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Research Roundup, October 22

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on October 22, 2014

Getting the Word Out, Part II: How Empowerment and Environment Transform School Climate ASCD

Everyone plays a part in school climate. In the first part of “Getting the Word Out,” equity and engagement were the key topics. In this piece, Sean Slade writes about empowerment and environment. What can educators do to empower students in the classroom? How can principals empower their staff and community? And what can school personnel do to help create a positive environment, both physically and the social-emotional? Read to find out different approaches to empowerment and environment, and the impact school climate contributes to the success of the school.

Things are Improving for LGBT Students, But They’re Still Really Bad Huffington Post

The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) released a survey on Wednesday that illustrated improvement for LGBT students in 2012-2013 compared to the 2010-2011 school year. The survey found that “of the nearly 8,000 students ages 13 to 21 who were surveyed, more than 55 percent reported feeling unsafe at school due to their sexual orientation, down from 64 percent in 2011.” A few of the contributions to this discrimination in schools? Certain school policies, hearing staff make homophobic remarks, and not enough staff intervention.

Small Schools Work in New York NY Times

Smaller, specialized high schools with roughly 100 students per grade and typically in black or Hispanic neighborhoods tend to have a more rigorous curriculum, personalized education, organized around a theme, and “valuable support from community partners.” While research shows that not all schools can or should be small schools, the research group MDRC has conducted a study that found “disadvantaged students who make up a vast majority of the small-school…are also more likely than those in the control group to enroll in college.”

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Research Roundup, September 10

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on September 10, 2014

Why Learning Space Matters Edutopia

Think about your classroom when you were in school. You know what you liked and what you didn’t like—so how can we change our classrooms today? The physical surroundings, including comfort, lighting, and visual displays all affect the way young students feel and learn. Edutopia makes suggestions on how to affordably alter your classroom in a “neuroscience-compatible” way.

Teaching Children Empathy NY Times

Harvard University’s Making Caring Common project recently released a report on the values that adults send to children, lacking value in empathy. “Empathy... is a function of both compassion and of seeing from another person’s perspective, and is the key to preventing bullying and other forms of cruelty.” This piece dives into 5 suggestions that Harvard project believes will develop empathy in children.

With new school year, new rules for parent engagement have begun Chalkbeat New York

NYC’s Chancellor Carmen Farina and teachers’ union President Michael Mulgrew discuss how to use the new contract for parent outreach effectively. With the new mandate, the Chancellor hopes to see improved schools as “communication about academics and social-emotional development” become more prevalent. Teachers must use 40 minutes of their time after school on Tuesdays for parent engagement activities, and “80 minutes on Mondays to be spent on in-school teacher training.”

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Research Roundup, September 3

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on September 03, 2014

Download the Parent Toolkit App NBC News- Education Nation

If you’re familiar with the Parent Toolkit website, the Parent Toolkit app will make access much simpler. From customization to creating a list to review later, the freshly released app will help parents benchmark their children’s learning and development and how you can support them in the process. Available on both Android and iOS, now you can use the Toolkit anywhere you go. Brand new sections on Social & Emotional Development will be available in October on the website, so stay tuned!

Kids and Screen Time: What Does The Research Say? npr

Could your child or student be missing out on human emotion recognition? A study conducted by UCLA shows that increased time spent on technology can inhibit the ability to read emotions. One group of sixth grade students were sent to an education camp for five days without access to electronic devices, while another group spent their lives as usual.  After the end of the five days, students who went to camp “scored significantly higher when it came to reading facial emotions or other nonverbal cues than the students who continued to have access to their media devices.” With the evolving classroom incorporating more screen time for students, how will this affect their learning?

How to Get Kids to Class NY Times

Students that come from lower income backgrounds often struggle keeping a perfect attendance in school. Research shows that “chronically absent students have lower G.P.A.s, lower test scores and lower graduation rates than their peers who attend class regularly.” This opinion piece by president of Communities in Schools Daniel Cardinali says bringing in social services may be the answer to help these students with the extra support they lack.

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Research Roundup, August 27

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on August 27, 2014

Ferguson Teachers Use Day Off As Opportunity For A Civics Lesson npr

During the time schools in the Ferguson and Jennings districts in Missouri waited for the delayed start of school, teachers used the time to show their students and community that they care by helping with cleanups, meal delivers for students with needs, and mental health services.

Even Recess Offers a Kind of Education The Ridgefield Press

Elementary students in one Connecticut district are given both structured (physical education) and unstructured time (recess) during the school day so they can “experience and know what to do when they have that freedom.” Encouraging students to cooperate and demonstrate their leadership skills and enhance their soft skills through interaction with their fellow peers will be a lesson in itself.  Although the schools are in trial mode for this new method, implementing a new and different way to interact shows that school leaders are committed to more than just learning in the classroom.

A New Twist on Concentration: Standing While You Work District Administration

Schools are beginning to use standing desks in the classroom to fight the increasingly sedentary lifestyle that technology induces. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than a third of children were obese in 2012. A study in four Texas classrooms showed that students who used standing desks burned 300 more calories per week than students who sat at their desks. Teachers also said the “desks had a positive impact on student behavior and classroom performance.”

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Research Roundup, August 20

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on August 20, 2014

The Research Behind Social and Emotional Learning Edutopia

How do you encourage students to practice social and emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom? Students who receive SEL as a part of their instruction score “11 percentile points higher on academic tasks and demonstrated more motivation to learn, including spending more time on homework,” according to a meta-analysis. For many vulnerable students, SEL boosts confidence, perseverance, and creativity to succeed.

Aligning Learning and Health: A New Framework to Change the Conversation Forbes

Poor nutrition and inactive children—this is not what our students should be dealing with today. Focusing on “whole child,” education, this framework puts the child in the center when it comes to learning. Although physical health is just one aspect of the “whole child” model, it’s a start in the conversation around education beyond pure academics.

Teaching is Not a Business NY Times Opinion

Reading and math metrics, teacher quotas,  and student merit pay aren’t the solutions to the kind of education reform we need, according to an opinion in the NY Times. Today’s strategies include too much business, and perhaps all students are looking for is just a bit of a personal touch to their learning—whether it’s trust among the school community or having a mentor along the way—the answer may be less of an entrepreneurial endeavor than we think.

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