Friday, September 27, 2013

University of PENN added to Travel Plans

Chicago/St. Paul Trip: Oct. 9th-19th                           

Polaris Academy: Chicago, IL
Badger Rock Middle School: Madison, WI
Birchwood Blue Hills Charter School, Birchwood, WI
Keynote Speaker: Paul Tough: St. Paul, MN

Philadelphia/University of Penn: Oct. 27th

To join teacher/researcher Sunday Conversation with Angela Duckworth

New York City Trip: Nov. 9th to Nov 17
KIPP Prep High School: Harlem, NY
KIPP Middle School: Bronx, NY
Riverdale Country School: Bronx, NY

San Diego Trip: Jan. 5th to Jan. 12th
High Tech Schools (Middle and High): San Diego, CA

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

NBC's Brian Williams Reports on Grit in the Classroom

NBC's Brian Williams on Rock Center: Features a report on grit in the classroom, including KIPP NYC, and Riverdale Academy, each of which are schools on my visitation schedule in November. 
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Perseverance Quickly Gaining Popularity Around the Country!

Click Here to View EL website

The non-cognitive skills research is hitting the mark for educational leaders around the country. It seems perseverance is the "word of the year" in education. And why not? A few of the recent media references I've come across in support of this kind of movement for schools include ASCD's September issue of Educational Leadership. The entire issue is dedicated to articles and research related to the topic.

Click Here to View "The Story"

A second reference I recently came across was a dedicated radio program to American's dropout rate. American Public Media's "The Story" featured a show entitled, "From the Classroom to the Graduation Stage" on September 23rd. Researcher Russ Rumberger, director of the California Research Project, discusses how non-cognitive skills need to be taught in order to give students what they need to meet graduation requirements and be prepared for life after the walk across the stage.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rowland Advisory Board Dinner: Oct. 4th

This week around 40 educational and community leaders were invited for a dinner and discussion. This group will serve as the fellowship advisory board. The advisory board is meant to help with "big picture" questions and ideas. The advisory board will meet only twice this year. The board is cross-cut of members from around our community which will help inform the project and create a broader awareness of the Rowland Foundation and my fellowship. To see the invitation click on this link: October 4th Advisory Board Dinner Invite

Monday, September 2, 2013

Dept. of Education's 5 Strategies for Implementation of Perseverance Programming

According to the February 2013 Department of Education's Report on the Importance of Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance, there are five major clusters of implementation occurring in about 50 programs around the country promoting grit, tenacity, and perseverance. I've listed the five major clusters into my own words here:

Cluster #1: Early childhood programs that emphasize improving executive functioning such as mindful practices, martial arts, and self-control games.

Cluster #2: Direct Instruction through advisories, guidance, and classroom teachers to build understanding amongst students about key vocabulary and concepts such as growth mindset, and effortful control

Cluster #3: School-wide programs that take on "character education" and utilize more project based learning models that require long-term planning and thinking for students.

Cluster #4: Utilizing supporting educational programs such as STEM to provide direct instruction and support of these perseverance related skills. 

Cluster #5: Utilizing the expanding capacity of digital learning environments. For example there are many new and developing programs that can provide data based results for teachers and move at student's optimal learning pace. This increases engagement and encourages students to pursue mastery. 

The implementation process is still in its early stages and longitudinal studies are lacking but the following initiatives have shown early signs of impacting growth in student learning. As the report writes, "together, these findings provide a source of optimism that grit, tenacity, and perseverance can be teachable and transferable" (US Dept. of Education: 2013, p. xi).