Little Kids Need Cool Places to Explore, Not Classroom Time

Published by EducationNews.org — Doesn’t anyone worry that pre-school can teach kids to hate school earlier? Early childhood education has become this year’s education-fix obsession.  From the President of the United States to the President of the Rhode Island Senate, we’re now pinning our hopes for improved academic achievement on more for schooling low-income, urban […]

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Always Model Kindness, Especially to Children

Published by EducationNews.org — The kindest response to unwanted behavior is to ask good questions. The trim, tall elementary teacher, whom we’ll call Ms. Larch, paused before answering the question that had been posed to everyone in the circle.  Larch was among a group of teachers from all levels in a Restorative Practices (RP) training.  RP, in […]

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Winning the Discipline Wars Takes Restoration

Published by EducationNews.org — Kicking the kid out doesn’t really hold the kid accountable or teach him how to behave. In Fordham Institute’s weekly Flypaper blog, David Griffith offers a tantalizing hope in a piece called “How to end the discipline wars.”  He asks, “Is there a more annoying manifestation of our political and cultural […]

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Online Interactions Are Cultivating Anti-Social Boys

Published by EducationNews.org — How do we help a kid whose social life is mainly with his screens? The boy shrugs off a question for maybe the 10th time that afternoon.  He seems incapable of simple human interaction.  Mom tries to talk for him as he wriggles and writhes at the table in her impeccable kitchen.  No, she’s […]

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Only America Refuses to Sign the Children’s Rights Treaty

Published by EducationNews.org — Seriously?  Are we so divided that we can’t even agree on taking care of the kids? I can’t imagine a clearer set of ideals for the modern world than those set forth in the United Nations’ 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The document’s 41 Articles are the conditions of […]

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Without Strong Communities, Schools Will Fail

Published by EducationNews.org — Chaotic families can wreck their kids’ lives despite a school’s best efforts.  So what can rescue the family? In the world of school reform, there are two ways of thinking about kids’ families and backgrounds.  A 2013 movie called In The Hive shows why we need a third. Approach #1: Focus all […]

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How Governments Abuse and Neglect Kids

Published by EducationNews.org — Once again, adults battling to force cutbacks in charter schools are ignoring what’s best for students. When still young and blissfully naive, I was appointed to the Providence School Board.  I was sure my clever, well-informed interview with the outgoing Mayor had knocked it out of the park.  I later discovered I […]

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At Last! A Review of Research on Restorative Justice In Schools

Published by EducationNews.org — Early studies of RJ programs in the US show their impact in reducing suspensions and harmful behavior. Local Restorative Practices/Restorative Justice (RP/RJ) initiatives have been starving for research on America’s efforts to implement programs.  The large body of evidence showing the ineffectiveness of punishment doesn’t seem to make an adequately compelling argument for supporting Restoration.  And […]

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Communities Create Their Own Safety; Police Only Help

Published by EducationNews.org — We can fall into the habit of thinking the responsibility for certain problems belongs to someone else. David Karp, who directs Skidmore College’s Project on Restorative Justice, tells this story:  Some time ago, a student, whom we’ll call Sarah, came to class one day visibly upset.  She’d been “harmed,” in the language of […]

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San Antonio’s Restoration Center Weaves a Social-Support Fabric

Published by EducationNews.org — It can be done:  a coherent and effective system for dealing with mental illness. Back in the 1970s, Leon Evans became the director of a community mental health center in San Antonio, Texas.  A social worker by training, Evans knew how to manage organizations that deal with mental illness, keeping afloat often-stressed frontline workers […]

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