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Research Roundup, November 6

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on November 06, 2013

Should Secondary Schools Start Later? Ed Week

Should we change the time we begin our school day for our secondary students? The research about the how lack of sleep affects learning and behavior suggests sleep deprivation is a bad thing.


Bullying and Other Risk Factors for Suicidal Behavior

The results of a study of middle-school students (ages 10-13) confirmed that "involvement in bullying in any capacity is linked to increased risk for suicidal ideations and behavior" - especially for children who both bully others and are victims of bullying.

To see the full-text of the research click here.


A Closer Look at Why More Women Than Men Are Going to College Education Week

A new study traces the growing gender gap in college enrollment to choices girls and boys make about which high school to attend.


New projects test how technology can boost learning BBC News

An inner city primary is at the heart of a project to test how technology can be used to boost children's learning. Rosendale Primary, in south London, won a £253,000 grant for the research which will involve 1,400 pupils in 24 schools in London, Essex and Manchester


Five Steps to Reboot Schools Education Week News

Are we really preparing our students for success in the modern world? The data say no. Two-thirds of United States 4th graders read below grade level, and the weakest ones are falling further behind, according to the U.S. Department of Education's 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress.


This Research Roundup was compiled by Chanelle Spencer, Research Fellow at NSCC

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Research Roundup, October 24

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on October 24, 2013

Current Trends in Special Education Ed Week

The way that K-12 learners are taught is in rapid flux, particularly when it comes to students in special education programs.


Starting Early To Teach Kids Not To Bully Others KMVT

Bullying is an issue that's gained national attention over the past few years. But local children are learning how to work through their conflicts at a very young age.


How to Make Kindness The Foundation of School Culture Huffington Post

Through a robust social and emotional learning program and a planned effort to help students use empathy to improve their class, school and local New Orleans community, Lusher challenges us to rethink what "being kind" means as an educational philosophy.


Advocacy Groups Urge Arne Duncan to Get Tough on NCLB Waivers Ed Week

Thirteen education advocacy groups, including Democrats for Education Reform, StudentsFirst, and the National Council of La Raza, want U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to make the waiver renewal process far more rigorous.


We Have What We Need: The Next Steps in Education Technology Huffington Post

We have SMART boards. iPads. Laptops. Cellphones. We have learning management systems like Canvas, Blackboard, and Moodle.


This Research Roundup was compiled by Chanelle Spencer, Research Fellow at NSCC

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Research Roundup, October 22

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on October 22, 2013

All kids deserve the safety & other benefits of social-emotional learning ConnectSafely.org

Think how homes, schools, workplaces – all digital and physical spaces would change were every child to be kindly, respectfully taught social literacy skills


Demystifying Bullying: An insider's View Into Understanding, and Responding, to Bullying Huffington Post

As much as bullying hogs the headlines' limelight, there's still a lot of confusion about it.


Anti-bullying programs in schools not effective Vidette Online

NEA senior policy analyst Joann Sebastian Morris explained that “an entire school’s climate must change — which means changing the norms, values and expectations in a school so that students and staff feel socially, emotionally and physically safe.”


Students Learn by Arguing in Science Labs: Studies suggest deeper learning may result Ed Week

Teaching students to argue, question, and communicate more like real scientists may also help them understand scientific concepts more deeply, according to several ongoing research projects highlighted at the Society for Research in Educational Effectiveness conference held here last month.


Guidance Needed on Strategies for Teaching Common Core, Study Says Ed Week

The Common Core State Standards require considerable writing across many subjects, but the standards themselves won't be enough to guide teachers to best practices in writing instruction, according to a new analysis.


How Focus Changed My Thinking About Emotional Intelligence Psychology Today

With young people growing up in a world of distractions as never before, it’s time to teach attention skills, the fundamental ability in readiness to learn.


This Research Roundup was compiled by Chanelle Spencer, Research Fellow at NSCC

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Research Roundup, October 17

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on October 17, 2013

Partners shares the value of social and emotional learning with Open Circle The Boston - Bay State Banner

As children across Boston move forward into a new school year, opportunities to participate in social and emotional learning are available to thousands of students


Special education: numbers down, 'inclusion' up Palo Alto Online

Early and aggressive efforts by teachers to help young children with learning problems have led to a significant drop in the number of Palo Alto students who later need special education, officials said this week.


Viewpoints: Education, local control and what our communities need to do Sacramento Bee

Children and youth in lower-income communities face a range of challenges outside of school, and often don’t have access to opportunities that can enrich and strengthen their educational experience – opportunities that are critical to developing the knowledge and skills required in the workplace.


Education: It Takes a Community Huffington Post

In our opinion, the critical and pivotal importance of making the community connection has been consistently underestimated in the movement to try to upgrade the quality of education nationally.


Local woman makes bullying her business Shore News Today

To coincide with Bullying Prevention Month this October, Cool Kind Kid, an Ocean City-based social skills program that help combat rudeness and bullying among children, is crafting an approach that promotes kindness and respect as the missing link in preventing bullying.


This Research Roundup was compiled by Chanelle Spencer, Research Fellow at NSCC

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Adult Support from a Youth Perspective

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on October 07, 2013

By Yena Kwak

Yena Kwak is currently a 10th grader at Tenafly High School. Her story, From Middle School Student to Bully Prevention Advocate, appeared
in the June 2013 issue of School Climate Matters. The piece featured her perspective of the bullying climate of her then school, Tenafly Middle School, and her desire to engage and encourage students to become active upstanders. Here she describes her personal experience as a student and as a representative at NSCC’s Summer Institute. Read on for ways educators across the nation can support youth facing similar struggles.

 

Learning and Growing

School is where students take their first baby steps into society. This is where they begin to learn the essential social and emotional skills such as communication, cooperation, empathy and reflection. To learn these effectively, students need an environment where they feel accepted and safe. Problems such as bullying can interfere with this-students may be afraid, anxious and even terrified of their peers because they don’t know when and if they will be bullied. Bullying is both psychological and physical, where you feel nervous and also suspicious of the intentions of your peers. This
trauma distracts students from a successful learning experience. Adding to this, victims seclude themselves from others in the same school society, which sometimes leads to being ignored or facing rumors and name-calling. Gradually, victims become alienated in the school. To them, their school climate couldn’t be any worse.

 

Perfect Solutions Don’t Exist

Bullying, in my opinion, has no perfect solution. Many schools emphasize talking to adults when bullied, but I think this keeps the bully victim quiet. From around the age of ten and up, students become embarrassed and unwilling to talk to adults. They think they are mature enough to solve bullying problems by themselves and that time will solve everything. Also, and this is from my own experience, they’re afraid of exclusion. When I was bullied in my previous school, I did consider consulting the school counselor, but I decided against it because I was scared. I thought if I “tattled” on my so-called friends, I would become completely friendless and excluded. I never thought about making new friends because everyone seemed to be involved in
separate cliques. I definitely knew it would be difficult to squeeze into a new group of friends. So, I maintained my silence and tried to ignore the bullying. I had little success with this. When I was in the 6th grade, I was involved in a group called “peer leaders” where students helped other students overcome bullying. I found it easier to help others than to help myself. Even after becoming a satisfactory peer leader, I couldn’t solve my own issue. The problem was the peer leader program educated students to help others but it didn’t teach the peer leaders how to deal with bullying if it happened to them.

 

What Can You Do?

Adults in my school did the best they could to support students. Students sometimes just don’t know what they need or, if they do know, they don’t know how to communicate the feeling. i believe the best way the adults can help bullied students is to be mindful of things going on around the school, especially in the cafeteria. From my experiences, I would say the first step is breaking the mindset of having separate, private cliques. This is especially a problem among girls. A student involved in a clique may make friends with other students but once that student is surrounded by her clique, she becomes much more comfortable communicating their personal problems.

If adults help students break this mindset, new friendships can be formed in the more receptive school society. Another way to help the students is to eliminate the thought that school supervisors exist only to punish bad behavior without wanting to know more about what happened and why it happened. If staff members connect with students outside the classroom in a different situation such as playing a sports game or being available after school to talk, student perspective changes and students become more open to communicate their personal problems.

In addition to breaking student opinion, students need to know how hard their teachers are working to improve the school climates. This summer, I attended NSCC’s Summer Institute. From a student point of view, I was extremely touched by the determination of the school leaders to improve their school climates and address bullying problems in their communities. I was very grateful for the invitation and felt included as a student representative.
Sometimes students need to know that staff are as concerned (if not more) about the problems students are facing. This is something important I learned from the Summer Institute. If I could, I would share with students one thing: I would tell them that their school leaders are striving very hard to achieve the goal of creating the best school climates possible.

 

Read more about schools in action and upstander efforts by connecting to our School Climate Matters newsletter.

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