UNIT: School Reform in the Twenty-first Century
Warning: The Common Core Standards May Be Harmful to Children, Joanne Yatvin, Phi Delta Kappan, 2013
With the Common Core being adopted by most states, Yatvin, an experienced elementary teacher and principal, analyzes the English/language arts K-5th grade standards. Citing eight standards and giving classroom scenarios, Yatvin argues that the new standards are too demanding, which could hurt students educational experience.
The Common Core "State" Standards: The Arts and Education Reform, Alice Wexler, Studies in Art Education, 2014
Some within the visual and performing arts community are concerned that the Common Core marginalizes the arts and increases the inequities of students in poverty and with disabilities. One primary concern is the missed opportunity for children to engage in and with works of art that express their cultural, personal, and affective selves.
Why Don't Students Like School? Willingham, Perkins, and a Comprehensive Model of School Reform, Jennifer L. Jones, Karrie A. Jones, and Paul J. Vermette, The Educational Forum, 2013
Jones, Jones, and Vermette examine the divergent core principles of educational reformers, Willingham and Perkins. Authors of the article suggest research-into-practice classroom strategies. These practical strategies are suitable for all content areas and grade levels.
UNIT: Understanding Poverty
Growing Income Inequity Threatens American Education, Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane, Phi Delta Kappan, 2014
Duncan and Murnane share data that illustrates differences in the reading and math achievement of low- and high-income students are much larger than 40 years ago. Further, they explain how inequalities affect individual skills attainment and schools in low-income neighborhoods.
How High-Poverty Schools Are Getting It Done, Karin Chenoweth and Christina Theokas, Educational Leadership, 2013
Schools in high-poverty school districts generally are unable to meet achievement rates of school in middle- or high-income districts, however some do. Chenoweth and Theokas wondered what makes those schools successful. In this article, they share the four common characteristics that make some low-income schools different from their peers.
Building a Pedagogy of Engagement for Students in Poverty, Paul Gorski, Kappan Magazine, 2013
We are not soon likely to eliminate the poverty in this country that leads to inequitable educational opportunities within schools. However, Gorski suggests that, while we continue to take on the larger societal issues, we can foster equity by using research-based teaching strategies and promoting community involvement.
Overcoming the Challenges of Poverty, Julie Landsman, Educational Leadership, 2014
Landsman states that we may have forgotten our duty to provide basic needs and an education for all children in the United States. She reminds us of the conditions many children live with on a daily basis and provides a list of ways we can practice a more nurturing classroom for all students.
Advocacy for Child Wellness in High-Poverty Environments, Carol A. Mullen, Kappa Delta Pi Record, 2014
Teachers who are advocates for themselves and the students they teach can teach and foster advocacy skills in their students. This can enrich the curriculum and help students overcome the negative effects of living in poverty and attending low-performing schools.
Struggling in Suburbia, David McKay Wilson, Teaching Tolerance, 2012
In this article Wilson addresses the rising homeless population that no longer only affects inner-city schools, but also schools in suburbia that aren’t accustomed or prepared for such students. He describes who the new suburban poor students are, where they came from, how it is affecting the schools and how educators can help their less affluent students.
UNIT: Literacy Is the Cornerstone of Learning
The Fight for Literacy in the South, Paige Crutcher, Publishers Weekly, 2013
This article explains what booksellers, librarians, and concerned citizens are doing to combat the high rates of illiteracy in the southern states. There are ideas here that would work for other regions and states. Crutcher provides data regarding literacy and examples of collaborative efforts to improve the data.
Putting the Heart Back into Writing: Nurturing Voice in Middle School Students, Barb Ruben and Leanne Moll, Middle School Journal, Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), 2013
Ruben and Moll voice concerns that students are not being given ample time to write during the school day and that the Common Core focuses on argumentative and research writing. This paper discusses the five questions they researched with volunteer students in a special writing team.
Character Analysis and Moral Development, Kimberly Kode, Middle School Journal, Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), 2013
Kode notes that the use of open-ended questions about characters in a reading may be met with blank stares and no answers. However, if students are given a structure, such as Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development, they are more willing to offer insights, state opinions, and analyze characters.
Rekindle the Love of Reading, Mark Isero, Kappan Magazine, 2014
No matter what, there are always some students, even good ones, who do not like to read and resist every trick teachers try. One teacher found two methods for getting students to read more. These were a free read of any book in the class library and offering students opportunities to use a Kindle reader.
UNIT: Improve School Climate to Improve Student Performance
Why Our Approach to Bullying Is Bad for Kids, Susan Porter, Independent School, 2013
Porter proposes a shift in the definition of bullying because labels used to describe the persons who are associated with bullying inhibit making any permanent or significant change in the occurrence of such incidences. She suggests that behaviors now determined to be bullying may be missteps as students grow to maturity.
Deconstructing the Pyramid of Prejudice, David Light Shields, Kappan Magazine, 2014
Addressing prejudice in the classroom is just as important as the curriculum. Based on a three-tiered pyramid, Shields discusses how each layer of the pyramid supports the next. This means even the smallest comment can lead to prejudice and discrimination. His discussion leads to what educators can do to interrupt movement up the pyramid.
The Enduring Influence of School Size and School Climate on Parents' Engagement in the School Community, Lauri Goldkind and G. Lawrence Farmer, School Community Journal (Academic Development Institute), 2013
Goldkind and Farmer studied the relationship between school size and school climate as families make decisions to participate in the school community. A family’s perception of the issues of safety and respect within a school had more effect on their involvement than the size of the school.
Creating a Climate for Achievement, Deborah D. Brennan, Educational Leadership, 2015
In an effort to turn around a failing school population, the teachers in one school decided to create a climate for achievement. They began by strengthening their academics with goal setting and sharing; tracking learning; and intervening early. They also strengthen social-emotional learning by building relationships, grading for hope, and using proactive discipline.
The Failure of Zero Tolerance, Russell J. Skiba, Reclaiming Children and Youth, 2014
Zero tolerance has created a pipeline from school to prison. Author of this article presents research on school practices and suggests a prevention to insure school safety and keep students out of prison.
UNIT: Teaching English Language Learners
ESL and Classroom Teachers Team Up to Teach Common Core, Lesli A. Maxwell, Education Digest, 2014
Diversity in an inclusive school presents challenges. In this article, two teachers explain what led them to become co-teachers to meet the needs of English Language Learners. Other teachers explain their strategies for meeting the needs of students, professional learning communities, and the “push-in” model.
Involving the Parents of English Language Learners in a Rural Area: Focus on the Dynamics of Teacher-Parent Interactions, Jenna M. Shim, Rural Educator (National Rural Education Association), 2013
Shim suggests that the important structural aspects and power asymmetry of parent-teacher relationships can hinder collaboration when working with parents of students who are English Language Learners. The study discussed here found three broad themes that emerge as barriers to productive interactions; teacher judgments, parental frustration, and parents’ fear of repercussions.
Dual Language Learners: Effective Instruction in Early Childhood, Claude Goldenberg, Judy Hicks, and Ira Lit, American Educator (American Federation of Teachers), 2013
The numbers of dual language learners (DLL) in preschool and early childhood classes has risen to 4 million. In order to create optimal learning environments for these students, researchers have explored four key topics. Implications for educators and recommendations for teaching practices are discussed.
Bilingual Education and the Role of Minority-Serving Institutions, Alice Ginsberg et al., Kappan Magazine, 2014
The increased numbers of immigrant student enrollment in our public schools may not be appropriately served in bilingual classrooms, due to a lack of prepared teachers. According to the authors we cannot develop an effective teaching approach without teachers who have strong backgrounds in bilingual education. Minority-serving institutions appear to be leading the way.
UNIT: Technology Supports Learning
Teachers Connect with Technology: Online tools build new pathways to collaboration, Vicki L. Phillips and Lynn Olson, Journal of Staff Development: Learning Forward, 2013
Need help to plan and implement instruction under the standards of the common core? Technology may help teachers build collaborations and new pathways to finding the answer. This article provides suggestions for collaboration across districts and states with resources for tapping into expertise of master teachers.
Utilizing Technology in Physical Education: Addressing the Obstacles of Integration, Beth Pyle and Keri Esslinger, Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 2014
Perhaps you have wondered why teachers in physical education, the arts, and other activity centered classes need to be concerned with technology standards? This article explains why technology is important in physical education and obstacle to technology integration.
Implications of Shifting Technology in Education, Janet Holland and John Holland, TechTrends, 2014
Recently many of us feel that every day brings newer, bigger, and better technology devices. This explosion of technology choices comes with increased quality of the tools and more research to practice articles for integrating technology. How are teachers to implement meaningful integration of new technologies while aligning research to practice?
Assistive Tech for Everyone? Michelle R. Davis, Education Week, 2014
What were once technology tools designed for and used by persons with disabilities are moving into the mainstream and being used by students who do not have an identified disability. A primary reason is the adoption of Universal Design for Learning methods and materials for all students.
From the Three Rs to the Four Cs: Radically Redesigning K-12 Education, William Crossman, The Futurist, 2012
Those tech-savvy kids we have been reading about are here, now. Those digital natives learn and engage with text differently than most of us who are teaching or are about to become teachers. We need to seriously consider how we will keep them engaged and challenged to learn. Crossman has suggestions.
Common Core Standards: Transforming Teaching with Collaborative Technology, Catlin Tucker, Teacher Librarian, 2012
Tucker illustrates how easy and efficient it is to use technology in the classroom to promote collaborative group work. While satisfying requirements of the Common Core using technology can help to ensure that each member of the group is doing their equal share.
Library-Classroom Collaboration Stimulates Reading, Teacher So Much More, Patricia Vermillion and Marty Melton, Teacher Librarian, 2013
As teachers are pushed to spend more time on preparation for the high-risk assessments, it seems logical that collaboration with specialists in the school would be a given. This article outlines multiple ways for classroom teachers and media specialists to collaborate. Such collaboration helps students and teachers make the most of instruction time.
Are We Adequately Preparing Teachers to Partner with Families? Tamara Sewell, Early Childhood Education Journal, 2012
Partnering with families is vital when working with young children, but how do teachers learn to do this effectively? In this literature review, Sewell has concluded that one course in partnering with families is good, but there is more that teacher preparation programs can do.
Student-to-Student Collaboration and Coming to Consensus, Gregory MacDougall, Science Scope, 2013
Fostering student to student collaboration teaches important skills that students will use for their life-time; including being cooperative, seeking consensus, finding answers without the teacher and using research-based evidence to justify their conclusions. No better place to do this than in the science classroom.
Using Appreciative Inquiry to Foster Intergenerational Collaboration for Positive Change in a Struggling School System, Megan Tschannen-Moran, Bob Tschannen-Moran, and Cynthia A. Lemmerman, Center for School Transformation, 2015
Using a case study method, the authors describe what happened in a community that adopted Appreciative Inquiry (AI) to build a climate of positive change through intergenerational collaboration. Their story includes the steps they took to build trust and a sense of community.
Parent Perceptions and Recommendations about Homework Involving Wikis and Blogs, Christine A. Portier et al., Middle School Journal, Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), 2013
Web 2.0 technologies are a convenient way to communicate with students and parents after school, on weekends, and during school breaks. Also, research data indicate that when parents are involved, the value of homework increases. Researchers collaborated with parents and teachers to ask what they thought and what worked best.
"I'm Not a Bystander": Developing Teacher Leadership in a Rural School-University Collaboration, Jeffrey C. Eargle, Rural Educator, 2013
This study investigates how high school teachers can become reflective practitioners, scholars, and collaborative partners. However, traditional school norms and structural hierarchy can pose barriers. Suggestions for future practice are offered.
Eating Disorder Symptoms and Obesity at the Intersections of Gender, Ethnicity, and Sexual Orientation In US High School Students, S. Bryn Austin et al., American Journal of Public Health, 2013
This article presents a study that examined how gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation were connected to obesity and disordered weight-control behaviors in today's youth. It was discovered that sexual minority students, especially male and female bisexuals, were at a high risk of obesity or eating disorders, which should be brought to the attention of public health professionals and policymakers.
Protective School Climates and Reduced Risk for Suicide Ideation in Sexual Minority Youths, Mark L. Hatzenbuehler et al., American Journal of Public Health, 2014
Researchers examined the rates of suicide in states and cities where school climates protected students who were Lesbian, gay, and bisexual. Factors that indicated a protective school climate were discussed. Results indicate that suicidal thoughts were nearly eliminated in states and cities with protective school climates.
Having Allies Makes a Difference, Priscilla Pardini, Phi Delta Kappan, 2013
Milwaukee's Alliance School is one of the only gay-friendly public schools in the United States. Aside from being gay-friendly this school ignores several public school taboos, such as bells to signal class changes, disallowing student use of cell phones, and not allowing students to use teachers' first names.
Hostile Hallways, Christopher Munsey, American Psychological Association, 2012
Sexual harassment and unwanted sexual experiences are not reported as frequently as bullying, nevertheless, the long-term harmful effects can be significantly greater. Munsey offers advice and suggests that by-standers can be an important component in stopping harassment.
Building LGBTQ Awareness and Allies in Our Teacher Education Community and Beyond, Laura-Lee Kearns, Jennifer Mitton Kukner, and Joanne Tompkins, Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 2014
The authors discuss how they work to build awareness and allies within the higher-education context. They developed a curriculum to use in their pre-service teacher education program with the purpose to create a pedagogy that embraces, celebrates, and honors all learners.