Tagged “Challenged”

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Great Expectations: Transforming Practice Through Common Core Implementation

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

We as educators have a unique opportunity to reset the playing field and make the Common Core State Standards work for us. We can implement the standards, align them to a whole child approach to education, and ensure that they both support and enhance each other to prepare students for college, career, and citizenship success. The Common Core standards and a whole child approach are not opposites, and they do not have to be and should not be in opposition. In fact, they're interdependent. So much so, that they require each other to be successful.

Now is the time for us to take control and become empowered in the process. The outcomes will depend on what we decide to do for the Common Core standards within a whole child approach and how we decide to do it. In this episode, host Molly McCloskey and our guests discuss how our schools are working to better and more comprehensively support student learning so that they meet these enhanced expectations. You'll hear from

  • Arnold Fege, president of Public Advocacy for Kids and, recently, director of public engagement and advocacy for the Public Education Network where he covered education reform, parental involvement, and community engagement issues on the Hill and agencies, specializing in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Fege has more than 40 years of public education and child advocacy experience as a public school teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and desegregation director. He was the National PTA's director of governmental relations for 17 years and is recognized for his leading work and articles in linking school and community. As a staff person for Senator Robert F. Kennedy, he helped draft provisions in the original ESEA legislation and has been involved in every reauthorization of ESEA since that time.
  • Craig Mertler, professor and dean of the Ross College of Education at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., and guest author this month on the Whole Child Blog. Mertler has been an educator for more than 25 years, beginning his career as a high school science teacher, then pursuing degrees in education assessment, research, and statistics. His interests lie in teacher-led action research, teacher leadership, classroom assessment, data-driven instructional decision making, and school improvement.
  • David Griffith, director of public policy at ASCD who leads the development and implementation of ASCD's Legislative Agenda as well as ASCD's efforts to influence education decision making at the local, state, and federal levels. He has 20 years of political experience as a congressional aide and on several political campaigns. Prior to joining ASCD, Griffith was the director of governmental and public affairs for the National Association of State Boards of Education, where he oversaw the organization's advocacy and political activities as well as media relations.

How are you and your professional colleagues critically examining your practice as we enter the era of Common Core implementation?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Fair and Effective Teacher Evaluation

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

Teacher quality is the most important in-school factor that influences student learning and achievement. Research shows that students with high-performing teachers can progress three times as fast as students with low-performing teachers and each student deserves access to highly effective teachers in every subject. In turn, all teachers deserve a fair and accurate assessment of their skills, how they perform in the classroom, and how they can improve. Teacher effectiveness is dependent on accurate and fair evaluations based on multiple measures, including—but not solely based around—their students' performance in the subjects they teach.

Teachers should be evaluated based on their performance in their own subject area using a range of criteria, including observations, peer reviews, parental or student input, and analysis of agreed-on student learning evidence. In this episode, we discuss effective teacher evaluation that produces results that truly benefit students, schools, and educators. You'll hear from

If the ultimate goal of teacher evaluation is to improve student performance, what should evaluators look for?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Coordinated and Collaborative Responses to Diverse Student Needs

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

We know we have to cultivate lifelong learners who are thoughtful, creative, culturally competent, intellectually curious, and civically engaged. Preparing our kids for their future college, career, and citizenship success is our common purpose and responsibility as adults, not just educators.

Essential to student success is access to personalized learning and support from qualified, caring adults—whether those be teachers, principals, counselors, cafeteria staff, custodians, family members, coaches, ministers ... the list goes on and on. Students as learners are also students as people with social-emotional, physical, and mental health needs. Supportive education communities are places where school staff, community-based service providers, families, and all the adult stakeholders work together to identify and address kids' needs and provide a coordinated, whole child approach to their education and development.

On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we have the cream of the crop in terms of supportive education communities. Our very special guests will discuss envisioning, building, and sustaining a supportive education community, in which each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. David Rawnsley is the principal of Byrne Creek Secondary School in Burnaby, British Columbia, and Lynn Archer is the district's director of instruction and a former principal of Byrne Creek. Also featured are Iha Farquhar, the community school coordinator; Lorraine Hodgson, school counselor and department head of student services; and Mirella Gargiulo, English as a second language teacher.

Byrne Creek is a thriving school that offers a wide range of programs designed to meet the needs of all learners. Opened in 2005, Byrne Creek has achieved a great deal in a very short period of time and, most importantly to ASCD and the audience of this podcast, Byrne Creek is the 2012 winner of the Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award! We couldn't have picked a better model of what it means to implement a whole child approach.

What does a supportive education community mean to you?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Whole Child Around the World: A Good School Is a Good School

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

March is a special month at ASCD as we hold our Annual Conference and celebrate excellence in education. In the coming weeks, we will honor our 2012 Outstanding Young Educator Award recipient, our ASCD Affiliate Overall Excellence Award recipient, and our 2012 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award winner. We'll also spend this month on the whole child website honoring excellence and reflecting on the qualities that make a good school a good school and a good community a good community—even where the context and culture may differ dramatically.

Whether your school is in Berlin, Sydney, Ramallah, or Omaha, a whole child approach to education and community engagement—in which each child in each school and each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged—ensures student growth, learning, and development.

In this episode, we'll explore schools and communities across the world that emphasize providing safe and supportive learning environments and experiences for students and talk with whole child partner organizations that are promoting and guiding their work. Joining moderator and ASCD Director of Whole Child Programs Sean Slade are guests

  • Daniel Kropf, founder and executive director of the Universal Education Foundation (UEF) and the Learning for Well-Being network. UEF is a Paris-based advocacy foundation that, through its Learning for Well-Being network, works to enhance communities and environments that support children and youth across many countries. With Kropf is professor Marwan Awartani, secretary general of UEF, chair of the Arab Foundation forum, and president of Al-Quds University in Jerusalem.
  • Peter Paulus, lead researcher for the Allianz für nachhaltige Schulgesundheit und Bildung (ANSCHUB—Good Healthy Schools (PDF)), an alliance of schools for sustainable school health and education in Germany. ANSCHUB schools view health as paramount to an effective education and promote the alignment of health, health services, and educational needs of students.
  • Jordan LaPier, senior director of the 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING program at America's Promise Alliance. He leads day-to-day operations on the competition, heads up technical assistance and training for applicants, and recruits communities to apply for recognition through the program.

Be sure to visit our updated Whole Child Examples Map where you can find examples of schools and communities worldwide that are actively developing learners who are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically active, artistically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling. Each example highlights a program, focus, or achievement with links to more information.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Using Engaging Learning Strategies to Connect School to the Real World

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

Learning is active, engaging, and social. Students need to be engaged and motivated in their learning before they can apply higher-order creative thinking skills. They are most engaged when they themselves are part of constructing meaning, not when teachers do it for them. By encouraging students to meet challenges creatively, collaborate, and apply critical-thinking skills to real-world, unpredictable situations inside and outside of school, we prepare them for future college, career, and citizenship success.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we examine effective classroom instruction that embraces both high standards and accountability for students' learning. It can be project-based, focused on service and the community, experiential, cooperative, expeditionary ... the list goes on. These engaging learning strategies are grounded in instructional objectives, provide clear feedback, and enable students to thrive cognitively, socially, emotionally, and civically. You'll hear from

  • Shelley Billig, vice president of RMC Research and qualitative research team leader for the Broad Prize for Urban District Excellence. She staffed the National Commission on Service-Learning as the research partner; helped found the International Research Association on Service-Learning and Community Engagement; and has conducted national, state, and regional studies on service learning.
  • Jason Flom, a 5th grade teacher at Cornerstone Learning Community in Tallahassee, Fla. He founded Ecology of Education as a collaborative, multiauthor blog in March 2009 to give voice to a range of professionals working in the field of education. Flom is also the moderator for Edutopia's Green Schools Group and is a member of ASCD's Emerging Leaders Class of 2010.
  • Dorvionne Lindsay, a senior at Quest Early College High School in Humble, Tex., winner of the 2011 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. Lindsay interns at a small surgical hospital and will be a freshman in the pre-med program at Texas A&M University this fall, beginning her studies to be a heart surgeon.

What are the current challenges and opportunities to successfully implementing and sustaining high-quality engaged teaching and learning?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

The Future of Assessment

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

The true measure of students' proficiency and readiness for college, career, and citizenship has to be based on more than just their scores on any state standardized reading and math assessments. It has to be based on valid, reliable, multiple sources of information. In 2002, the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act (the revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) required more tests and it raised the stakes of those tests by meting out sanctions if students failed to reach each state's minimum levels of improvement. The emphasis of the law really was on documenting proficiency, and unfortunately that did not necessarily translate into improving assessment overall. When ESEA is reauthorized in the coming years, testing is likely to remain a key part of the law.

In our Assessment 101 show, we looked at the meaning and purpose of assessment, the different types, and how they are used to monitor student progress, provide timely feedback (or not), adjust teaching-learning activities, and contribute to student achievement overall. In this episode, we discuss the future of assessment and how the current accountability model must evolve from one that is punitive, prescriptive, and often overly bureaucratic to one that is truly learning-driven, informative, promotes supportive learning communities and cultures of continual improvement, and rewards achievement. You'll hear from

  • Susan Brookhart, an ASCD Faculty member, author, and senior research associate in the School of Education at Duquesne University. Brookhart has spent the last 20 years studying and writing about classroom assessment and specializes in combining research-based strategies and practical applications, working with classroom teachers and administrators to customize strategies for their schools.
  • Deborah Gist, the Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education and member of the governing board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, a consortium of states working together to develop a common set of K–12 assessments in English and math anchored in college- and career-readiness. Gist began her career as an elementary school teacher in Texas and has also served as a senior policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Education.
  • David Griffith, the director of public policy at ASCD who leads the development and implementation of ASCD's legislative agenda as well as ASCD's efforts to influence educational decision making at the local, state, and federal levels. He has 20 years of political experience as a congressional aide and on several political campaigns. Prior to joining ASCD, Griffith was the director of governmental and public affairs for the National Association of State Boards of Education, where he oversaw the organization's advocacy and political activities as well as media relations.

What is your vision for the future of assessment?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Assessment 101

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

The reality in the United States right now is that we focus extensively on test scores and far too little on the whole child. We then choose one-size-fits-all fixes based on those test scores while ignoring solid research about the infinite ways kids learn and children develop. The true measure of students’ proficiency and readiness for college, career, and citizenship must be based on more than just their scores on any state standardized reading and math assessments. It has to be based on valid, reliable information from multiple sources.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we're taking a look at the meaning and purpose of assessment; the different types, including formative and summative, standardized and subjective, and informal and formal; and how assessments are used to monitor student progress, provide timely feedback, and adjust teaching-learning activities to maximize student progress. What should we know that assessments can’t do for us? What should we think about when we look at that data, assess its meaning, and decide how to use it for future planning? You'll hear from

  • Nancy Frey, professor of literacy in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University and coauthor of several ASCD books, including The Formative Assessment Action Plan and Checking for Understanding: Formative Assessment Techniques for Your Classroom.
  • Tom Whitby, adjunct professor at St. Joseph's College and founder of #Edchat, which has been recognized with an Edublog Award for the Most Influential Educational Twitter Series.
  • Peter DeWitt, principal of Poestenkill Elementary in New York, consultant for the International Center for Leadership in Education, and author of the Finding Common Ground blog for Education Week and the upcoming book Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students.

Follow host Molly McCloskey and our guests on Twitter @Molsmcc, @NancyFrey, @tomwhitby, and @PeterMDeWitt and share your thoughts on assessment. In January's episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we will continue the conversation by looking at what the future of assessments should be.

How do we demonstrate our high expectations of students—and ourselves—through our curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Building a Better School Community: Using PLCs to Support Student Success

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

Ensuring that all children are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged is fundamental for students to become college-, career-, and citizenship-ready. Our policies and practices need to be realigned to support the whole child, and that means a change in how the adults work together. Professional learning communities (PLCs) have emerged as perhaps the best, most agreed-on means of continual improvement in instruction and student performance.

Whether it be in a single school or online, in study groups, action research teams, communities of practice, or conversation circles, educators working together with a shared focus on learning and accountability help all students learn at high levels.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we take a look at collaborative and collegial learning environments where staff members feel safe to express themselves, discuss, and take an active part in the school improvement process and the student success process. You'll hear from

  • C. Robert Maxfield, associate professor and teacher leadership coordinator in the Department of Educational Leadership at Oakland University in Michigan and cohost of the podcast series “Podcasts for Leaderful Schools,” a program that focuses on the importance of creating effective professional learning communities centered on student success. Maxfield's research interests include teacher leadership and reforming school organizational structures.
  • Steven Weber, who has been a classroom teacher, assistant principal, and state department of education consultant in Arkansas and North Carolina and is currently the director of Secondary Instruction for Orange County Schools in Hillsborough, N.C. He is a member of the Triangle High Five, a regional collaborative that offers professional development on the topic of PLCs. Weber also consults with school systems in aligning their curriculum and in unpacking curriculum standards.
  • Sunndip Panesar, a grades 6–12 online/distributed learning teacher in Vancouver, Canada. As a consultant for Generation: Outreach, Panesar helps teachers and education leaders overcome the challenges of PLCs and understand how they can be used to effectively affect student achievement, and she provides workshops on new teacher survival skills, classroom management, 21st century learning, effective assessment practices, integrating best teaching in the classroom and online, and more.

Who is in your professional learning community and how do you collaborate to improve student learning?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Partnerships Between Home and School: The Real Missing Link?

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

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

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

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?

Share |

Get The Podcast

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.

Subscribe Now