Building on the conversation started at the earlier Whole Child Symposium Town Hall and Live events, last week's Virtual panel discussions went even further to identify what currently works in education, what we need in the future to be successful, and how this can be accomplished. Watch the archived sessions below and let us know how we can improve the symposium experience.
The most important aspect of professional learning is its relevance to the classroom: authentic topics and immediate usefulness to every teacher. The clearest way to make sure this is accomplished is to hand over some of the structure to the teachers themselves who can then learn from each other. At Elk Grove High School in Illinois, professional learning that started in small, interdisciplinary Peer Observation Groups (POGs) inspired schoolwide institute days that are completely staff-led—with support from the administration—and that have transformed the culture of learning to empower and energize each and every educator.
ASCD's inaugural Whole Child Symposium concludes this week with a series of virtual panels featuring school leaders, policy experts, teachers, and students. You can register, participate live, and join in the discussions on social media. Each panel will discuss what currently works in education, what we will need in the future to be successful, and how this can be accomplished.
Whole Child Symposium Live event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. For three hours attendees—leading education leaders, U.S. congressional staff, and various ASCD constituents—listened to ASCD CEO and Executive Director Dr. Gene R. Carter and a panel of education experts discuss global education policies, processes, and practices and the influences on children, societies, and economies in the future. This discussion, led by ASCD Whole Child Programs Director Sean Slade, was focused more globally and on long-term problems, challenges, and solutions. Panelists addressed three key driving questions:
How will decisions made by policymakers today determine what our youth and societies become?
What do we as a society risk by abdicating the decision-making process or, at worst, not being aware that the wheels are in motion?
At a fundamental level, what do we want our youth, our children, and our societies to become, and what decisions must be made to get us there?
May 2014 issue of Educational Leadership examines the ways educators are reimagining professional learning. Articles in this issue look at classroom observation, in person and online professional learning communities, edcamps, flipped PD, and more.
In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer shares the bright spots in professional learning and how trying new formats have had encouraging success. She notes that
Perhaps the most promising bright spot on the professional development landscape is that despite budget cuts, schools acknowledge that professional learning is the key to improving instruction. If we treat educators with more professionalism and apply the research, we may find that innovations will last, student achievement will grow, and educators will have many reasons to seek out professional learning—with a smile on their face.
ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. A recent ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll reached out to readers of the daily e-newsletter to share their views on the purpose of education.
The 2013 Whole Child Virtual Conference reached educators across the globe. Building on its success, the 2014 Whole Child Symposium is another great opportunity for you to interact with leading education thinkers.
Join ASCD for two free events in May: the Whole Child Symposium Live and the Whole Child Symposium Virtual, a series of discussions about effective education and education systems around the world.
How would you rate your ability to put your dreams into practice? How would you rate your students?
Aspirations—having goals and being inspired in the present to pursue them—challenge us to match our dreams with actions, explained Russell Quaglia at his lively 2014 ASCD Annual Conference general session. But for many students, he added, aspirations get lost in the limbo between dreaming and doing.
"We have a lot of dreamers, but not a lot of doers," he said. "The disconnect between kids' hopes and dreams and how they're going to reach them is profound." Drawing on MyVoice surveys of more than 1 million students done by the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations (QISA), Quaglia argued that this gap is symptomatic of a student population in which about half feel disengaged and disconnected from their school community.