Essential Skills and Dispositions: Developmental Frameworks for Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Self-Direction

This set of developmental frameworks was created to facilitate discussion within communities of practice and to enhance a shared understanding of the dynamic nature of four essential skills—collaboration, communication, creativity, and self-direction in learning. The frameworks define components inherent to each skill and describe performance across a beginner to emerging expert progression, informed by research…

Global Citizenship: A Study in Progress

Last month, I traveled to Barcelona, Spain, to conduct a unique, mixed-methods study of metacognitive skills at the International Baccalaureate (IB) World Student Conference. I surveyed global citizenship levels among IB Diploma Programme students from 19 nations who attended the weeklong, project-based learning experience. I conducted two diverse focus groups: one with students representing eight…

Preface to Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind

In this preface to his book Engaging Students With Poverty in Mind, Eric Jensen gives a personal narrative of challenges met and struggles overcome, providing a first-person perspective on poverty that he uses to lend credibility to his claims. While lacking in concrete advice or ideas on how to best reach struggling students or disadvantaged…

Student Aspirations, Background Characteristics and a Four-Part Model of College Readiness

This study analyzed what predicted students’ postsecondary aspirations in a sample of 5258 high school students. Variables explored were GPA, gender, race/ethnicity, FRPL eligibility, parent’s education, and student ratings on the importance and occurrence of behaviors associated with a model of college readiness. Race predicted four-year college and work aspirations for Latino students, and four-year…

Leadership for Equity

Authors Rhonda Barton and Rob Larson stress the importance of quality leadership in achieving educational equity. They listed these strategies leaders can use to enhance equity in the realms of curriculum interpretation, instructional practices, assessment and evaluation, and community involvement: Curriculum Interpretation Encourage staff members to talk about issues of diversity, values, and social justice.…

Another Inconvenient Truth: Race and Ethnicity Matter

University professors and researchers Willis Hawley and Sonia Nieto breakdown issues and misconceptions that some educators have about dealing with issues of race and ethnicity in the classroom. They offer three race- and ethnicity-conscious strategies for school improvement, centered around understanding the diverse backgrounds of all students in the classroom. Hawley and Nieto conclude by…

Changing the Odds for Student Success: What Matters Most

Education research and development non-profit Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning suggest taking these steps to improve the chances of life success for all children:

  • Guarantee challenging, engaging, and intentional instruction
  • Ensure curricular pathways to success
  • Provide whole-child student supports
  • Create high-performance school cultures
  • Develop data-driven, high-reliability district systems

Author: B. Goodwin

MindSets and Equitable Education

Stanford professor and leading researcher Carol S. Dweck discusses mindsets and how beliefs about intelligence affect learning outcomes. According to her, there are two fundamental mindsets that a student can have about intelligence: it is fixed, or it is fluid and can increase with practice and training. These two mindsets strongly affect students’ perception of…