In this month’s newsletter you’ll find pieces on the power of art field trips, the importance of listening to introverted students and the need to carve out thinking time. The summer workshop at the end promotes creative and immersive uses of technology.
Jay P. Greene, “An Unexpectedly Positive Result from Arts-Focused Field Trips,” Brookings Institution
An NEA-financed study has shown that fourth and fifth graders in Atlanta who went on three arts field trips in a year – focusing on visual art, drama and music – made unexpected gains in English and math test scores over students who went on only one field trip.
The reason these results are so surprising is that previous research had suggested that arts instruction tended not to “transfer” into gains in other subjects.
Elissa Nadwormy, “Strategies to Ensure Introverted Students Feel Valued at School,” Mind/Shift
Introversion is a topic that comes up frequently when we discuss how to reward class participation. This article gives concrete strategies, such as incorporating the think/pair/share technique, encouraging discussions that use technology and asking students to give presentations about topics that light them up.
What indeed are the right ways to think about class participation? And are we over-evaluating as an educational culture? We overvalue the person who raises their hand all the time. Why is that important? Do we overvalue in quantity, as opposed to quality, of participation? Are there ways to think about class participation differently?
Seth Godin, “Fun, Urgent, or Fear-Based,” Seth’s Blog
This extremely short piece is typical of business writer Seth Godin, whose daily blog posts can feel like a shot in the arm.
Most of what we do at work all day is one of these three.
WORKSHOP: Constructing Modern Knowledge Summer Institute, July 10-13, Manchester, NH
Hosted by Gary Stager for the past ten years, Constructing Modern Knowledge “is a minds-on institute for educators committed to creativity, collaboration and computing. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in intensive computer-rich project development with peers and a world-class faculty. Inspirational guest speakers and social events round out the fantastic event.” The list of guest speakers includes the co-inventor of the MakeyMakey and historian James Loewen, among other notables.
These three articles consider how we listen to students, in a variety of contexts–and the workshop at the end covers social and emotional learning (SEL). Happy reading!
Ray Salazar, “Why I Stopped Asking Students, ‘How are you?’” The White Rhino
The author of a popular teaching blog, The White Rhino: A Blog about Education and Latino Issues, argues that he doesn’t want to add pressure to the day of a student who isn’t feeling fine.
The worst thing we can do as adults is ask a teenager a question we don't want answered honestly.
Jane Adams, “More College Students Seem to Be Majoring in Perfectionism,” New York Times
Many parents are noticing that their college students feel pressure from within (graduate school goals) and without (social media) to appear on top of it all, all the time.
When Hannah finds herself procrastinating until a deadline, she repeats a maxim favored by a high school teacher: Do the best that you can in the time that you have.
Joe Heim, “Schools and Lockers: No Longer the Right Combination,” Washington Post
Students want everything with them all the time, starting with their phones, and lockers are becoming obsolete in many schools.
Movies and television shows about high schools may still feature students decorating lockers — or being shoved into them — but in the real world, lockers have all but been abandoned.
WORKSHOP: Institute for Social and Emotional Learning, 4-Day Summer Workshops
This institute hosts 4-day workshops at independent schools in Chicago, Illinois; Bethesda, Maryland; and Hillsborough, California. “Each institute brings together K-12 teachers, administrators, and counselors from around the world for multiple days of sessions, collaboration, and reflection that range across a broad library of SEL topics and research.” Goals include “helping educators cultivate in their teaching practice the humanity and empathy that can help them inspire students to evolve into compassionate leaders and resilient learners” and “informing an educator’s perspective in ways that help spark creativity and renew inspiration for teaching.”
Winter break can be the perfect time to imagine what you want to do and where you want to go this summer. Many programs have application deadlines between January and March. Here’s a starting list of options across disciplines.
“The PCMI Summer Session is an intensive program that includes several parallel sets of activities aimed at different groups of participants across the entire mathematics community. These activities include a program for mathematics researchers, eight mini-courses for graduate students on topics related to harmonic analysis, two lecture series for undergraduate students, a program for faculty from predominantly undergraduate institutions, a workshop on equity and mathematics education for undergraduate faculty, and a professional development program for K–12 school teachers. All of PCMI’s groups meet simultaneously, pursuing individual courses of study and a meaningful amount of interaction both scientifically and socially.”
These competitive, intensive workshops cover everything from religion to literature to history: “Each year, NEH offers tuition-free opportunities for school, college, and university educators to study a variety of humanities topics. Stipends of $1,200-$3,300 help cover expenses for these one- to four-week programs.
A number of our deans, and last summer the college counselors, have attended this excellent institute: “The Stanley H. King Counseling Institute offers a model of teaching counseling and listening skills to teachers, advisors, administrators, and other school personnel. Our goal is not to train professional counselors, but to help teachers strengthen and deepen their relationships with students. Participants learn to help students with the range of developmental issues, as well as to recognize serious psychological difficulty and seek appropriate help.”
“This five-day institute is designed for educators to create and sustain authentically multicultural schools through reflection, understanding, planning, and implementation. Our Multicultural Leadership Institute provides responsive professional development by leveraging current research and practice, along with Wildwood School's institutional experiences. The setting is intimate, and intentionally small, limited to 40 participants. The Institute supports individuals and cohorts committed to developing a shared vision of institutional and cultural change within their schools. Participants will consider, generate, and refine strategies to foster authentically inclusive and equitable practices.”
“Join us each summer for three weeks of nonstop science exploration. Since 1984, the Exploratorium Teacher Institute has offered a summer professional development program for middle and high school science teachers. Our institutes support the content and pedagogy described in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). During the institutes, teachers work with each other and with staff scientists and educators to learn more about science teaching. They will introduce you to the museum’s exhibits, the foundation of our teaching programs, and will also lead activities and model pedagogical skills that will help relay science concepts to your students. Together, we will carry out hands-on investigations of natural phenomena and highlight how they relate to human perception, physical science, life science, earth science, and mathematics.”
These seminars cover topics relevant to English as well as history teachers: “The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History offers rigorous Teacher Seminars for K–12 educators. Held at colleges and historic sites across the US and abroad, the weeklong workshops include daily programs with leading American historians, visits to local historic sites, and hands-on work with primary sources.”
“Attend one of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s week-long institutes in the nation’s capital. Join educators from across the country for an exciting exploration of the connections among American art, social studies, history, and English/language arts.”
Choose groups to clone to: