Presentation on theme: "The Importance of Mentoring on the Development of the Whole Child Kansas Governor’s Conference on Mentoring Tuesday, April 14, 2009 Topeka."— Presentation transcript:
The Importance of Mentoring on the Development of the Whole Child Kansas Governor’s Conference on Mentoring Tuesday, April 14, 2009 Topeka
Perhaps the greatest idea America has given the world is the idea of education for all. The world is entitled to know whether this idea means that everybody can be educated or that everybody must go to school. Robert Hutchins
What is the major change we have been pursuing over the past three decades? From a focus on teaching to a focus on learning ------------------------------ From a focus on educational opportunity to a focus on learning for all ------------------------------ From a focus on availability to a focus on accountability ------------------------------ From a focus on accountability to a focus on accountability and development of the whole child
What is the purpose of public education in the United States?
What is the “purpose” of public education in the United States? To prepare children for citizenship To cultivate a skilled workforce To teach cultural literacy To prepare students for college To help students become critical thinkers To help students compete in a global marketplace SCHOOL: The Story of American Public Education (2001) PBS
What have been the goals for education that have continued to shape U.S. policy making? Basic academic skills – reading, writing, math, science, history, civics, geography, and a foreign language Critical thinking and problem solving – analyzing information, applying ideas to new situations, and developing knowledge using computers Social skills and work ethic: communication skills, personal responsibility, and getting along with others from varied backgrounds Rothstein, R., Wilder, T., and Jacobsen, R. (May, 2007). Balance in the balance. Educational Leadership, 64(8), pp. 9-14
What have been the goals for education that have continued to shape U.S. policy making? Citizenship – public ethics, knowing how government works, and participating by voting, volunteering, and becoming active in community life Physical health – good habits of exercise and nutrition Emotional health – self-confidence, respect for others, and the ability to resist peer pressure to engage in irresponsible personal behavior Rothstein, R., Wilder, T., and Jacobsen, R. (May, 2007). Balance in the balance. Educational Leadership, 64(8), pp. 9-14
What have been the goals for education that have continued to shape U.S. policy making? The arts and literature – participation in and appreciation of musical, visual, and performing arts as well as a love of literature Preparation for skilled employment – qualification for skills employment for students not pursuing a college education Rothstein, R., Wilder, T., and Jacobsen, R. (May, 2007). Balance in the balance. Educational Leadership, 64(8), pp. 9-14
The early childhood years are critical to social and academic development. The later we remediate problems the more difficult and more expensive they are to solve. The most effective teachers know the subjects they teach, know how to help others learn that subject, and have an orientation toward students. When looking at average achievement across all students, the effect of the school accounts for no more than 40% of the variation. To increase the likelihood of helping more students learn, a system of supports must be available to the student when learning has not occurred. What have we learned from research since we have changed our focus to learning for all?
So what does this have to do with mentoring?
How does mentoring relate to what we are learning about child and brain development? Bruce Perry, noted physician and researcher on the development of children and the brain, explains that human beings have a neuro-biological predisposition for relationships and the number of these that young children now experience has been steadily declining
What did we learn from the study completed by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation? Youth participating in mentoring relationships have few unexcused absences, better attitudes and behaviors at school, and better chances for going to college. Participating youth have less drug and alcohol use and fewer delinquent behaviors. Participating youth improve their parental relationships which in turn improves their sense of self worth.
What have we learned from the studies conducted by Big Brothers and Big Sisters? 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs 27% less likely to begin using alcohol 52% less likely to skip school 37% less likely to skip a class more confident of their performance in schoolwork one-third less likely to hit someone getting along better with their families
What have we learned from the studies conducted by Big Brothers and Big Sisters? 64% developed more positive attitudes toward school 58% achieved higher grades in social studies, languages, and math 60% improved relationships with adults 56% improved relationships with peers 55% were better able to express their feelings 64% developed higher levels of self-confidence 62% were more likely to trust their teachers
What else have we learned about the impact of mentoring? A study by the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory concluded that “youth mentoring is a rapidly growing strategy for improving academic performance and promoting healthful social and behavioral choices” WestEd, another of the regional labs, reported that “for strengthening young people’s protective factors, the ‘big three’ are 1) caring relationships, 2) high expectations, and 3) opportunities for participation and contribution. Of the 40 developmental assets that form the building blocks for healthy youth development according to the Search Institute, 10 percent of the assets involve the involvement of caring adults in the lives of youth.
Closing Thoughts If we are to realize our dream and aspiration of helping all of our children and youth learn well and be prepared for a successful life, then we must be willing to learn as much as we can and be advocates for the implementation of effective practices. We must never forget that what a child learns is important but who a child becomes is our ultimate goal. What a child learns and who they become depends on making sure that every child and youth have significant adults in their lives.