Post submitted by whole child blogger Caroline Newton, a sophomore at Temple University. Newton is studying journalism and writes for Jump: The Philly Music Project magazine.
"How can we prepare our learners for the future? How can our learners cultivate global competence?" Heidi Hayes Jacobs of Curriculum21 asked in her ASCD Annual Conference session. The topic of the hour? Connecting the classroom and the school to the global world.
What does "college and career readiness" mean? The Common Core State Standards suggest some clear and reasonable criteria. Consider the example of critical thinking. The Common Core documents suggest that students must be able to examine claims, arguments, and evidence and determine whether or not the evidence supports the claim. In addition, students should be able to advance arguments and support their ideas with evidence. The Common Core also places a heavy emphasis on informational writing, a need highlighted by college professors frustrated by the poor writing skills of even high-achieving high school students.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has released its annual analysis of the significant developments and trends in U.S. education. As always, The Condition of Education report addresses all aspects and all levels of education, but this year's version includes a special focus on the changes in the nation's high schools over the past 20 years.
Educators today face many exciting challenges: preparing students for life and careers in the 21st century and helping every student overcome obstacles and experience the joy of learning. To meet these challenges, every teacher and every administrator must work together within their schools and across schools, breaking free of their silos and collaborating. Just as principals can no longer stay in their offices, administrating behind closed doors, teachers also cannot seal themselves inside of their classrooms.
Research proves that when teachers collaborate effectively to analyze student performance, create interventions for struggling students, and continue their own professional learning, they can increase their efficacy. When principals empower teachers to do what they know is best for kids, children learn more and teachers find more satisfaction in their work. Collaboration creates a win-win-win situation for students, teachers, and administrators.
Post submitted by Laida Falsetto and Mirella Gargiulo
Byrne Creek Secondary School has been and continues to be creative and flexible in designing varying programs to meet the needs of our current population. Over 60 percent of our student population does not speak English as their first language. As a result, we have worked innovatively to develop programs and activities that pave a way for individual success and celebrate diversity. But what is success? What makes someone successful? How do you know if you or your students have achieved success? These questions help guide our program development and are the building blocks that we use to create our classroom community each year.
Byrne Creek Secondary is a school with H.E.A.R.T. that has always been caring and focused on the well-being of its students and their families.
Before the school opened its doors seven years ago, the administrative team knew that it was important to have a simple and easily remembered set of guiding principles for the students and staff. As a new secondary school with grades 8–12, students came to Byrne Creek from three other secondary schools and had to forge new relationships that ultimately, in conjunction with the staff, parents, and community partners, were going to be pivotal in the development of the school's culture and sense of community.
Post submitted by Elham Palestine executive director Huthayfa Jalamna and communication specialist Alla Atari. Elham is a nationwide program extending throughout Gaza and the West Bank that aims to improve the physical, mental, psychological, and social well-being of Palestinian children and enhance their learning environments to become more conducive to that well-being. It is the Middle East setting of whole child partner Learning for Well-Being and focuses on the principles and framework developed by the Universal Education Foundation.
Imagine growing up under one of the most controversial political conflicts in the world. Today millions of Palestinian children are spending their childhood living in unstable and harsh environments to the detriment of their learning and development. Palestinian principals, teachers, counselors, and even students are striving to provide a healthy and stimulating learning environment despite the lack of resources and the stressful atmosphere.
Post submitted by Tim Magner, executive director of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), the leading national organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student. Magner has had an extensive career in education, serving most recently as the vice president of Keystone for KC Distance Learning as well as the director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education. Follow P21 on Twitter @P21CentSkills.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) has spent nearly 10 years bringing together leading education, business, and nonprofit organizations to provide a unified framework defining what students need to know and be able to do, not just to succeed but to lead in the 21st century. By defining success holistically as the fusion of both knowledge and skills, P21's Framework for 21st Century Learning is focused on preparing students for college, career, and citizenship. The Framework includes the 4Cs of creativity and innovation, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking and problem solving, together with life and career skills and a mastery of technology, media, and information.
To many students, school is just a place they go. How do we create engaging learning experiences that make school more personal for them? Students need to be motivated in their learning before they can apply higher-order, creative-thinking skills and, ultimately, be prepared for their future college, career, and citizenship success.