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).
Post written by Laura White for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization. Also published in Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley.
Post written by Homa Tavangar, author of Growing Up Global and a contributor to Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization. Originally published for Edutopia's back-to-school blog series.
My most important back-to-school supply doesn't fit in a backpack, and it can't be ordered online. It's as essential as a pencil, but unlike a pencil, no technology can replace it. In a sense, like a fresh box of crayons, it can come in many colors. Better than the latest gadget, it's possible to equip every student with it, and even better, when we do, it can transform our world.
Initially based upon the principals of positive psychology, the positive education approach has much in common with a whole child approach to education and is contributing to the paradigm shift that is accentuating the nonacademic variables of children's education for successful student outcomes.
Positive education is an approach of improving the well-being of children in schools through implicit and explicit programs. Although this approach as an idea is not something that many find groundbreaking or contemporary, what it has done is brought into light an opportunity for school leaders to initiate a response to the problems associated with physical, social, emotional, and mental well-being of both staff and students. This response is becoming collaborative amongst like-minded schools, and a wave of interest is moving across schools in Australia to implement programs that attend to the whole child and that are outside of traditional academic circles.
Post written by Jasmine Sanborn, a senior digital and visual journalism student at Loyola University Chicago. She hopes to follow her passions for conservation and comics and someday join the ranks at National Geographic or Marvel Comics.
Elizabeth Hebert's 2013 ASCD Annual Conference session, "Inspired to Learn: How School and Classroom Design Can Energize and Support Learning," explored the role design plays in our daily lives. School buildings and their design are obvious but often overlooked aspects of the learning environment, said Hebert.
Hebert argued that updated and developmentally focused design spaces not only support but also inspire student learning and help cultivate creativity in children.
I've had ongoing discussions with artists and educators who aggressively advocate for high-quality human experience they believe they can provide via handheld tablets. The artist is adamant his iPad paintings are a valid form of art. The educator is touting his implementation of iPads to kindergarteners in a Maine public school district. In both cases, I asked the same question: "Are you advocating for this because it adds value, or just because you can?"
I ask the question because we live in the age of "just because I can." We don't need a reason. We simply push the boundaries of traditional assumptions. If I can do something that couldn't be done five years ago, it has de facto value and any arguments are invalid. In a virtual-world vacuum this may be true; in a vacuum there are no real-world implications. But as educators, there are very real implications for how we think about research-based learning theory and the integration of technology into learning. I continue to think through this personal pedagogical dilemma, as a veteran educator and techie. I write this as an open invitation to you to think this through with me.
Post written by Emily Cherkin for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization.
When I tell people I work with 7th graders, I often hear, "Oh, wow. ... I'm so sorry!" They tell me how miserable their seventh grade year was. Sometimes I hear, "It takes a certain person to work with that age group..." before their voice trails off, uncertainly.
I am usually bemused, at turns slightly offended, but mostly, I understand. Because I remember how hard 7th grade was for me, which is exactly why I so love working with this age group now.
As a part-time teacher and a full-time mom, I have been working with 7th graders for the past few years on a curriculum focusing on media literacy and anti-bullying.
Post written by Sharon Lazich for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization.
In February President Obama laid out an ambitious agenda to invest in our young people, calling for early childhood education for every child in America. In his own words:
"Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on—by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own."
Delve into summer learning with tips and strategies from a few of your favorite ASCD authors. The first session in the ASCD Summer Boot Camp Webinar Series kicks off Thursday, July 18, at 3 p.m. eastern time and presents a strategic approach to direct vocabulary instruction that helps students master key concepts and retain new terms. Other topics include teacher-led walk-throughs, curriculum, and motivation and engagement from a developmental science perspective.