Tag Archives: SEL

Big Bird Can Close the Achievement Gap? Not So Fast . . .

Don’t get me wrong: I love Big Bird as much as the next guy. But when people start talking about how Sesame Street is just as effective at closing the achievement gap as preschool, I start to worry that we’re becoming enamored with a seductively simple characterization of a deeply complex problem.

Continue reading…

Categories: Equity, Learning

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments

The social origins of intelligence

There’s a fascinating new study out in which researchers studied the injuries and aptitudes of Vietnam War veterans who suffered penetrating head wounds. Among their findings? That “the ability to establish social relationships and navigate the social world is not secondary to a more general cognitive capacity for intellectual function, but that it may be the other way around. Intelligence may originate from the central role of relationships in human life and therefore may be tied to social and emotional capacities.”

Continue reading…

Categories: Learning

Tags: , , , , ,

6 Comments

How Should We Evaluate Our Preschools?

Imagine, for a second, that you are in charge of more than $600 million in taxpayer money. You live in a city that has made deep investments in early education, and that aspires to provide universal preschool by 2014. You have a thriving network of public charter schools, and you want to help parents make […]

Continue reading…

Categories: Assessment, Learning

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments Off on How Should We Evaluate Our Preschools?

High Stakes Tests For 3-Year-Olds?

If you’re a parent of a young charter school student in DC – or just someone who cares about early education – you need to know what’s happening here in the nation’s capital, and fast.

In less than a week, all charter schools that serve young children will start being held accountable to their students’ test scores on reading and math.

Continue reading…

Categories: Learning

Tags: , , , ,

5 Comments

This is what’s at the center of teaching & learning

Watch it — and imagine if every reform effort was primarily concerned with increasing the relational — as opposed to the computational — quality of a school community and the people who work and learn there.

Continue reading…

Categories: Learning

Tags: , , ,

Comments Off on This is what’s at the center of teaching & learning

If you still doubt that the foundation for learning is emotional, not intellectual . . .

. . . you have some more reading to do. You might start with this article written by a public school principal in Maine. You could continue with a short summary of renowned psychologist (and Nobel Prize winner) Dan Kahneman’s research into how the mind actually works. Or if you wanted to consider a drastically different source, you can listen to Lupe Fiasco’s “He Say, She Say,” and read the lyrics (below) to hear one artist’s prescient insight into a larger problem plaguing his (and our) community, and standing in the way of deep, lasting systemic change in our schools.

Continue reading…

Categories: Learning

Tags: , , , ,

Comments Off on If you still doubt that the foundation for learning is emotional, not intellectual . . .

A Tale of Two Schools

There are two current storytelling efforts about two different schools that, if you’re not careful, might feel like the American version of a tale of two cities.

In the first, a 10-part video narrative about a year in the life of the Mission Hill School in Boston, we’re treated to the best of times: a place where every children is known and cared for, where learning is experiential and engaging, and where the adults are both extremely skilled and highly collaborative.

In the second, a two-part This American Life series about a high school in Chicago, we’re given a glimpse of the worst of times: a place where 29 current or former students were shot the previous school year, where some students spend their entire high school careers avoiding social relationships out of safety, and where every member of the football team has dodged gunfire at least once in their young lives.

Continue reading…

Categories: Learning

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments Off on A Tale of Two Schools

This Revolution Is Not Being Televised

There’s an important new consensus developing around how people learn – and a missed opportunity about how to start applying that knowledge in schools. We’d be wise to pay closer attention to both trends.

Continue reading…

Categories: Learning

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

“They share their stories, and everyone shares their feelings.”

This is what it looks like when schools and teachers intentionally create the space — not instead of but alongside more traditional academic learning — for children to bring their full selves to the world, and to each other, each day.

Continue reading…

Categories: Learning

Tags: , , ,

Comments Off on “They share their stories, and everyone shares their feelings.”
  • Read Sam’s Books