You know it's crucial to prepare students for long-term success rather than short-term achievement. Yet federal education policies like the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) promote narrow, stopgap reforms instead of comprehensive support for our nation's youth.
Tell Washington leaders to focus on what really matters—our children's long-term futures—by creating a President's Council on the Whole Child.
In the past year, experts and practitioners in the field, whole child partners, and ASCD staff have shared their stories, ideas, and resources to help you ensure that each child, in each community, is healthy, engaged, supported, and challenged and is college-, career-, and citizenship-ready. These are the top 10 posts you read in 2011.
Life can be very stressful. Many of us are so happy to have jobs that we feel the need to be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When we are not working more and more hours, we are on the Internet searching for the most current education practices to help us in our classrooms and school buildings.
While many schools are reducing physical activity because of time constraints created by the No Child Left Behind Act, a large group of studies has linked physical activity with cognition.
The researchers have come at the topic from a wide range of disciplines. Some are cognitive scientists or exercise physiologists. Other advocates are educational psychologists, neurobiologists, or physical educators. The applied research, which compares academic achievement between schools where kids have physical activity and those where they don't, also supports the hypothesis.
Do you have habits? How about your students? I am sure you can think of a few habits you'd like to break. But are there a few you wish would develop? Although we can't make our students think, we can teach them how to be skillful, creative, and strategic in their thinking. We do this by helping them develop Habits of Mind (free webinar).
Have you ever had to sit in the same seat for hours at a time at a long meeting? As you looked around you saw other attendees bouncing their legs up and down because they began to get restless after sitting for such a long period of time. Then it happens! The facilitator allows a break, and people jump from their seats to get the circulation going in their bodies. Movement increases your energy level and the feelings of lethargy float away.
That feeling of sitting down and not being able to wait to get out of your seat is how students in our school systems feel every day. They sneak a walk to the water fountain or get up to go to the bathroom just so they can move their bodies. Physically, they need to get out of their seats to alleviate some of the energy that they have stored up as they sit through a lesson.
Coaching is popular these days, as evidenced by a recent article in The New Yorker (October 3, 2011) describing how a neurosurgeon decides to extend coaching into the operating room and improve his skills in unhooking a damaged thyroid from the grasp of surrounding tissue. Athletes also get coached, in just about everything. So do executives and those needing better life skills. And teachers increasingly receive coaching on structuring lessons and pacing their instruction.
Imagine you have all the education stakeholders at the table: the students, teachers, administrators, unions, lawmakers, state and federal education agencies, professional education associations, teacher preparation programs, education technology experts, and visionary gurus... Even the deep-pocketed philanthropists who want their say. Let's throw a few more tables together... it's getting crowded... and more chairs... we need elbow room...
But wait, there's still something or someone missing. You would think with this many interests represented at the table that we'd have it covered. Let's see... we have everyone with a self-interest in seeing education move forward... no, wait.. No, we don't. There are no parents at the table.