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Monthly Archives: September 2017

Without Emotional Intelligence, Mindfulness Doesn’t Work

But mindfulness isn’t magic; what was the mechanism at work in these executives’ transformations? One tipoff: several executives in the study reported getting feedback from colleagues that described improvements in areas like empathy, conflict management, and persuasive communication. These, it turns out, are what one of us (Dan) has described as core emotional intelligence competencies.

via Without Emotional Intelligence, Mindfulness Doesn’t Work


Put Me In Coach! Growth Mindset in the World of Sports

Applying a growth mindset in sport does not mean removing competition, nor that we avoid selecting individuals. It doesn’t mean we start believing that everyone can be the best in the world. These are some common misconceptions around the growth mindset message in sport. Instead, a growth mindset provides a framework for how best to focus responses to competition, a rationale for how to communicate selection, and an understanding of how to help people always improve and to go beyond their current best performance. In a growth mindset we do not know what a person’s potential is, or how good they could become–there are no glass ceilings.

via Put Me In Coach! Growth Mindset in the World of Sports

Top 10 skills children learn from the arts

1. Creativity – Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think ‘outside of the box’ will distinguish your child from others. In an arts program, your child will be asked to recite a monologue in 6 different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.

2. Confidence – The skills developed through theater, not only train you how to convincingly deliver a message, but also build the confidence you need to take command of the stage. Theater training gives children practice stepping out of their comfort zone and allows them to make mistakes and learn from them in rehearsal. This process gives children the confidence to perform in front of large audiences.

3. Problem Solving – Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. How do I turn this clay into a sculpture? How do I portray a particular emotion through dance? How will my character react in this situation? Without even realizing it kids that participate in the arts are consistently being challenged to solve problems. All this practice problem solving develops children’s skills in reasoning and understanding. This will help develop important problem-solving skills necessary for success in any career.

4. Perseverance – When a child picks up a violin for the first time, she/he knows that playing Bach right away is not an option; however, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give up, that Bach concerto is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success.

5. Focus – The ability to focus is a key skill developed through ensemble work. Keeping a balance between listening and contributing involves a great deal of concentration and focus. It requires each participant to not only think about their role, but how their role contributes to the big picture of what is being created. Recent research has shown that participation in the arts improves children’s abilities to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives.

6. Non-Verbal Communication – Through experiences in theater and dance education, children learn to breakdown the mechanics of body language. They experience different ways of moving and how those movements communicate different emotions. They are then coached in performance skills to ensure they are portraying their character effectively to the audience.

7. Receiving Constructive Feedback – Receiving constructive feedback about a performance or visual art piece is a regular part of any arts instruction. Children learn that feedback is part of learning and it is not something to be offended by or to be taken personally. It is something helpful. The goal is the improvement of skills and evaluation is incorporated at every step of the process. Each arts discipline has built in parameters to ensure that critique is a valuable experience and greatly contributes to the success of the final piece.

8. Collaboration – Most arts disciplines are collaborative in nature. Through the arts, children practice working together, sharing responsibility, and compromising with others to accomplish a common goal. When a child has a part to play in a music ensemble, or a theater or dance production, they begin to understand that their contribution is necessary for the success of the group. Through these experiences children gain confidence and start to learn that their contributions have value even if they don’t have the biggest role.

9. Dedication – When kids get to practice following through with artistic endeavors that result in a finished product or performance, they learn to associate dedication with a feeling of accomplishment. They practice developing healthy work habits of being on time for rehearsals and performances, respecting the contributions of others, and putting effort into the success of the final piece. In the performing arts, the reward for dedication is the warm feeling of an audience’s applause that comes rushing over you, making all your efforts worthwhile.

10. Accountability – When children practice creating something collaboratively they get used to the idea that their actions affect other people. They learn that when they are not prepared or on-time, that other people suffer. Through the arts, children also learn that it is important to admit that you made a mistake and take responsibility for it. Because mistakes are a regular part of the process of learning in the arts, children begin to see that mistakes happen. We acknowledge them, learn from them and move on.

via Top 10 skills children learn from the arts – The Washington Post

15 Dimensions of Personalized Learning

The subject of personalization deserves a preamble of sorts that recognizes what we’re beginning to understand about the art and science of learning and development:

Learning begins with the individual learner and their journey; each learner brings their unique history and context to each experience;
Learning is frequently motivated by relationship and activated in community;
Learning occurs most fully when it engages all of a student’s senses, emotions and intentions; and
Learners bring unique interests, motivations and ways of learning.

It is easy to think of personalization simply as differentiated instruction but a full commitment to supporting individual learning journeys has many dimensions. We identified 15:

1. Tasks: Providing voice and choice in learning tasks including assignments, projects and maker experiences. The challenge is accommodation without a loss of rigor (e.g. skip the 10 page paper and make a poster).

2. Culture: A place where human dignity is respected, where learners have voice and choice and a means of appeal.

3. Differentiation: Tailoring instruction to meet individual needs by adjusting the level of challenge, increasing the amount of support or making other accommodations to support learning.

4. Adaptive learning: Using adaptive assessment to quickly diagnose learning level and deliver calibrated units of learning, often leveraging gamification.

5. Pacing: Meeting students where they are, especially when they have different learning levels in different subjects, and supporting progress based on demonstrated mastery.

6. Electives: Providing an array of elective and world languages options in person and online.

7. Out of school learning: Facilitating local and global learning options including field trips, travel, after school and summer school programming.

8. Extracurricular activities: Providing a range of extra-curricular activities and emphasizing participation.

9. Work and service: Providing valuable and accessible work, civic and service-learning options.

10. Academic supports: Real-time monitoring of academic progress and providing support inside and outside the classroom environment.

11. Youth and family supports: Meeting specific needs that are a barrier to learning (food, shelter, transportation, safety, health).

12. Goal setting: The opportunity to set and reflect on academic goals in the context of an advisory relationship.

13. College and career planning: An advisory system that supports exploration of postsecondary work and learning options.

14. Demonstrations of learning: Providing options for how a student demonstrates progress on their learning journey including shaping a student led conference and curating a digital portfolio.

15. School choice: Access to unique learning models with interests (art), career themes (NAF), pedagogy (New Tech Network) or college credit (early college high schools).

via 15 Dimensions of Personalized Learning – Vander Ark on Innovation – Education Week

Being Popular: Why it Consumes Teens and Continues to Affect Adults By Deborah Farmer Kris SEPTEMBER 19, 2017

Help Teens Navigate Social Media

Social media feeds our primal desire for peer attention, said Prinstein. Likes, followers and retweets provide what feels like measurable data about one’s social status. “We are in a status-seeking crisis as a society. There are kids who feel that their experiences haven’t really happened until they have shared them and seen how many responses they get. It erodes our ability to make our own judgments in alignment with our values.”

As Prinstein said, “Every media outlet tells them, ‘Gain as many followers as you can!’ But every piece of data says that this will make them lonely, depressed and at risk for relationship problems. Social media is serving some of our social needs but not all of our social needs.”

Prinstein said that, based on his research, he would offer this advice to teens: “You know that momentary high you might get by making yourself seem higher in status by disparaging others? It might feel good in the short term, but it’s not only damaging to others, it is damaging to you in the long run. ”

Instead, he said, “Spend your time learning how to be empathic and forge genuine relationships. Connect with people. Become a better listener. Focus on developing good friendships and being likable — caring and connected with others.”

In the end, he said, “you may be better off if you are not the most popular teen in your school.”

via Being Popular: Why it Consumes Teens and Continues to Affect Adults | MindShift | KQED News

Why Empathy Holds the Key to Transforming 21st Century Learning By Thom Markham

Ready or not, education is entering an age in which social learning is the new norm. Pure academics are giving way to increased opportunities for students to work together; teachers increasingly take on the role of co-learner and facilitator; listening, learning, and teaming are the new core skills. At the heart of this new skillfulness for everyone is the ability to forge deep connections lead to creative problem solving and positive pursuits. Taken all together, this makes empathy critical to schools. In fact, very soon we will need to invent a new taxonomy of learning that makes empathy the base of the learning pyramid.

via Why Empathy Holds the Key to Transforming 21st Century Learning | MindShift | KQED News

Neuroscience Should Inform School Policies Four things brain science suggests educators should stop doing By Thomas Armstrong October 7, 2016

Consequently, key secondary school reform efforts need to emphasize learning activities involving metacognition, goal-setting, planning, working memory, reflection on one’s learning, and frequent opportunities to make responsible choices.

Findings from adolescent-brain research also suggest a number of things that educators should stop doing so much of at the middle school and high school levels. For example:• Classroom teaching that focuses largely on delivering content through lectures and textbooks fails to engage the emotional brain and leaves unchanged those prefrontal regions that are important in metacognition.

• Public posting of grades and test scores (a practice which in this data-driven world appears to be increasing) humiliates and shames students in front of their highly valued peers.

• Locking students into a set academic college-bound program of courses takes away their ability to make decisions about what most interests them (a process that integrates the limbic system’s motivational verve with the prefrontal cortex’s decisionmaking capacity).

• The elimination or cutback of physical education and/or recess in favor of more time for academics increases teenagers’ already stressed-out nervous systems.

via Neuroscience Should Inform School Policies – Education Week