The decisions we make today—for our systems, our schools, and our classrooms—will affect what all of our tomorrows will look like. This spring, ASCD hosted its inaugural Whole Child Symposium, a series of in-person and online events in which experts, policymakers, teachers, and students discussed education policies, processes, and practices and their influence on children, societies, and economies in the future.
Ask educators why they went into teaching, and the majority will respond that they wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people. That initial idealism, however, is often challenged by the realities of heavy workloads, classroom discipline problems, and bureaucratic demands. How are you (and your teams) working to ensure that each child in your school and community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged?
Join us throughout the summer as we look at why we teach and what inspires us. From building meaningful relationships or designing innovative programs that help students overcome challenges to raising academic achievement, supporting students' emotional and physical health and safety, building partnerships with parents, and advocating for education reform, we are taking steps to focus on the whole child project-by-project, classroom-by-classroom, and school-by-school.
We know that students do better in school when they are emotionally and physically healthy. They miss fewer classes, are less likely to engage in risky or antisocial behavior, concentrate more, and achieve higher test scores. Research shows physical education programs not only improve physical fitness, but they can also benefit students by improving skill development, reinforcing self-discipline, supporting academic achievement, reducing stress, strengthening peer relationships, improving self-confidence and self-esteem, and teaching goal setting.
Imagine in your mind, a map of your community. Nothing detailed; just the boundaries and general lay of the land. Got it? Now add in the major areas in your community where people live and work and play. You know, to give yourself some bearings with a few landmarks. Still with me? Good! Now convert this mental image into a heat map. You know, where the hot spots flare up in bright yellows, oranges and reds? Picture in your mind hot spots that indicate places people go to learn new things and practice skills that are important to them. Where are those heat surges? Athletic fields? Dance studios? Book stores? Parks and beaches? Art galleries? Theaters? How about school buildings? No? Why aren’t school building hot spots on anyone's heat map?
Post written by Mikaela Dwyer, a journalism student at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. She considers herself a human rights activist and spends her time volunteering on campus and with various local nonprofits. After graduation, Dwyer hopes to join the Peace Corps and then become an investigative journalist for human rights issues.
Both Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams, authors of Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student In Every Class Every Day, grew up in educationally privileged homes, so their homework struggles usually ended with a few simple questions for Mom or Dad. As educators, however, they realized that not every student has this opportunity; why are teachers sending students home with the hard stuff? In their 2014 ASCD Annual Conference session "Foundations of Flipped Learning," they explored the flipped classroom concept.
Flipping the classroom allows students to watch recorded lectures at home and work with teachers in class the next day. This way, students are able to actively learn with their teacher by their side, rather than stressing over homework because there is no one to ask for help.
Get hands-on practice using the new FIT Teaching (Framework for Intentional and Targeted Teaching®) tool kit to help ensure high-quality teaching and learning. Join ASCD authors Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey in a free webinar on June 4 to learn more.
The synergy of all the tools in a teacher's tool kit is what makes for high-quality instruction. Based on the work of Fisher and Frey, the FIT Teaching® tool kit provides teachers with these tools and skills around four essential elements to help ensure high-quality teaching and learning in every classroom. The essential elements are:
Since 1943, ASCD has empowered educators by providing essential programs, products, and services that support the success of each student. Through the years, ASCD's focus has stayed the same: to improve the quality of learning for each student and to provide our leaders with innovative, cutting-edge resources. And as technology advances, ASCD embraces the new possibilities.
In our 70th year, the 2013 ASCD Annual Report, titled "The Promise of Leadership: Sustaining Learning, Transforming Teaching," is a web-based, narrative story of ASCD's work and features voices from our past, present, and future. The visually stunning site hosts four videos and provides high-level overviews of the association's membership, constituents, and conferences and events. We encourage you to explore the many stories in the report's three categories: sustaining, transforming, and leading.
Because tests don't require connection and collaboration, classroom education is being driven in one direction, while technology enables creation, curation, and connection.
Educators are up against a global achievement gap, Tony Wagner explained in his 2014 ASCD Annual Conference session, "Graduating All Students 'Innovation Ready.'" That is, the gap between the skills students need and the skills that are driven by the testing culture dominating U.S. education.