Personalized learning has been a lot on our minds at Edutopia lately. We just launched some major coverage on Forest Lake Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina -- a kind of "little school that could" for differentiated instruction. It's an earnest, humble place (except for the slew of awards touted on the façade) full of earnest, humble people who are simply determined to teach each child as a unique individual. Through strong leadership, dogged grant-writing and constant collaboration, they've done it.
The National Service-Learning Conference, which just wrapped up its 21st annual gathering in San Jose, California, attracted some 2,000 attendees. Participants came from every state and more than 30 countries, but the most telling statistic may be this: a third of attendees were youth.
In an interview, Director of the Institute for Emotionally Intelligent Learning, Ed Dunkelblau, shares his wisdom in helping folks get started with social, emotional, and character development (SECD) in their classrooms and schools:
"I look at [the tape], and I'm like, 'That is not me.' I have so much regret. I can't believe I did that. I let myself and my character not live up to what I should live up to and what I can live up to."
Have you seen any of the Indiana Jones movies? How about the one with Sean Connery and the pursuit of the Holy Grail? There is a scene toward the end of that movie that contains a great lesson for why social, emotional, and character development (SECD) is not more widespread, and how we can turn the tide -- or, as we shall see, cross the abyss.
It turns out censorship can be costly -- not just in terms of the free exchange of ideas but also in terms of cold, hard cash. The Fallbrook Union High School District, in southern California, recently settled a censorship case over articles the high school principal withheld from the student newspaper. The district's agreement: a $7,500 payment to the school's former journalism teacher and $20,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union.
At Eagle Rock School, in Estes Park, Colorado, the alpine air is so thin, it literally takes your breath away. For most of the 96 teens living and learning here, the Rocky Mountain setting couldn't be more different from the city streets they've left behind.