Tagged “School Environments”

Sean Slade

Learning and Health are Symbiotic (and Global)

This week Education International—the world's largest federation of unions, representing 30 million education employees in 170 countries and territories—signed onto the Global School Health Statement developed by ASCD and the International School Health Network.

The Global School Health Statement was developed out of the first Global School Health Symposium, a multi-level, multi-sectorial discussion involving more than 60 leading education, health, and school health experts from across twenty countries held in Thailand in August 2013. Since then it has been introduced at a series of Global School Health Symposia and discussed at a series of key global events.

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Jeffrey Benson

Four Frames for Principals, New and Experienced

I was working with an elementary principal. One of the school's 3rd grade classes had given him a list of responsibilities they assumed formed his job. He showed me the list and chuckled, until he got to an item that he said made him shudder far more than smile: "You fix everything."

That overwhelming mandate contains a big piece of the truth: almost everything that happens in the school is ultimately the responsibility of the principal. What is equally valid is the reality that one person cannot know everything, be everywhere, prevent all problems, and fix everything.

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Roxanne Dove

Education Support Professionals: Meeting the Needs of the Whole Student

Jean G. Fay has no typical workday. Whether it's working one-on-one with a child with special needs, helping out in the cafeteria at lunchtime, sewing costumes for the school musical, or leading 40 2nd graders in the Crocker Farm Elementary hip-hop crew, she does it all! Jean is also known at Crocker Farm for her homemade cookies. Her kindergartners love to munch on them while they listen to her read "Junie B. Jones" stories. She wants to bring her love of reading to them every day, whether it's reading Simon James' "Baby Brains" books or poems by Emily Dickinson or T.S. Eliot.

Over the last 15 years, she has taught children to read, write, and do basic math; comforted children who were feeling sad; encouraged students in their social interaction; and helped them with all of their first steps in education. She has been there for them just as they begin learning to be learners and mastering the skills that they will need to be successful in life. On Thursday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays, she heads to her second job, at JCPenney at the local mall. Working at JCPenney has meant more than just paying the bills, though. She has used it as a way to help students and their families. Using her employee discount and the Massachusetts Child grant program, Jean has been able to buy clothes and school supplies for her students. When the father of one of her students passed away and the mother was struggling financially, Jean was able to use the Massachusetts Child program to purchase clothes for the children for their dad's funeral. Jean continues to be connected to this family today.

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Whole Child Symposium

Self-Selecting, Real-World Learning Communities

Post written by Walter McKenzie

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?

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Klea Scharberg

How School Design Affects School Culture

Education Week's 2013 Quality Counts report investigated the effect of a school's social and disciplinary environment on students' ability to learn and the educators responsible for teaching them. Watch this video to explore some of the ways to configure school design to support a positive school culture. Discover how some schools are creating flexible, adaptable learning spaces that encourage collaboration and reimagine schools as student-centered communities of learners.

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Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ED Pulse Poll Results: Will a Longer School Day and Year Better Prepare Students for Success?

ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. A recent ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll asked readers if instituting a longer school day and year will better prepare students for success in college and the workforce.

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Klea Scharberg

In the Future, the Classroom Will Learn You

This week, IBM released its annual predictions of the five technology innovations that will change the way we live in the next five years: The 5 in 5. This year's predictions center around emerging computing systems that will learn, reason, and engage with us in a more personalized way.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Energize Learning with Fresh Design

ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show

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.

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Emily Buchanan

Defining a Positive School Climate and Measuring the Impact

Last month (April 2013), the National School Climate Center and Fordham University concluded that "sustained positive school climate is associated with positive child and youth development, effective risk-prevention and health-promotion efforts, student learning and academic achievement, increased student graduation rates, and teacher retention."

Having gained increasing potency in the lexicon of education reformers of late, a glut of studies has cemented the concept and significance of the school climate. However, having considered more than 200 research papers that all pointed to the aforementioned conclusion, the Fordham University study uncovered one major issue: What actually constitutes a "positive school climate?"

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Pam Allyn

Field Notes: Raising Learning Warriors

Moses was my student in Brooklyn, N.Y. He came from Guyana, was 10 years old, and deaf. His mother, who spoke no English and knew no one in New York, had made the treacherous journey to the United States to give him the opportunity to go to school. He was the skinniest boy I had ever seen, with longer-than-long legs that he sometimes tripped over when he ran. Moses was not getting enough to eat at home, so I started bringing him food. Some days, he did not eat from the time he left me until the next morning at school.

Moses and his mother lived in one tiny room where the heat sometimes did not work. His mother worked two jobs and was rarely home for more than an hour when Moses returned from school. Yet here he was, at long last, in a school for the deaf where he could finally thrive and learn.

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