Tagged “Democratic Education”

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Engaging Students in Politics

Post written by Jill Bass, director of curriculum and teacher development for Mikva Challenge's Center for Action Civics. Connect with Bass by e-mail at jill@mikvachallenge.org. This post was originally featured in ASCD Express.

Every teacher has at least a handful of moments with students that make him or her think, "This is why I became a teacher." One such moment for me was on a campaign trip with about 60 students in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2007.

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Melissa Mellor

Kids Need More Than Reading and Math, Argues ASCD Executive Director in CNN Commentary

"We can't narrow the focus of our schools into just math and reading and still expect to graduate students who are ready for college, a career and citizenship," writes ASCD Executive Director Gene Carter in his special commentary for CNN's Schools of Thought blog. "A comprehensive education provides students the opportunity to discover what they excel at and inspires a boost in overall student performance and confidence across all subjects."

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Comprehensive Education > Reading, Math, and Science

ASCD and more than 25 other major education organizations (including several whole child partners), representing a wide array of subject areas, are promoting consensus recommendations for how federal education policy can better support subject disciplines beyond reading, math, and science. The recommendations are a response to proposals that could threaten schools' and districts' ability to provide students with a comprehensive education that prepares them to graduate from high school ready for success in college, careers, and citizenship, and that narrows the definition of such readiness to only the Common Core State Standards.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Connecting Across Spaces

ASCD Annual Conference

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.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

The Assessment Gap in Career and College Readiness

Post written by Douglas B. Reeves, founder of the Leadership and Learning Center in Salem, Mass., and author of ASCD books on educational leadership. Connect with Reeves by e-mail at DReeves@LeadAndLearn.com. This post was originally featured in ASCD Express.

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.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Touching the Future: An ASCD Emerging Leader’s Story

David Scott

Post written by David Scott, a social studies teacher in the Northport-East Northport School District (where he coordinates Project P.A.T.C.H.) and school law instructor at Stony Brook University. As a licensed attorney and educator, he is dedicated to engaging students in learning about their rights and responsibilities as active participants in civic life. Connect with Scott on the ASCD EDge® social network or by e-mail at patch@northport.k12.ny.us. If you are attending ASCD's Annual Conference in Philadelphia, attend Scott's session on First Amendment Freedom, Civic Engagement and the Whole Child.

As educators, I think we all have a story to share. There comes a point when we come to realize that sharing our story can help and inspire others.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

From Differentiated Instruction to Differentiated Assessment

Post written by Douglas B. Reeves, founder of the Leadership and Learning Center in Salem, Mass., and author of ASCD books on educational leadership. Connect with Reeves by e-mail at DReeves@LeadAndLearn.com. This post was originally featured in ASCD Express.

For all the ink that has been spilled regarding the issue of differentiated instruction, little has been said about differentiated assessment. There is no doubt that students come to school with a variety of backgrounds and learning needs, and Carol Ann Tomlinson (Tomlinson & McTighe, 2006) and others (e.g., Stefanakis & Meier, 2010; Fogarty & Pete, 2010) have documented the importance of the issue and the potential success of the results.

The devil, as always, is in the details, and as Schmoker (2010) recently noted, some teachers find the demands of creating different lessons for the learning needs of each student overwhelming. Here are some practical ideas for busy teachers who want to meet the different needs of students while managing the demands on their already busy schedules.

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Melissa Mellor

Schools as Guardians of Democracy

Less than one-third of our nation's 8th graders can identify the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence. Fewer than one in five high school students are able to explain how citizen participation benefits democracy. And nearly 100 million U.S. citizens who were eligible to vote didn't exercise that right during the 2008 presidential election.

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Paula Mirk

Ethics: A Great Teaching Connector for All Learners

The study of ethics requires asking "What is right?" and "What is good?" In one form or another, most children ask these questions of themselves and their surroundings on a regular basis. As they mature into adolescents, justice issues—especially those that affect them—become a prominent part of this questioning process. For this reason, we consider ethics a great teaching opportunity.

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David Snyder

A Year in the Life

In 1954, Elizabeth Johnson, 6th grade supervisor in a Kalamazoo, Mich., school, sought to empower her students and encourage critical thinking, reflection, and cooperation. To this end, she had her students write a group letter to their parents to provide a "good appraisal of their thoughts and work during their sixth grade year."

Read the article: Reflections of a Sixth Grade

This time capsule reveals that the students were heavily focused on multicultural understanding and the ideals of democracy. The students described lessons learned from holding mock meetings of the Inter-American Conference and the Council of the Organization of American States, saying "we could learn to put ourselves in the other person's place and find out about other countries' problems. We tried to remember that if 'one nation is oppressed, then we all are oppressed.'"

A good portion of the letter recaps community connections: a visit from Kalamazoo Mayor Allen, who spoke on democratic practices in the city; talks with a local social worker and dentist; and a lesson with a state committee member who was working on the issues affecting migrant workers.

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