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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Student Voice and Resilience in Learning

Post written by Kristine Fox, Megan Bedford, and Brian Connelly

Although research has a lot to say about how to foster academic resilience, encouraging student voice—which an abundance of research shows to have a positive effect on school success—has been largely overlooked (Mager & Nowak, 2012; McNulty & Quaglia, 2007; Mitra, 2004). Student voice and academic success are inextricably linked—even among students from challenged backgrounds.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

After School and Summer: Ideal Times for STEM Learning

Post written by Jodi Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance; Sarah Pitcock, interim CEO of the National Summer Learning Association; and Gina Warner, executive director of the National AfterSchool Association

There's no getting around it—to stack the odds in favor of career success and a competitive nation, kids today must embrace and develop proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. Nearly 80 percent of future careers will require some STEM skills. Regardless of eventual career choice, skills required to master STEM subjects—analysis, problem solving, and critical thinking—are universally valuable.

But with increasing demands placed on teachers and the limited hours available, how are students supposed to secure relevant knowledge and skills? The truth is, schools simply can't do it alone nor can they fit it all in the already-packed school-year schedule.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Three Pillars for Supporting Resilience

Post written by Cheryl J. Wright

To give all students the opportunity to achieve excellence in their education, educators know that students, especially at-risk learners, need to develop resilience in their pursuit of learning. Yet teachers often wonder, what specifically enables some students to persevere, while others appear to easily give up?

Although research indicates that resilient students most likely have personal characteristics like social competence and a sense of purpose, it is helpful to consider additional aspects that contribute to resilient students' achievement: the learning environment, instructional pedagogy, and teacher dispositions (Benard, 1997; Bruce, 1995; Wright, 2011).

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Resilience, Addressing Problems, and Promoting Healthy Development

Post written by Howard Adelman and Linda Taylor, codirectors of the Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA, a whole child partner organization.

Anyone working with children and youth these days is familiar with words like strengths, assets, and resilience. This reflects the progress made in moving beyond a deficit or problem-focused bias to incorporate approaches that build on motivation and promote resilience.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

The Whole Child Is a Resilient Child

Post written by Bonnie Benard

To build the resilience of students who face adversity, we need to nurture the whole spectrum of their developmental needs.

Forty years of resilience research following children who face multiple challenges into adulthood has yielded a surprising but consistent finding: Most children and youth—even those coming from highly stressed or abusive families or from resource-deprived communities—do somehow manage to overcome their often overwhelming odds and become "competent, confident, and caring" adults (Werner & Smith, 2001).

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

September Strategies to Foster a Successful Classroom Community

Post written by Rachel Lissy

As a professional development trainer with Ramapo for Children, an organization that provides youth programming and adult training for special needs students, I often offer feedback to teachers regarding their classroom and behavior management. Often, when teachers reflect upon a particularly challenging lesson or stressful period, they will get a faraway look in their eyes and pine for the possibilities of next September. As early as October or November they will rue the structures and expectations they did not put in place from day one. "Next year," they tell me, "things will be different. I won't make the same mistakes."

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

The Best Education Ideas in the World: Adventures on the Frontiers of Learning

ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show

Post written by Jessica DuBois-Maahs, a Medill School of Journalism candidate at Northwestern University concentrating in finance reporting and interactive publishing and business reporter for MediaTec Publishing in Chicago, Ill.

Gary Stager has taught in classrooms all around the world, and he said the common thread that binds exceptional learning experiences together is hands-on project-based learning.

In his 2013 ASCD Annual Conference session, "The Best Education Ideas in the World: Adventures on the Frontiers of Learning," Stager showed attendees videos of elementary school students building robots and solving complex engineering problems while appearing to enjoy the process.

The audience members smiled and clapped as they watched a young Australian student use nothing but pipe cleaners, LEGO blocks, and her brain to build a toy ballerina that spun. In his presentation, Stager theorized that this type of project-based learning can propel modern curricula because students use critical thinking in multiple disciplines to create the end result.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

ASCD Leaders on Reflection: Mary Beth Luttrell

A defining trait of leadership is a passion for success and continuous improvement. With progress comes new vistas and new goals, as well as new challenges to overcome in our never-ending quest for knowledge and excellence. Leaders envision a future, and great leaders shape that future. With that in mind, we asked ASCD leaders to share their thoughts on what reflection means to them as learners, teachers, and leaders.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

ASCD Leaders on Reflection: Sue Kessler

A defining trait of leadership is a passion for success and continuous improvement. With progress comes new vistas and new goals, as well as new challenges to overcome in our never-ending quest for knowledge and excellence. Leaders envision a future, and great leaders shape that future. With that in mind, we asked ASCD leaders to share their thoughts on what reflection means to them as learners, teachers, and leaders.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

ASCD Leaders on Reflection: Verneth Patterson

A defining trait of leadership is a passion for success and continuous improvement. With progress comes new vistas and new goals, as well as new challenges to overcome in our never-ending quest for knowledge and excellence. Leaders envision a future, and great leaders shape that future. With that in mind, we asked ASCD leaders to share their thoughts on what reflection means to them as learners, teachers, and leaders.

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