Digital Citizenship and Social-Emotional Skills Are Inseparable

By Devorah Heitner | November 11, 2017

Every school has its own unique culture. It is made up of all the ways in which students relate to one another and their teachers. In today’s world, digital devices in particular (and technology in general) have a huge effect on these relationships. For better or worse, communication is different now, and it has the…

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Short Circuit

By Alden S Blodget | October 8, 2017

Teachers can learn something from electricians.  For example, taking the path of least resistance isn’t always the best way to go.  If we want the lights to go on, the current needs to flow through the full circuit, and a short cut, like a nail lying across the wire, usually results in darkness. English teachers,…

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At Winsor School, the Student-Teacher Relationship Drives Academic Support

By Laura Vantine | September 13, 2017

Laura Vantine Academic support is a significant concern for independent schools — more so today than in the past. On the surface, the trends seem worrisome: A number of schools say more students are struggling, while others report that more parents are pushing for individual support and accommodations, specifically so their children can gain extended time…

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By Alden S Blodget | July 15, 2017

It was cold, a November evening, and I was the administrator on duty, so I was walking around the campus shortly after dinner on my way to the athletic center to lock the building. The last coach to leave after practice was supposed to lock up but never did. My mood was not good. The…

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The Costs of Paying Attention, The Value of Reflection

By Alden S Blodget | April 3, 2017

Recent studies done by neuroscientist Mary Helen Immordino-Yang (University of Southern California) and her colleague Joanna Christodoulou (Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT) suggest that educators need to consider much more carefully the role of reflection in learning.1 They cite new theories of two brain systems that control our attention. One is activated when we engage with…

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Stop telling kids you’re bad at math. You are spreading math anxiety ‘like a virus.’

By Petra Bonfert-Taylor | March 25, 2017

“How was skiing?” I asked my 14-year old daughter as she hauled her boot bag into the car. “Well, the ratio of snow to ground was definitely low,” she replied, adding that she had tried to figure the ratio of snow-to-ground during practice but had received only mystified looks. “Stop the math!” demanded a coach. “You…

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Peer Mediation as a Viable Option for School Conflict Resolution Programs

By Racheal Whiteside | March 19, 2017

Editor’s note: This is an interesting research article written by an undergraduate when she was attending the University of Buffalo. It is the voice of a student providing insight into adolescent aggression and conflict resolution. Albert Bandura (1977) developed the Social Learning (SL) theory to explain that people learn how to act from each other.…

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Learning Disabled or School Disabled?

By Alden S Blodget | March 4, 2017

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, my grandson is one of about 6.4 million children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. The symptoms of ADHD include inattentiveness in school, distractibility, inability to sustain attention, difficulty finishing school work, difficulty shifting from task to task, procrastination, and fidgeting when seated. In other words, if you…

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Your Mind Is Not Like a Computer; It Is Like An Ecosystem: Minding Your Metaphors About the Mind

By Zachary Stein | January 16, 2017

I am what is often referred to as a “high-achieving dyslectic.” From a very early age, I was made aware that my mind simply worked differently than other people’s. Fortunately, while in elementary school, I was surrounded by caring special educators (including my mother) who taught me to embrace my uniqueness. But it was not…

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Assessments That Provide Real Insight into Learning

By Alden S Blodget | January 16, 2017

A math teacher described a problem he was having with his 2nd graders: “One of the goals of our math curriculum is to enable the students to articulate their mathematical reasoning. We would like them to explain, ‘The problem said two more came, so I knew I needed to add,’ but instead we get, ‘I…

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Adolescents Struggle to Identify Fake News

By Alden S Blodget | January 2, 2017

Given the multitude of phony news stories spawned during the 2016 election, culminating in the shooting at a D.C. pizza restaurant, the Stanford History Education Group’s study of adolescents’ ability to judge the credibility of all the information vying for their attention in cyberspace is amazingly timely. The study focused on over 7,800 middle school,…

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My School, My Self

By Alden S Blodget | December 12, 2016

“I just needed a place where I could be myself.” That was Teri’s assessment of what was missing from her life in school, and my experience suggests that she speaks for hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of students. School is not typically a place for the self, at least not the self of students. A…

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What Happens to Empathy Deferred?

By Leon "Kip" Bordelon | November 28, 2016

As an alumnus of an independent school, I have enjoyed reading about the increasing emphasis on teaching cooperation, teamwork, mindfulness, and empathy. As independent schools become more globally and racially diverse, the need for greater reflection, for awareness of one’s own thinking and biases, and for curiosity about the perspectives of others also grows.  The…

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Civics in Uncivil Times

By Leah Shafer | November 12, 2016

Facing down the challenges of teaching the 2016 election, with resources for preparing engaged citizens     In a chaotic and hostile election season — rupturing political parties, incessant name-calling, and growing dissension along racial and class lines — it may be tempting for educators to discourage political talk at school. But as the school…

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Arab American Students in Public Schools

By Wendy Schwartz | September 18, 2016

Arab Americans in U.S. schools represent more than 20 countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. They share many similarities with other immigrant groups seeking to establish an ethnic identity in a heterogeneous country, but they also face additional challenges. These result especially from negative stereotyping; racism and discrimination; widespread misinformation about their history…

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The Public Purpose of Private Schools

By Albert M Adams | September 18, 2016

Independent schools are uniquely positioned to make a difference in the public domain. Given the societal turf independent schools occupy, the considerable resources they command, and the powerful network of caring and influential people they attract, independent schools have the opportunity – and, I believe, the obligation – to do more than educate 1.5 percent…

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two fists

What Should Parents and Teachers Know About Bullying

By Staff of Access ERIC | September 18, 2016

Bullying in schools is a worldwide problem that can have negative effects on the general school climate and on the right of students to learn in a safe environment without fear. Bullying can also have negative lifelong consequences—both for students who bully and for their victims. This brochure characterizes bullies and their victims, offers advice…

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The Trouble with the Standards Movement

By Peter D Relic | September 18, 2016

With the best of intentions, President George Bush and the nation’s governors met in 1989 in Charlottesville, Virginia, to make the schools of the United States into world-class institutions, competitive with the best schools among industrialized countries. By calling for the creation of high standards with tests to measure student achievement and to hold teachers…

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By Bill Jennings | September 18, 2016

INTRODUCTION The Groton/Dunstable School district’s Community Service Learning and Development (CSLD) initiative has been evolving over the past years through the initial efforts of Ms. Donna Kwajewski, director of Curriculum and Staff Development and Mr. Joseph Dillon, Principal, Groton/Dunstable Regional High School. It was at the high school that the first CSLD efforts began. Now,…

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Discipline Project Tests Group Participation

By Nancy Ames and Bill Jennings | September 18, 2016

New Justice Department research helps validate the need for all members of the “school community” to work together to improve campus climates. Although many aspects of the bullying problem remain controversial, one finding has received general support: The real culprit is the “growing-up environment” of the bully. Adults in the bully’s environment are often unaware…

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The Challenges of Parent Involvement Research

By Amy Baker and Laura Soden | September 18, 2016

Despite the validity of some studies, much parent involvement research to date contains serious methodological flaws. But it is possible that more effective parent involvement will generate cost savings by lessening the need for remedial and other special programs. National Council of Jewish Women Center for the Child Amy J. L. Baker and Laura M.…

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School Strategies for Increasing Safety

By Patrick H. Tolan | September 18, 2016

The recent incidents of horrible violence at presumably safe schools in protected communities has caused great concern and disillusionment as teachers, parents, and students face the fact that even these schools are vulnerable to violent acts. Numerous reports show schools organizing to manage such a potential crisis. But are public schools really dangerous places? Should…

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A Symbiosis of Sorts School Violence and the Media

By Gene I. Maeroff | September 18, 2016

The schools and the media sometimes seem locked in a symbiotic dance of death, making it difficult to think about school violence without taking note of its connection to the ever-present media. Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media Teachers College, Columbia University by Gene I. Maeroff The names roll off the tongue like a…

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Preparing Middle School Students for a Career

By Wendy Schwartz | September 18, 2016

  How can middle schools promote the development and education of adolescents? How can they focus students’ attention on career opportunities and training? This article offers families some ideas about how they can encourage their children’s career awareness. Information in this guide was drawn from Digest No. 155 published by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult,…

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New Information on Youth Who Drop Out: Why They Leave and What Happens to Them

By Wendy Schwartz | September 18, 2016

from ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education by Wendy Schwartz It has been known for many years that young people who don’t complete high school face many more problems in later life than do people who graduate. But, while national leaders have demanded that schools, communities, and families make a major effort to retain students, the…

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Career Development for African American and Latina Females

By Jeanne Weiler | September 18, 2016

African American and Latina adolescent females need extensive support for developing and implementing career plans. There is a need to provide female adolescents of color with a career education that will enable both economic self-sufficiency and personal fulfillment. ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education by Jeanne Weiler Low-income African American and Latina adolescent females need extensive…

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Developing Social Competence in Children

By Wendy Schwartz | September 18, 2016

  Changes in the way families are organized and function have resulted in less, and possibly lower quality, adult-child closeness. At the same time, children have been bombarded with increasing amounts of violence in the media. This brief presents an overview of effective strategies for use with children in elementary school to improve their growth.…

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Parents and School Reform
How Parents Can Make a Difference

By Alden S Blodget | September 18, 2016

Of all the stakeholders in the debates about how to improve our schools, parents may be the most powerful and the least aware of their power. Nothing terrifies administrators or teachers quite as much as an angry or demanding parent. Parents are, after all, the customers, and money follows their children–in both public and independent…

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