Ask Kids Good Questions, Then Let Them Answer

Published by EducationNews.org — In conference, we understand why many parents want to speak for their kids.  But it’s very enabling. Today we’re in a conference with school staff, Mom, and her middle-school son who we’ll call Ryan.  Kids and their families come to conference when the youth’s behavior negatively affects the school community.  Conferences are structured meetings designed […]

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If Teachers Don’t Go To School, Why Should Kids?

Published by EducationNews.org — When lots of teachers are out, school can get chaotic. In Rhode Island, 55% of the teachers in high-poverty schools were absent 10 days or more during school year 2011-12.  RI’s was the highest rate in the nation, according to Equitable Access to Excellent Teachers, a set of U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) […]

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Schools Can Learn from Researchers’ Rat Park

Published by EducationNews.org — You want kids off drugs?  Give them places where they can run, swing, discover and have a blast with friends. British journalist Johann Hari definitely upended my assumptions in his piece The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think. Hari’s long personal relationship with addicts […]

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Bad Parenting Diseases Spread to Social Services

Published by EducationNews.org — Healthy autonomy is not learned in a day.  Parents need to start early. For years I cringed, watching my brother-in-law drive my super-athletic niece to her elementary school.  It was three blocks away, in safe, famously affluent Montgomery County, Maryland, just outside of D.C..  Not so long ago, kids walked to school.  […]

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Only 1 in 12 Kids Has Normal Balance and Core Strength

Published by EducationNews.org — Children are constantly in an upright position these days.  They’re not moving nearly enough, and that’s a problem. Angela Hanscom is a pediatric occupational therapist.  A very worried occupational therapist. And who are they, anyway?  These therapists help kids (and adults) get over or mitigate the barriers to daily occupations — […]

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Beware Early Childhood ‘Education,’ Think Learning Instead

Published by EducationNews.org — There are times when school gets in the way of learning. From the President of the United States to the President of the Rhode Island Senate, early-childhood education is shaping up to be one of this year’s ed obsessions. We’ve been here before, of course.  Head Start, a signature program from the […]

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The 2015 Revival of America’s Can-Do Spirit

Published by EducationNews.org — In 2015, let’s consider policies, decisions, architecture, whatever, in terms of whether or not they’re good for kids. A “can-do” spirit seems as fundamentally American as Mom and apple pie.  “Can do” has a super-encouraging tone of voice, the kind that kindergarten teachers use, or my mother when she assured us that […]

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Merry Christmas!

Published by EducationNews.org —  I don’t care how you get there, but love needs to be at the center of all relationships, however strained. Christmas and I have a relationship.  I always have a tree, jammed with a silly number of lights.  I give a Christmas Eve dinner which increasingly is made up of orphans […]

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A Statewide Teachers Contract Will Not Achieve Peace

Published by EducationNews.org — Whether one or many, minimalist contracts have a better shot at turning the attention to the kids. ‘Tis the season to celebrate peace on earth.  Since the world is what it is, we celebrate peace as an essential ideal, however much honored in the breach.  So how do we consider, very […]

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Maintaining Good Relationships is Inconvenient

Published by EducationNews.org — When all parties feel heard, agreements tend to stick. In a convenience culture, busy people have little patience for the tedious, sometimes maddening work of sustaining good relationships.  Checking out perceived slights, apologizing, talking things through are hard.  Yucky feelings come up and it takes time to sort things out, sometimes a […]

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