"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Holistic Education

There is a new report from Nicholas Yoder at the Center on Great Teachers & Leaders at American Institutes for Research entitled, "Teaching the Whole Child: Instructional Practices That Support Social-Emotional Learning in Three Teacher Evaluation Frameworks":
To read the entire report, visit
http://gtl.airprojects.org/sites/default/files/TeachingtheWholeChild.pdf
This report identifies 10 specific instructional practices that have been demonstrated in published literature to be useful and effective in helping students develop socio-emotional skills. The following are the practices (each one comes with a brief excerpt copied from the report for illustration):
  • Student Centered Discipline - ...teachers should enact proactive classroom-management strategies (compared with reactive strategies). This approach is evident when teachers use management strategies consistently, and those strategies are related to the norms and visions of the classroom. If a student happens to break a rule, the consequences should be logical in relation to the rule that was broken. For example, if a student pushes another student in line, that student should have to line up last for the rest of the week rather than lose gym or recess for the week, a consequence that is not related to the incident....
  • Teacher Language - ...teacher language should not be simply praise (e.g., “You did a great job”) but should encourage students (e.g., “I see you worked hard on your math paper. When you really think about your work, and when you explain your thinking, you get more correct answers”). In addition, teacher language should encourage students how to monitor and regulate their own behavior, not just tell students how to behave....
  • Responsibility and Choice - ...Teachers give students controlled and meaningful choices. In other words, teachers should not give students a “free for all” but provide specific choices students can select from during lessons and activities, in which students are held accountable for their decisions....
  • Warmth and Support - ...Teachers can demonstrate that they care about their students by asking students questions (academic and nonacademic), following up with students when they have a problem or concern, providing the teacher’s own anecdotes or stories, and acting in ways in which students know that taking risks and asking questions are safe in the classroom....
  • Cooperative Learning - ...Teachers ask students to do more than group work; students are actively working with their peers around content in a meaningful way....
  • Classroom Discussions - ...Teachers also must make sure that students have enough content knowledge in order to do this, in addition to having the skills necessary to hold a substantive discussion....
  • Self-Reflection and Self-Assessment - ...Along with goal-setting, students need to learn how to monitor the progress toward meeting their goals. In addition, when students self-reflect, they also need to learn when and how to seek help, and where to search for resources....
  • Balanced Instruction - ...Balanced instruction refers to teachers using an appropriate balance between active instruction and direct instruction, as well as the appropriate balance between individual and collaborative learning....
  • Academic Press and Expectations - ...Teachers should ensure that students feel pressure to succeed, as well as feel responsible for accomplishing or failing to accomplish their academic work....
  • Competence Building—Modeling, Practicing, Feedback, Coaching - Each part of the instructional cycle helps reinforce particular social-emotional competencies, as long as the teacher integrates them into the lesson. Throughout the lesson, the teacher should model prosocial behavior (i.e., positive relationship skills) to the students. When students are participating in group work, the teacher is encouraging positive social behaviors and coaching students on how to use positive social behavior when they practice their prosocial skills in a group setting....
The latter section of the report goes ahead and demonstrates that the above practices are already present in three class or teacher evaluation frameworks: the Classroom Assessment Scoring System ([CLASS] Pianta, Hamre, & Mintz, 2011), Danielson’s Framework for Teaching ([FFT] Danielson Group, 2011), and the Marzano Observational Protocol (Marzano, Frontier, & Livingston, 2011).



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