Two years ago I talked about using Learning Styles in the Classroom. Since then, I have worked with many teachers who agree that teaching to varied styles is critical but wonder how to do it well when they don't have many resources, administrators don't think it is important, they worry the class will get out of control, and they have so many students they can't meet all their different needs. These are legitimate concerns that, if left unanswered, might prevent some teachers from promoting this … [Read more...]
Interview: Ken Haynes, Cofounder of BoomWriter
Ken Haynes, former public school teacher and current specialist in the emerging field of digital education, participated in a NISCE professional conversation held at Boston Green Academy. This group had a round-table discussion exploring the concept of ‘student-centered education,’ and Ken shared his varied experiences in creating effective learning environments in a variety of settings. He offered the following thoughts in response to questions drawn from that conversation.You were a teacher … [Read more...]
Understanding The Impact of Trauma
(One of NISCE’s partner schools, Dearborn Academy, works exclusively with learning disabled students and has been developing a better understanding of the impact of childhood trauma on learning. We invited Linda Johnson, the Clinical Coordinator at Dearborn Academy High School, and Howard Rossman, Director of Dearborn Academy, to share some of what they’ve discovered. Linda is responsible for helping the Dearborn High School, Elementary/Middle School, and STEP become trauma-informed … [Read more...]
A New Driver for Expanding Access to Early Education?
"Parents—and this is a real sea change—understand the infant-toddle years as learning years." —Betty Holcomb, Policy Director, Children's Initiatives An article recently posted in the Wall Street Journal focused on the growing competition to find excellent early childhood programs in New York City. The change in this case is that the demand appears to be driven by affluent parents who are newly convinced that their very young children need the stimulation and guided instruction available … [Read more...]
Educators Building Interpersonal Bridges
Boston University’s School of Psychiatric Rehabilitation provides a public resource to educators looking to build better relationships with students struggling with disabilities. On their How-to Tips for Educators page, they review interpersonal strategies that we feel can be seen as not only helpful to the student with disabilities but to all students in our nation's schools.The following tips are suggested to help educators:Interpersonal strategiesDevelop a working alliance with … [Read more...]
What Can We Really Do to Fight Bullying?
With over 13 million kids bullied this year, making it the most common form of violence that young people experience, educators, parents, students and advocates need to be given resources and voices to address the epidemic.On Wednesday, April 25th at Dearborn Academy in Arlington, MA the National Institute for Student-Centered Education (NISCE) will be hosting a roundtable discussion with parents, educators, and students on Fostering Empathy and Action.Participants will discuss the hard … [Read more...]
Inspiring Reading From Grade School Through Grad School
Research shows that Americans are reading less and that those who are reading are reading less well. This is according to a study by the National Endowment for the Arts which notes that, "Less than one-third of 13-year olds are daily readers, a 14 % decline from 20 years early," and that "Reading scores for 12th-graders fell significantly from 1992 to 2005, with the sharpest declines in the amount for lower-level readers." How is it that parents, educators, and individuals who are concerned … [Read more...]
What Does The Whole Child Initiative Mean For Student-Centered Education?
A critical element of a student-centered approach is a keen sense of context and boundaries. We observe that there is more to a child than his or her identity as a student. The whole of what is learned is much greater than what is taught, what is tested, what is addressed in curriculum, and what may be in any teacher’s plan book.The Whole Child Initiative The Whole Child Initiative (ASCD) takes this notion seriously and recommends to schools that education should be about nurturing the growth … [Read more...]
The Importance of Relationships and the Basics of Self-Teaching
Sugata Mitra Teaches About Self-Teaching Consider the connection between relationship and self-teaching.At first glance this will appear to be a contradiction. It would seem that self-teaching is, by definition, outside the realm of relationship. Of the list of educational context categories—military, traditional, Montessori, et cetera it is the least dependent on adult guidance. On further inspection, we discover that the very nature of learning is deeply affected by relationship at the … [Read more...]
The Brain’s Development and the Importance of Relationships and Education
In their book, Born for Love, Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz report the ability of a child to access higher level problem solving, executive functioning, and thinking skills ultimately depends on the learned ability to self-regulate, and that these capacities are developed through consistent and reliable connection with safe and caring adults.In simple terms, it is the care and protection of adults that allows infants and children to develop neural pathways in the frontal lobe that transcend … [Read more...]