January 27 - February 3, 2019

Relationships, relationships, relationships.  This could almost be called the Relationships Issue.  (And there's much more, too.)

The Cult of Pedagogy piece on Dialogue Journals highlights the important role of relationships in learning, and I had to linger on the pull quote to understand its intent.  It doesn't say that our students need us to care *for them*, it says our students need us to help them care *about what they should learn*.  Of course, we help them care by caring for them.  See the article for greater clarity...

And the New York Times piece about doctor-patient rapport shows that the quality of doctor-patient relationships actually drives health outcomes.  Care matters.  The analogy is obvious: does rapport matter in teaching?  One assumes so.  Of course, this also raises the question of tough love. Would those who advocate for the kind of soft skills described in this article also argue that there is a place for sternness?  If so, when?

Also, find two pieces this week on extra-curriculars (including a feature article).  These are particularly important to schools that seek to teach the whole child. 

Also also, I'm thrilled to share some personal news.  More on this later in the year.

Until then, enjoy this week's many interesting pieces!



On Extra-Curriculars As Central To Learning And Character Development  Harvard GSE
"Extracurriculars, our work suggests, tend to differ from core classes in a number of important ways. They are voluntary rather than mandatory; they often involve work that is undertaken collectively rather than individually; they feature opportunities for peer leadership and peer-to-peer learning; they involve dimensions of playfulness; and they are aligned to activities that are valued in broader American culture… Finally, extracurriculars draw together opposing virtues that are critical for sustained and deep learning: passion because students have chosen the arena and are seeking to excel in it, and precision because there are ample opportunities for practice and feedback."

Relationships: Doctors' Kindness Drives Health Outcomes. Surely, Teachers, Too.  NYTimes
"All of this research suggests that doctors who don’t connect with their patients may risk undermining a treatment’s success. Doctor-patient rapport is not just a fluffy, feel-good bonus that boosts Yelp reviews, but a component of medical care that has important effects on a patient’s physical health. Particularly as artificial intelligence promises a world where we don’t need to go to the doctor for minor questions, we should not overlook the value of interacting with a human doctor and hearing words of encouragement."


Growing Up Digital: "Orbiting, Another Thing... To Worry About"  New York Times

"Digitally observing a prospective love interest, or an ex, online is yet another way that people are confusing each other romantically."

What Happens When Kids Talk To Kids About Challenges And Trauma  Hechinger Report


A Short Reflection On The Ethics Of Football, Via Newspaper Ethicist  New York Times
"The potential for grievous injury is surely part of why people watch Nascar races; we still expect drivers to use six-point harnesses and flame-retardant suits. It isn’t obvious how this principle should be applied to a game like football. Some think that new high-tech helmets will help; others argue that no helmets at all would be safer, because (as in rugby) it might discourage head collisions. Players spend much more time in practice than in actual games, and some think that practice needs to be reformed to avoid the subconcussive impacts that have been linked to C.T.E. There’s more research to be done, more rethinking of the rules of the game."

High School eSports Launched Officially In Five States  Inc.
"The high school coaches who spoke with Inc. contest the idea that the students joining their e-sports teams generally are doing so in lieu of physical activity: They're kids who otherwise would be gaming at home, in a room alone, talking to people through a headset or not at all… It's nice to see these kids that might have been loners, outcasts, have support from their classmates. It tells them, 'We want to watch you. We think what you're doing is cool.’"

Extra-Curriculars: "How Effective Sports Coaches Help Students  KQED


"If You're Not Outside Your Comfort Zone, You're Not Learning"  Inc.
"The goal should be to inject unpredictability into your life to keep your brain learning. Stability can be restful, but science shows it will teach you pretty much nothing."

Economists Are Really Interested In Happiness These Days  Literary Hub

A Framework For Managing When Things Are Overwhelming   Shawn Blanc


Intellectual Humility Leads To Better Learning  Behavioral Scientist

The Key Steps For Making And Breaking Habits [Report]  Behavioral Policy


3 Skills Schools Can Teach So Students Can Navigate Future Tech  BBC
"Technical ability: understanding how machines function and how to interact with them… Data discipline: navigating the sea of information that's generated by these machines… And the human discipline: "which is what we humans can do that machines for the foreseeable future, cannot emulate.”"

Oops. PE In Middle Schools Shown To Cause Disciplinary Problems?  Atlantic


More Screen Time Does Appear To Correlate With Adverse Development  CNN
"The researchers found that greater screen time at 24 months was associated with poorer performance on developmental screening tests at 36 months, and greater screen time at 36 months was associated with lower scores on developmental screening tests at 60 months."


Language Learners Benefit From Repeating 3rd Grade  Hechinger Report


"Students At Smaller Colleges More Likely To Say Faculty Care"  Gallup

Engagement In College Is More Important Than College Selectivity  Stanford GSE

University Of Utah Tries Income Sharing Agreements For Tuition  Education Dive


The New Generation Of Poets Is Made Of Women On Instagram  Guardian
"Young women aged 13 to 24 are now the biggest consumers of poetry in the UK in a market that has grown by 48% over the past five years to £12.3m, according to UK book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan. But instead of buying works by the dead white men who have dominated the canon for centuries, young women are using their economic muscle to drive up sales of works by female poets, making poetry more diverse and representative than ever before."


8 Leadership Questions For A Post-"Move Fast And Break Things" Era  Harv. Bus. Rev.

14 Ways To Foster Kindness In Team Settings, Esp. During Conflicts  New York Times

At Least Three Principals Announced Snow Days With Videos. Here They Are.  NPR

Adjusting The Three Horizons Model For Organizational Innovation  Harv. Bus. Rev.


On The Intersection Between Mindfulness And Trauma  KQED


Accountability Partners: Horizontal Versus Vertical Accountability  Quiet Revolution


Dialogue Journals And The Role Of Relationships In Teaching  Cult of Pedagogy

"I know that they could learn anything they need to learn from their homes with a device on their lap still in their pajamas. They don’t need me to learn. They need me to care."

Jumping Into The Deep End: Should Learning Start With The Basics?  EdWeek
"Foundations before choice. Learn the notes before you play the concerto. But while it is true that most fields have some sequential ordering of topics, it is also true that what David Perkins calls "playing the whole game at the junior level" has a lot of advantages. Perkins cites Little League as an example: we don't spend a year learning to throw, another to catch, another to bat; rather, we play the whole game of baseball from the beginning, just at the junior level. Playing the whole game gives young players a chance to see how the sport as a whole works, and, just as critically, it means that they get to see why one would want to play the sport. This engenders motivation, which is what provides the fuel to practice the parts."


Why People Create False Or Alternate Accounts On Social Media  New Statesman
"Once a behaviour reserved for “weirdos” on Reddit and Tumblr, the alt account has now become a staple for internet users on essentially every platform. But anonymity can be a double-edged sword."


"EU Market Says Goodbye To Single-Use Plastic Products"  Forbes


Education Is At A Low Risk Of Automation [Obviously, Say Teachers]  Brookings


Dress Code: What Happens When A US Senator Wears Thigh-High Boots?  AZ Central


"'Signing Day' Recognizes High School Seniors Starting Jobs"  MNN
"The familiar high school rituals take place every spring. Athletes sign letters of intent to play for college programs as their coaches beam with pride, the photographs splashed across social media. Other high school seniors wave college acceptance letters as their names are announced at school assemblies. But one school system in Virginia wanted to celebrate a different life-changing moment for the seniors who were starting careers right after graduation."

Independent School Enrollment Is Increasingly Uncertain  Westport News
"There are 46 independent schools in the state with about 17,900 students this school year, as compared to 57 schools and about 22,700 students in the 2006-07 school year, according to the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools… Nearly half of the 939 independent schools examined in a national study lost students between 2006-07 to 2013-14, according to the National Association of Independent Schools. The rest grew in enrollment."