With the release of the film Bully and daily news reports about the devastating impact on students who have been relentlessly bullied, teachers find themselves on the front line in addressing bullying. It is time to move into action. Not In Our School offers solutions-based strategies and tools for change to a network of schools that are working to create safe, inclusive and accepting climates. The core ideas and actions of Not In Our School include:
Earlier this month, a New York Times article by Annie Murphy Paul suggested that reading fiction was a powerful way to build social-emotional skills. She cited the work of several researchers in support of this, and I followed up one line of work, by Raymond Mar (York University, Canada). I am convinced, as well.
This is part five of the seven-part series from the Project Happiness curriculum. It explores the many facets of happiness and provides practical techniques to generate greater happiness and a more meaningful life -- from the inside. By reclaiming the happiness you were born with, you can influence those around you to tap into the best within themselves, too. Each door can be done alone, or the Seven Doors journey can be done in sequence. You can use this exercise to explore your own relationship to happiness, and/or bring it to your students to help them build a stronger sense of their own happiness. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to post them in the comments section below.
The tragic death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida reminded me of an incident that happened four years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area where racism reared its ugly head to a black teenager on his way to school.
A core goal of education is to create lifelong learners. Success in the workplace requires an ability to pick up new high-quality knowledge. The foundation for these learning skills is the study habits that are acquired from early in school. After all, most learning in life takes place outside of the classroom.
David Brooks is at it again. His March 5, 2012 column in the NY Times, "The Rediscovery of Character," give strong intellectual, moral, and practical support for schools' considering Social, Emotional, and Character Development (SECD) as essential for and integrated with academic competence and success. The subtext of Brooks' article is that people are still slow to believe in the importance of character, social and emotional skills, even though the evidence surrounds us constantly.
With academic time in school being so pressured to include topics relevant to standardized tests, systematic Social, Emotional and Character Development (SECD) efforts are increasingly relegated to after-school time. The question is, should we be elated or cautious?
There were very special people. These were the bards, sorcerers, and magicians who conjured webs of intrigue and excitement; treachery and death; rebirth and forgiveness. These people were our writers, filmmakers, musicians and folklorists, and they were the keepers of our social and psychological well-being.
Every once in a while, when visiting a successful school, you see something that makes your jaw drop, something so extraordinary, you have to stop and make sure what you saw is actually what it appears to be. What stopped me was the sight of more than 200 middle schoolers sitting in silence, eyes closed, nearly motionless, meditating together for 15 uninterrupted minutes. It happens twice a day at San Francisco's Visitacion Valley Middle School. They call it Quiet Time.
The following is an interview with Molly McCloskey, Managing Director of the Whole Child Initiative for ASCD. There are some important, timely events related to children's SECD that are described below, so please read on.