The Whole Child Podcast

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Partnerships Between Home and School: The Real Missing Link?

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Families are a central source of children's learning and development, and their influence cannot be ignored. Engaging with families can inform, complement, reinforce, and accelerate educators' efforts to educate the whole child. Without strategic and continual connections between families and educators, we cannot ensure that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we examine research that overwhelmingly reinforces the need for family engagement, practices that create and sustain meaningful involvement, policies that can bring about systemic change, and barriers that we must overcome to achieve this vision. You'll hear from

  • Heidi Rosenberg, research analyst at the Harvard Family Research Project, whose research projects address family involvement in education, complementary learning systems, and evaluation strategies.
  • Sheila Jackson, director of the Department of School Improvement and the Comer School Development Program Office and Regional Training Center for Prince George's County (Md.) Public Schools, who consults nationally on school reform, community development, child and adolescent growth and development, parental engagement, and more.
  • Trise Moore, Family and Community Partnership Director for Federal Way Public Schools in Washington State, where she has built a team of parents and staff leaders that helped the district gain recognition by the National PTA and the Harvard Family Research Project as one of six exemplary family engagement frameworks in the United States.

What do you think is the most powerful way a family can be engaged in the education process?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Inclusive Learning: Meeting Each Student's Special Needs

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Creating an inclusive environment where each student feels safe and supported in an engaging and appropriately challenging environment is rarely an easy feat, yet it is essential to educating the whole child. Regardless of strengths and challenges, each student needs and is deserving of full membership within the classroom and school community. While each student benefits from this inclusive environment, it is critically important and often challenging to ensure it for students with special needs.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we focus on creating inclusive learning environments that develop students at all levels. You'll hear from

  • Timothy Shriver, chairman and CEO of Special Olympics. In that capacity, Shriver serves 3.1 million athletes and their families in 175 countries. He has helped transform Special Olympics into a movement that focuses on respect, acceptance, and inclusion for individuals with intellectual disabilities in all corners of the globe.
  • Evan Heller, a student who has been involved with and coached Special Olympics for eight years. Heller is also a member of the national Special Olympics Youth Activation Committee and his local Massachusetts State Youth Activation Committee. He is a recent high school graduate and this fall will be a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he plans to double major in psychology and English.
  • Latoya Dean, a doctoral student at the University of North Texas in the Leadership for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders program. She is also a Content Mastery/Helping teacher in Garland, Tex. Dean has worked in varies capacities with people with disabilities, and her current research interests include transitioning students with disabilities into adulthood, parental involvement, and interagency collaboration. She is interning this summer at the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education.

Do you have an Evan or Latoya at your school? What can you do when the school year begins to help create inclusive environments to meet each student's special needs?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

School Environments: Transforming Learning Spaces

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Schools that take a whole child approach to education are conscious of the intersection between physical space and the academic, social, and emotional development of students. The learning environments we create—the physical along with school climate—can either help or hinder learning, development, teaching, and collaboration.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we look at what kind of school environments optimize the way students learn, teachers teach, and communities interact and hear from guests who are creating learning environments that facilitate the process of ensuring students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. You'll hear from

  • Bob Pearlman who shares his extensive experience and expertise working at nearly every level of the school transformation process. Extend your learning with resources on new learning environments to support 21st century learners. Download a free chapter on designing new learning environments, written by Pearlman, from the book Rethinking How Students Learn.
  • Kristin Cuilla, director of new school development for New Tech Network, who describes how schools and communities are rethinking teaching and learning to create and transform learning environments where students are highly engaged.
  • Luis Torres, principal of P.S. 55 in the Bronx, N.Y., and a 2011 ASCD Outstanding Young Educator, who will share how he has used nearly every part of the learning environment, from the halls and walls to the neighborhood and community partnerships, to revitalize the school, students, family, and community. Learn more about Torres' work in this interview:

     

     

What is your school doing to transform the learning environment in ways that make a difference for students' learning and development?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Beyond Our Halls and Walls: Getting to Community Engagement

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There is much talk about the need for community involvement in educating the whole child. However, for many, questions persist about the concept of community:

  • Who is my community?
  • What does community involvement look like?
  • How do we build and sustain community involvement?

When these and other questions remain unanswered, it's difficult to create an active community that is a meaningful part of a whole child approach to education.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, learn what it means for communities to be involved in schools and how everyone has a role to play in ensuring that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. You'll hear from

  • Hugh Price, visiting professor in the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and author. From July 1994 through April 2003, Price served as president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League and launched its historic Campaign for African-American Achievement. In 2006–07, he cochaired the Commission on the Whole Child.
  • Dave LaRose, superintendent of the South Kitsap School District in Washington State, where he has developed partnerships with community agencies, health organizations, mentoring programs, and faith-based leaders to provide the resources students need to succeed in school. In 2009, LaRose received Washington State ASCD's Reaching the Whole Child Award for his systemic and strategic approach to meeting the needs of all students.
  • Deborah Wortham, former superintendent of the Steelton-Highspire School District in Pennsylvania and former assistant superintendent for high schools and director of professional development for Baltimore (Md.) City Public Schools. Wortham has received numerous honors and awards, including teacher of the year and principal of America's Best Elementary School for Significant Improvement.

Is your community looking for the "will" or the "way"?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

The Middle Grades: Zits, Braces, and Hormones

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The middle grades are a complex, challenging, and confusing time for adolescents and for adults to support and develop! Even so, more and more research points to the importance of this stage of childhood, when young people are grappling to figure out who they are. Helping young people through this process of identity formation is crucial as kids transition physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we examine how to foster middle grades students' healthy development; create environments that facilitate learning throughout this transitional time; and support those who are working with these students in schools, in the community, and at home. You'll hear from Al Arth, a professor of education at York College in Nebraska, and Caroline Bloxom, principal of Pocomoke Middle School in Maryland.

Throughout his career, Arth has been a strong advocate for middle school education. Among his many accomplishments, he was a founding member of whole child partner the National Association of Secondary School Principals' (NASSP) Middle Level Council, served on the board of directors of the National Middle School Association (also a whole child partner), and developed one of the first doctoral-level middle school programs in the country at the University of Nebraska. Arth is the facilitator of ASCD's Middle Grades Professional Interest Community; join the mailing list by e-mailing aarth@york.edu.

As principal of a multiple-award–winning rural school, Bloxom has created a safe and welcoming learning environment for students by combining a rigorous curriculum with strong emotional support for its student body. Pocomoke Middle School was also featured on NBC's Today show in a segment highlighting the programs and services that are contributing to middle-level success.

 

 

Be sure to check out NASSP's resources for middle-level schools and its MetLife Foundation-NASSP Breakthrough Schools program. The April 2011 issue of ASCD's Educational Leadership magazine focuses on "The Transition Years," looking at students moving from early childhood into elementary school, through the middle grades—perhaps the ultimate transition years—and then into 9th grade.

How do your school and community create learning opportunities that really engage and challenge students and move them to the next level in their academic experience?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Ready and Able: A Q&A with Jay Mathews

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The demands of meeting all district, state, and national requirements often seem to leave no time for preparing students for anything else. Yet teaching solely to the test will leave students ill-equipped for college, careers, and citizenship. Recorded live at ASCD's Annual Conference on March 28, this special edition of the Whole Child Podcast features an engaging conversation about powerfully preparing young people for the demands of the future.

You'll hear a conversation between Molly McCloskey, managing director of Whole Child Programs at ASCD and host of the Whole Child Podcast, and Jay Mathews, education columnist for The Washington Post and author, about what it means to be college- and career-ready and the value of citizenship skills. Mathews answered questions from session attendees on a range of topics including the importance of teacher-student relationships, KIPP charter schools, and the responsibility of education journalists. He also shared his five characteristics of great schools:

  1. Have high expectations of every child.
  2. Dedicate more time to instruction.
  3. Take academic achievement and assessment seriously.
  4. Create a team spirit.
  5. Have great leadership.

What are your reactions to Mathews's viewpoint? What do you think is critical to preparing young people for the complex futures that lie ahead?

Download a conversation on this topic with staff and a student from Quest Early College High School, winner of the 2011 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Ready and Able: College, Career, and Citizenship in the 21st Century

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The demands of meeting all district, state, and national requirements often seem to leave no time for preparing students for anything else. Yet teaching solely to the test will leave students ill-equipped for college, careers, and citizenship. Recorded live at ASCD's Annual Conference on March 26, this episode of the Whole Child Podcast features an engaging conversation about powerfully preparing young people for the demands of the future.

You'll hear from Kim Klepcyk, principal at Quest Early College High School; Denise McLean, a teacher and former student at Quest; and Micaela Casales, a current student at Quest, as they discuss strategies for preparing students for college, careers, and citizenship. Quest Early College High School is the recipient of the 2011 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award.

What do you think is critical to preparing young people for the complex futures that lie ahead?

Download a conversation on this topic with Washington Post education reporter Jay Mathews.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Teaching in a Digital World: Connecting and Empowering the Whole Child

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Unfortunately, unchecked and unfocused use of technology can result in students disconnecting from the “why” of learning and from the real-time relationships that are key to their development and success. Alternatively, high-quality integration of technology has the potential to not only prepare young people for their futures, but also to enhance and expand learning and connectedness.

Join our guests as they discuss specific ways you can overcome barriers to connecting digital learners and lead your school community in meaningful technology integration. You'll hear from:

How does your school and community meaningfully connect digital learners to their peers, teachers, and communities; to rich and challenging learning; and to their futures?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

PE, Recess, and Beyond: The Implications of Movement

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Join us throughout December and January as we explore why physical activity and physical education (PA & PE) are critical to educating the whole child. We'll examine the research about the need for PA & PE; explore some of the recent criticism; examine the relationship between PA & PE and academic achievement, engagement, and social and emotional health and learning; and consider how physical activity can be expanded across the day.

This episode of the Whole Child Podcast starts our PA & PE conversation with moderator Sean Slade, director of ASCD Healthy School Communities, and guests

Have you seen a decrease in physical activity and physical education in your school and community? What is the effect on young people in your life?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Applying Developmental Science to Impact Teaching and Learning

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Developing successful learners who are prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and citizenship in a global environment requires us to think outside the box—the cognitive box, that is.

Although traditional education is thought to exist in the cognitive domain, science tells us that children's academic progress cannot be separated from the emotional, social, and cognitive changes that occur simultaneously. The science of learning and child development is rarely used in classrooms, and research has demonstrated that we can maximize learning when educators apply developmental principles effectively.

Download this episode of the Whole Child Podcast to learn about key principles of developmental science that can affect the way teachers teach and the way students learn. You'll hear from

How can we prepare educators to apply developmental principles effectively to maximize student academic, social, and emotional development?

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Tune in to the Whole Child Podcast: Changing the Conversation About Education on the first Thursday of every month and listen to archived episodes. Learn more about how we can work at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

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