Voices in Education

Archives

Showing 1-10 of 243 Posts

Browse all Posts »
Be a Behavior Detective About 10 percent of the school population—or 9–13 million children—struggle with mental health problems. In a typical classroom of 20, chances are good that one or two students are dealing with serious psychosocial stressors relating to poverty, domestic violence, abuse and neglect, or a psychiatric disorder. There is also growing evidence that the number of children suffering the effects of trauma and those with autism-related social deficits is also on the rise.
Comments ( )
Five Easy Ways to Connect with Students In theory and rhetoric, the notion that teachers must build relationships with students is logical and well accepted. In my work in schools, I rarely, if ever, hear practitioners contest the idea that relationship building is a critical aspect to their success with students in any classroom or school.
Comments ( )
7 Myths About Cage-Busting Leadership I’ve been on the road this spring, talking with educators, community leaders, advocates, policy makers, and foundation types about my new book, Cage-Busting Leadership. In doing so, I’ve been struck by some of the mythology that seems to shape what people think it means to be a cage-busting principal, superintendent, or school system official. The book argues that school, system, and state leaders can do much more than they often realize but tend to be hindered by a “culture of can’t” in which urban legends (“the contract requires that teacher assignment be driven by seniority—when it actually doesn’t”), misinformation (“we’re not allowed to spend Title I funds that way“), and undue caution (“we’re not sure if that’s an fully approved use of school improvement funds“) stop them from doing what they think will be best for students.
Comments ( )
Testing What Isn’t Taught and the Potential Consequences on Identity Formation Emergent bilingual learners are accustomed to involuntarily taking many high-stakes tests in English, but a new policy asks them to voluntarily take a proficiency test of their home language, regardless of whether they received any instruction in school in this language. The Seal of Biliteracy (SoBL) is a policy adopted in forty-three states that originated in California in opposition to English-only legislation and from a desire to change deficit-based views of bilingualism. The program recognizes students who graduate high school bilingual and biliterate and was designed to serve as a clear symbol to colleges, universities, and employers that an individual is proficient in two or more languages. Each year, more and more institutions of higher education award credit for SoBL attainment, paving pathways to higher education for students who may not have previously had the opportunity to enter college with any credit and decreasing the cost of a degree.
Comments ( )
Investing in Black Academic Leaders In 2017, the Philadelphia Inquirer highlighted the fact that the city’s three most prominent universities each had an African American serving in the top academic post. Why was it so newsworthy? Up until that time, only 4 percent of all provosts at four-year institutions in the United States were Black. This statistic caught our eye. Given the historic views on the capacity for intellectualism in the Black community and the low numbers of Black faculty, we knew Black academics at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) had an uphill climb.
Comments ( )
We Can’t Go Back to Normal: Restorative Classrooms During COVID-19 In March of 2020, the world quickly came to a standstill as the reality of COVID-19 started to sink in. Some of the most popular social gatherings were suspended, postponed, or moved to virtual platforms: Broadway plays, professional and college sports, the Kentucky Derby, weddings, Juneteenth, Fourth of July, and the Olympics. These events as well as disruptions to employment, housing, healthcare, and travel impacted everyone’s daily routine.
Comments ( )
Counting Joy in School-Based Racial Equity Work If there has ever been a time where I’ve witnessed the widespread erosion of joyfulness among children and school-aged youth, it has been throughout the past two years. In March 2020, joy gave way to confusion, fear, and uncertainty as the world came to terms with the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Abrupt school closings upended the routine of schooling that was a familiar constant for ten months each year. Enter remote learning. Soon after, in May 2020, joy gave way to anger, fear, and resentment. Why do police officers and white vigilantes keep killing Black people? Enough was enough.
Comments ( )
Democracy, Intellectual Virtues, and Education For a democracy to function well, its citizens must, at a minimum, have reliable access to credible information and be able to distinguish it from information that is inaccurate or misleading. Alas, in the contemporary information landscape, misinformation is pervasive. And with the advent of user-friendly design programs and “deep fake” technologies, distinguishing political fact from fiction can be exceedingly difficult.
Comments ( )
Curriculum is the Answer to Questions about CRT Some governing bodies are working vigorously to ensure that every student has space in their classrooms to discuss race. Several states are working towards ethnic studies (and similar programs) as mandated curricular offerings. Others are moving forward legislation that will dramatically change whether (and how) teachers are able to discuss race in their classrooms at all. There is a well-coordinated, national political campaign, the aim of which seems to be turning Critical Race Theory (CRT) first into a red herring, a powerful wedge issue second. How strange that our national culture wars would metastasize on the curriculum.
Comments ( )
Can Educators Really Be Anti-Racist Without Racial Literacy? Since the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement last summer, there has been an increased focus to promote anti-racist pedagogy, curriculum, and professional development for K–12 teachers. In retaliation to this growing analysis of racism in schools, there has also been an active countermovement to suppress discourse about race and racism, including the recent attacks on Critical Race Theory (CRT) across the US and UK. Despite the investment and growth in how to be anti-racist, however, many teachers and school administrators have still felt thoroughly unprepared to confront this racially charged backlash. But why?
Comments ( )