5 science lessons that foster students’ social-emotional growth

It’s been said, “If a child can do advanced math, speak three languages, or receive top grades, but can’t manage their emotions, practice conflict resolution, or handle stress, none of that other stuff is really going to matter.

As an educator, I’ve witnessed the truth of this statement firsthand. Whether they’re pursuing a future career or simply playing on a school sports team, it’s imperative that students know how to work together with the people around them. But lessons on social-emotional learning aren’t typically found in a classroom syllabus. So, how do we as educators actively foster these qualities in our students?   

SEL skills can be implemented into any content area; it just takes a little intentionality and planning. By including aspects of SEL in hands-on, inquiry-based activities, we can help students develop these skills organically. Here are just a few science lessons where we intentionally taught social-emotional skills:          …Read More

Arne Duncan: College completion–not simply access–critical to nation’s future

Making higher education the norm for everyone in the nation—and ensuring that people have not just access to higher education, but also the support to complete that education—is paramount to the nation’s future success, said Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education and former CEO of Chicago Public Schools.

Duncan, who is a distinguished senior fellow at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, sat down during an EDUCAUSE 2022 session and discussed some of the biggest challenges higher education is facing—and college access and completion dominated the conversation.

Questions came from Michael Berman, retired CIO, California State University, Office of the Registrar; Brian Baute, industry principal for education with RingCentral; and Jessie Minton, vice chancellor for technology and CIO of Washington University in St. Louis.…Read More

How edtech is embedded in Society 5.0

The pandemic saw countless education institutes scramble in a bid to offer remote learning, which just highlighted how ill-prepared they were for future learning.

But in this transition, we also learned something vital: Edtech learning helps to level the playing field for those who are unable to join regular classes due to location, illness, or financial constraints. It offers access to courses that many could only have dreamed of, and it allows for education to be consumed on the students’ own terms, around work, family commitments, or other appointments.

It suddenly opened the door to those with young children or those working in low-paid jobs who wanted to learn more skills and fit them around their working hours. Entrepreneurs could learn vital skills such as business strategies, investments, marketing and more, enabling them to pivot to a digital business plan in an ever-changing world.…Read More

Children’s mental health remains a major concern

The child and teen mental health crisis is still an issue in the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. While there is some indication that numbers might be stabilizing, remaining the same still means children’s and teens’ mental health are in a crisis. In fact, it is still a major concern that could have a lasting impact on the future of this generation of individuals as they grow and develop.      

The hard truth is that many children and teens need support to develop social skills, coping mechanisms, and emotional intelligence that are critical to lifelong well-being.  

Many of the same mental health challenges for children in the United States have remained consistent from the fall of 2021 to the fall of 2022, according to a new study titled Back to School 2022: The Mental Health and Wellbeing Impact on Children in America.…Read More

Designing fair and inclusive tests for non-native speakers

Roughly 20 percent of U.S. residents, which is approximately 67.3 million people (equal to the population of France), speak a language other than English at home, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. When it comes to taking tests not in their first language, these groups can be at a notable disadvantage – especially for tests that influence a test-takers’ future. 

Language is a significant barrier to fair and inclusive testing, particularly if language fluency is not relevant to the skill being measured by the test. This is why designing fair and inclusive tests for non-native speakers is a key component of equitable testing.

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that migrants, on average, get significantly lower literacy and numeracy test scores than native speakers. About half of it relates to the language of the test, meaning that if the migrants were tested in their own language, about half the difference would disappear.…Read More

Hey teachers–what is your ‘why?’

More than half of the teachers in the US are seriously considering leaving the profession earlier than planned. A number of factors have led to this, including Covid-19 learning interruptions, lack of resources and support for teachers, and more.

Right now, teachers are also experiencing burnout at an all-time high. This has shown to impact our students’ learning and future success. In fact, both teacher burnout and constant turnover have serious negative consequences for students. Teachers who are highly dissatisfied with their job and have intentions of leaving can impact their effectiveness and disrupt students’ academic progress.

While the burden to improve teacher conditions lies with school districts, communities, and legislators, both teachers and students benefit when teachers intentionally reflect on and connect with the current that moves them to be a teacher. Every teacher has a reason that drives them to teach–whether it is connecting with learners, sharing content you feel passionate about, believing that every learner deserves a high-quality education, or something else. Every teacher has a “why,” and school districts, departments, and teachers can intentionally build in opportunities for teachers to reflect on their why and connect with colleagues who may share that “why.”…Read More