TRUTH # 1 YOUNG ADOLESCENTS ARE DEVELOPMENTALLY UNIQUE
THE SHIFTS: PHYSICAL INTELLECTUAL SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL YOUNG ADOLESCENTS ARE DEVELOPMENTALLY UNIQUE
Author Unknown “Crustaceans are at their most vulnerable when they are between shells.”
A Brief History Remember the Junior High School? 1920’s-1950’s 1973-Growing Up Forgotten (Lipsitz) 1989-Carnegie’s, Turning Points: Preparing America’s Youth for 21 st Century 2000-Carnegie’s, 2 nd Turning Points Today: We know what best serves our young adolescents.
Proven Middle Level Practices This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents (NMSA, 2010) www.nmsa.orgwww.nmsa.org; (AMLE, 2013) Breaking Ranks in the Middle ® (NASSP, 2005) www.principals.org Turning Points 2000: Educating Adolescents in the 21st Century (Jackson & Davis, 2000) National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform: Vision Statement (1999) www.mgf.org
The Forum’s Vision Developmental Responsiveness Academic Excellence Social Equity NORMSSTRUCTURESPROCESSES
THE4TENATIOUS TRUTHS 1. YOUNG ADOLESCENTS ARE DEVELOPMENTALLY UNIQUE. 2. YOUNG ADOLESCENTS THRIVE IN SAFE HAVENS. 3. POWERFUL LEARNING IS ACTIVE, RELEVANT AND INTEGRATED. 4. WE CAN ALL GET SMARTER!
The Consensus ‘The period of life called young adolescence--the years 10-15-- represents one of the most pivotal times in human development. How students fare in these middle years, sets a course for their future years in life and in school.’
“Working with young teens is not easy. It takes patient, humor and love. Yes, love of kids who burp and fart their way to eighth grade. Who tell you “Life sucks!” and everything they do is “Boring!” Who literally roll to the floor in hysterical laughter when you separate the prefix and the suffix from the word “prediction” and ask them for the root and what it means. Who wear short, skin-tight skirts and leg-laced sandals, but carry teddy bears in their arms. Who used a paper clip to tattoo Jim Morrison’s picture in their arm during quiet study, while defending the merits of Tigger’s personality in Winnie-the-Pooh. Who send obscene notes that would make a football player blush, written in pink magic marker, blasting each other for stealing a boyfriend, and sign the note- “Love, P.S. Please write back.”-Linda Reiff, Seeking Diversity
Research Findings 1. We long to be known and trusted. 2. We learn best when we feel safe. 3. We want to be treated as if we are all different but all equally special. 4. We want to learn important stuff that matters in the world and in life. 5. We learn best when we are actively engaged. 6. We respect adults who are human and tender. (Doda & Knowles, 2006)
TRUTH #2 YOUNG ADOLESCENTS THRIVE IN SAFE HAVENS (SMALL, PERSONALIZED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS)
EMOTIONS AND LEARNING (Implicit Memory) Associated with (Explicit Memory) Associated with The Classroom Climate The Learning Content Positive climate leads to Endorphins in blood, which - Give feeling of euphoria - Stimulate frontal lobes What instructional activities will get students emotionally connected to the content of the learning? Negative climate leads to Cortisol in blood: - Raises anxiety level - Refocuses frontal lobes to flight or fight
Quality Relationships “The key to being a good teacher is knowing the kids. You have to know every single one and have a relationship with every single one. I think that one thing that really allows me to work hard is knowing that my teacher knows where I am in life at that moment. If they don’t know me, I will tend not to work as hard for them.”
The Power of School Connectedness “ Students are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors and succeed academically when they feel connected to school….School connectedness was found to be among the strongest protective factors for both boys and girls….” (CDC, 2009)
CLOSE-KNIT LEARNING COMMUNITIES ADVISORY, HOME BASE, DAILY SUPPORT AGE APPROPRIATE SOCIALIZATION & INCLUSION PARTICIPATORY ATHLETICS HEIGHTENED FAMILY INVOLVEMENT Personalization
The Home-Base HOMEBASE BASE CAMP PRIME TIME MORNING MEETING MAP TAP “Every young adolescent needs one adult in school who knows him/her exceedingly well and serves as the mentor, advocate, liaison and coach.” (NMSA)
Academic Impact of Home-Base Students participating in planned SEL efforts gained 11 percentile points on standardized measures of academic achievement (.28) Daily aspirin/.01 (SEL=Social and Emotional Learning) Equivalent to moving a student in the middle of her class to the top 40%. More impact than most academic interventions. Like the impact of a good literacy intervention. (Joseph Durlak, Child Development, 2011) Roger Weissberg et al Meta Analysis (2008) Education Week Dec 19, 2007
POWERFUL LEARNING IS ENGAGING, RELEVANT AND INTEGRATED. TRUTH #3
Less Teacher Talk “Teachers, teachers, teachers, when will they learn. I have the attention span of a raisin. I need to be kept busy with things that are fun. Teachers need to find out what interests kids and what stuff they like to do. So for a less whiny, annoyed and temperamental class, make it fun.”- 7 th grader
“Almost everyone has had occasion to look back upon his school days and wonder what has become of the knowledge he was supposed to have amassed during his years of schooling…but it was so segregated when it was acquired and hence is so disconnected from the rest of experience that it is not available under the actual conditions of life.” Dewey (1938, 48)
“The academic challenge in a middle school curriculum lies not in painful abstraction, But rather in its capacity to engage the Intellectual imagination and curiosity of young adolescents.” ( Beane, 2005 ) Rigor is Relevance
Integration Improves Learning Seeing the whole picture… SEPTOCTNOVDECJANFEBMARAPRMAY SCI MATH SOC STDS LANG ARTS
Redefine “Smart” None of us is as smart as all of us. SMART IS NOT SOMETHING YOU ARE. IT SOMETHING YOU BECOME.
Study after study has shown that much of the achievement gap between children from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic groups can be traced not to family & life circumstances, but to how their teachers viewed them while they were in school. ( Gordon, Della Piana & Keleher, ERASE Initiative, Applied Research Center )