends on whether students have done something so serious a regular district school won’t have them anymore: assaulting classmates or staff members, possessing or distributing drugs, or wielding weapons.

The school, serving as many as 100 students at a time, costs more than $1.2 million a year to run, but the district, which houses the program at its headquarters, says keeping students learning and in school—somewhere—while they are serving out a suspension or have been kicked out of their own schools is far less expensive than the alternative.

“The idea of children being out of school makes no sense,” said Karen Webber-Ndour, Baltimore’s executive director of the office of student support and safety. But at the same time, the district acknowledges that students may have to leave their home school for some offenses.

School-based discipline options like this one are being tried in schools nationwide as a substitute for punishments that force students out of school, which have been shown to disproportionately affect black, Latino, and male students and those with disabilities.

While in-school suspension may be an old standby, schools seem to be putting their own stamp on it. Whether those spaces are staffed by certified teachers or aides varies, and some schools don’t have classroom space to spare for something that might be heavily used one day and not at all the next. Other disciplinary configurations include Saturday classes, evening programs, and lunchtime interventions. In some cases, behavioral-health specialists are available on demand to work with students, keeping them in school rather than suspending them. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/11/07/11inschool_ep.h32.html?tkn=OQXF4T7wRzd%2BfDTAENRdHmICQyIk7%2FNisjS1&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

The whole child approach is useful in keeping many children in school.

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 ©

See:

Education Law Center

Discipline In Schools: What Works and What Doesn’t?

Justice for Children and Youth has a pamphlet I’m being expelled from school – what are my rights?

Related:

Report: Black students more likely to be suspended https://drwilda.com/2012/08/07/report-black-students-more-likely-to-be-suspended/

Johns Hopkins study finds ‘Positive Behavior Intervention’ improves student behavior                                                   https://drwilda.com/2012/10/22/johns-hopkins-study-finds-positive-behavior-intervention-improves-student-behavior/

Pre-kindergarten programs help at-risk students prepare for school                                                                                    http://drwilda.com/2012/07/16/pre-kindergarten-programs-help-at-risk-students-prepare-for-school/

A strategy to reduce school suspensions: ‘School Wide Positive Behavior Support’                                                     https://drwilda.com/2012/07/01/a-strategy-to-reduce-school-suspensions-school-wide-positive-behavior-support/

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Helping troubled children: The ‘Reconnecting Youth Program’

30 Oct

Many children arrive at school with mental health and social issues. In School psychologists are needed to treat troubled children:

Mark Phillips, professor emeritus of secondary education at San Francisco State University wrote the article, School psychologists: Shortage amid increased need which discusses the need for psychological support in schools.

The adolescent suicide rate continues to rise, with each suicide a dramatic reminder that the lives of a significant number of adolescents are filled with anxiety and stress. Most schools have more than a handful of kids wrestling with significant emotional problems, and schools at all levels face an ongoing challenge related to school violence and bullying, both physical and emotional.

Yet in many schools there is inadequate professional psychological support for students.

Although statistics indicate that there is a significant variation from state to state (between 2005- and 2011 the ratio of students per school psychologist in New Mexico increased by 180%, while in the same period the ratio decreased in Utah by 34%), the overall ratio is 457:1. That is almost twice that recommended by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

THE NASP noted a shortage of almost 9,000 school psychologists in 2010 and projected a cumulative shortage of close to 15,000 by 2020. Mental Health America estimates that only 1 in 5 children in need of mental health services actually receive the needed services. These gross statistics also omit the special need of under funded schools and the increased roles school psychologists are being asked to play….

Even with the psychological services that should be provided and often aren’t, schools can’t fully prevent suicides, acts of violence, bullying, or the daily stresses that weigh on kids shoulders. The malaise runs deeper and broader.

Still schools need more resources than they receive in order to provide more programs that actively identify and counsel those kids that need help. At the very least, they need to alleviate some of the stress these kids are experiencing and to help improve the quality of their daily lives. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/school-psychologists-shortage-amid-increased-need/2012/02/26/gIQAU7psdR_blog.html

It is important to deal with the psychological needs of children because untreated depression can lead to suicide. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/27/school-psychologists-are-needed-to-treat-troubled-children/ In addition to psychological programs, schools can offer other resources to help students succeed in school and in life.

Rebecca Jones of Ed News Colorado writes about the Reconnecting Youth Program in the article, Reconnecting Youth program boosts teens:

Seventeen-year-old Chris Malcolm is the first to admit he squandered a lot of his high school years because he just didn’t care.

Members of Robin Albert’s Reconnecting Youth class at Summit High School in Frisco.

I was like, I don’t care about school, I don’t care if I’m here, it’s so boring I can’t deal with it,” said Malcolm, a senior at Summit High School in Frisco. “But now, I can tell myself the day’s gonna be fine, I’m fine, and I’m capable of doing school.”

Malcolm will graduate in the spring and intends to enroll in Colorado Mountain College. He hopes to become either a distiller or a meteorologist, and eventually he wants to live in New York City. Whatever, he’s got a plan, and he’s working to make it happen.

He credits the turnaround in his life to one class, which he’s taking this year. It meets second period, three days a week.

It’s called Reconnecting Youth, and it’s a special class for at-risk youth. In Summit County it’s offered in partnership between the school district and county Department of Youth and Family Services. Elsewhere around the state a handful of schools also partner with social service agencies to offer the class…

The program has been shown to improve more than just grades, though that and a decrease in absenteeism are the easiest markers to quantify. Nationwide, students enrolled in the class have exhibited a 50 percent decrease in hard drug use, a 75 percent reduction in depression, an 80 percent reduction in suicidal behaviors, a 32 percent decline in perceived stress and a 23 percent increase in “self-efficacy” or a sense of personal control. Since its creation in the 1990s, Reconnecting Youth has been touted as one of the strongest evidence-based programs for decreasing teen suicide, drug involvement and poor school performance.

As Malcolm describes it, the class has taught him how to talk himself out of helplessness. “I just tell myself that things aren’t ever as bad as they look,” he said. “They’re only as bad as I let them be. I have control….”

Program focuses on decision making, personal control

The curriculum can be taught in a semester or over a whole year. It focuses on self-esteem, decision-making, personal control and interpersonal communications. Strategies for establishing drug-free activities and friendships outside of class are also stressed.

The program was developed at the University of Washington over the course of three federal grants spanning seven years in the 1990s. Since then, training in the program has been repeatedly offered around the country in almost every state, said Beth McNamara, director of program and training for Reconnecting Youth. http://www.ednewscolorado.org/2012/10/30/51106-reconnecting-youth-program-boosts-teens

Here is what Reconnecting Youth says about their program:

About

Reconnecting Youth Inc. is dedicated to researching, developing, testing and disseminating prevention programs for youth at risk and to training those who use our programs to implement them with fidelity. Our award-winning programs have been recognized for over a decade as models for evidence-based prevention and are included on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

Our company has received generous support to develop and test our programs and the effectiveness of our training from the National Institutes of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Nursing Research, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the US Department of Education.

We are confident that together we can make significant gains in assisting youth to succeed in school and in life.

Research

We have numerous publications documenting the efficacy of the Reconnecting Youth (RY) and Coping and Support Training (CAST) Programs.

Read about the participants, prevention mechanisms and theory behind the numerous RY Studies and CAST Studies. Review the outcomes for the youth involved in our efficacy trials by viewing the RY Findings and the CAST Findings. http://www.reconnectingyouth.com/about/

In order for schools to help many children succeed, they will have to look at the “whole child approach.”

In The ‘whole child’ approach to education, moi said:

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/

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 ©

Related:

Johns Hopkins study finds ‘Positive Behavior Intervention’ improves student behavior                                                  https://drwilda.com/2012/10/22/johns-hopkins-study-finds-positive-behavior-intervention-improves-student-behavior/

Pre-kindergarten programs help at-risk students prepare for school                                                                                   http://drwilda.com/2012/07/16/pre-kindergarten-programs-help-at-risk-students-prepare-for-school/

A strategy to reduce school suspensions: ‘School Wide Positive Behavior Support’                                                 https://drwilda.com/2012/07/01/a-strategy-to-reduce-school-suspensions-school-wide-positive-behavior-support/

U.S. Education Dept. Civil Rights Office releases report on racial disparity in school retention                                     https://drwilda.com/2012/03/07/u-s-education-dept-civil-rights-office-releases-report-on-racial-disparity-in-school-retention/

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/

What is the Indiana voucher program?

26 Aug

School choice” which means according to the Education Breakthrough Network:

School Choice…What is it?

Well, not to be overly simplistic,  SCHOOL CHOICE is the act of choosing a school that meets the needs of your child.

Traditionally, families have been assigned to schools based on where they live. In fact, families with sufficient resources choose the neighborhoods they live in, in order to be assigned to a good school. That is actually a pretty active choice.

But school choice means actively choosing a school versus being assigned to one. And it doesn’t matter what kind of choice that is, they can include private schools, public charter schools, online schools, home schools, special needs schools or even preschools.

School choice advocates believe in the rights of parents to choose a school that meets their child’s needs, and in the rights of teachers and all educators to create, manage, and/or choose to be employed in those schools.

The Education Breakthrough Network exists to explain and advance effective school choice…from its simplest definition here to our very detailed database here.

Find out more about us.

Learn more about School Choice and how it is defined by the daily activities of those that do it! Read how these organizations support and define School Choice:

The Foundation For Educational Choice
The Center for Education Reform
The Heritage Foundation
The Alliance for School Choice

http://www.edbreakthrough.org/SCinfo.php

School Choice” ignites passions. People really go ballistic when vouchers are discussed. Moi wrote about vouchers in Given school choice, many students thrive https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/given-school-choice-many-students-thrive/

Moi thinks the Indiana experience will be useful and will provide useful information about what works in education. 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.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/ The Indiana voucher program is an attempt to give parents the tools to meet the needs of their child.

Mary McConnell of the Deseret News has posted a series of articles about education reform in Indiana. Her latest article is Indiana education voucher experiment: year two begins:

Since a big share of the voucher money is going to religious schools that don’t make a profit, this invocation of “private enterprise” is a little misleading. But I still find it curious that “private enterprise” is viewed as a pejorative. Private enterprise, after all, has brought us stunningly better and often less expensive products, and proved much more responsive to consumer demand.

Ah, consumer demand. That’s what really intrigues me about the article. Schools – public schools AND private schools hoping to attract voucher students – find that they need to reach out to their consumers, parents, and make a case that they’re providing an excellent education for their children.

Maybe TV ads and billboards will do the trick; as a parent and a teacher who has taught in Catholic schools that need to persuade parents of their value, I would bet on stronger results, better discipline, and a school culture that welcomes and fosters parent involvement. Can public schools offer that? Absolutely. Will it hurt for them to have to prove it to parents? Voucher opponents will say yes, but I’m betting that the biggest beneficiaries of competition will turn out to be public schools.

This posting could get very, very long, so let me instead direct readers to some interesting recent articles.

A Harvard study of New York City’s private voucher program – published this past Thursday – indicates that vouchers significantly improved the odds that African American students would attend college. This is an especially valuable study because it included a scientific control group (students who applied for but did not receive the vouchers, thereby holding constant for “involved parents”) and employed long-term data (1997-2011). Here’s a Wall Street Journal op-ed reporting the data:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444184704577585582150808386.html?mod=djemITP_h

And here’s a link to the study itself:

http://www.hks.harvard.edu/pepg/PDF/Impacts_of_School_Vouchers_FINAL.pdf

The American Enterprise Institute published a short piece responding to the AP article; it makes the argument for competition.

http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/08/schools-respond-to-competition/

Here’s an article from last week’s Economist – which if anything proves that Indiana’s experiment is world news:

http://www.economist.com/node/21560570

And finally, a useful warning note for voucher supporters. Many private schools in Indiana saw their test scores drop as they admitted voucher students. No huge surprise – if anything, it suggests that the private schools were, in fact, achieving higher educational standards (and probably educating a different demographic, as well.)

http://www.fortwayne.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120723/NEWS/320111062/1039/EDUCATION

Utah voters decided that the state should not take this path, at least for now. But it will be interesting to see what happens in Indiana . . . and Louisiana. More on Louisiana next week.   http://educatingourselves.blogs.deseretnews.com/2012/08/25/indiana-education-voucher-experiment-year-two-begins/

Here is information from the Indiana Department of Education:

Choice Scholarships

Indiana is committed to providing all children access to quality educational opportunities, no matter where they live or how much money is in the family bank account. House Enrolled Act 1003 will play a key role in helping the Hoosier state accomplish this goal.Indiana’s new voucher program (authorized under IC 20-51-1 and IC 20-51-4) gives Hoosier families the opportunity to send their children to a school that best meets their learning needs. A voucher, or “Choice Scholarship,” is a state payment that qualifying families can use to offset tuition costs at participating schools. Students qualify based on total household income and the amount of the scholarship corresponds with the public school corporation in which the student lives.This exciting new program is up and running for the 2011-2012 school year. Schools and parents will work together to submit applications and enroll students. Participating schools and parents should explore the boxes below for more information.

Interested Parents General Info
How To Apply Estimated Scholarship Amounts
FAQ for Parents Household Income Limits
Preguntas Frequentes Padres Income Verification Rules
Approved Choice Schools Indiana School Scholarship Tax Credit
Interested Schools
Getting Started Application to Become an Eligible School
FAQ for Schools Program Deadlines
School Implementation
Data Reporting Data Layout for Choice Scholarship Input
Income Verification Visual Assessment Information
Reading Plan Emergency Rule
Recognized National and Regional Accreditation Agencies Student Record

Deduction for Private & Homeschool

Deduction Form

http://www.doe.in.gov/improvement/school-choice/choice-scholarships

Schools must be relentless about the basics for their population of kids.   

What does it Mean to Be Relentless About the Basics:      

  1. Students acquire strong subject matter skills in reading, writing, and math.
  2. Students are assessed often to gauge where they are in acquiring basic skills.
  3. If there are deficiencies in acquiring skills, schools intervene as soon as a deficiency assessment is made.
  4. Schools intervene early in life challenges faced by students which prevent them from attending school and performing in school.
  5. Appropriate corrective assistance is provided by the school to overcome both academic and life challenges.   

The Indiana voucher program is a tool which allows parents the choice of what is best for their child.

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 ©