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How to Measure Success Without Academic Achievement

Ed Surge – Elizabeth Anthony

“The question of how to measure success in life is one typically left to philosophy classes or late nights at the bar. It is a complex, perhaps unanswerable question. In the words of the cast of Rent, how do you measure a life? So it’s really a wonder that we consider the definition of success for personalized learning programs to be so simple. Can the success of any educational initiative be measured by academic achievement alone? This June, a subset of the education world was upended when RAND released a report detailing the components of personalized-learning implementations and the effects this model has on students.”(more)

How Ending Behavior Rewards Helped One School Focus on Student Motivation and Character

KQED News Mind/Shift – Linda Flanagan

“But a substantial body of social science research going back decades has concluded that giving rewards for certain types of behavior is not only futile but harmful. In his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink identifies seven drawbacks to extrinsic rewards: they cripple intrinsic motivation, limit performance, squash creativity, stifle good conduct, promote cheating, can become habit-forming, and spur a short-term mindset. Giving prizes for routine and mindless tasks can be moderately effective, Pink writes. But offering rewards for those tasks that are “inherently interesting, creative, or noble…is a very dangerous game.” When it comes to promoting good behavior, extrinsic rewards are “the worst ineffective character education practice used by educators,” Berkowitz writes.”(more)

Children denied chance to develop ‘resilience’ by too strict health and safety rules, warns Ofsted chief

The Telegraph – Christopher Hope

“Children are being denied the chance to develop “resilience and grit” because of schools’ over-zealous health and safety policies, the chief inspector of schools says. Amanda Spielman said schools must stop trying “to wrap them in cotton wool” because it leaves them ill-prepared for the challenges of later life. Schools had to do more to “distinguish between real and imagined risk”, she said, adding that Ofsted will now train its inspectors to ensure schools are not rewarded for overbearing policies.”(more)

Teachers should foster emotional intelligence in their students but not be graded on it, report finds

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Recent research shows emotional skills like grit, sense of belonging, and growth mindset positively influence student grades, test scores, and attendance. While we know social and emotional skills are important to education achievements, which skills are most important and how much can teachers influence them? Are education systems and institutions properly equipped to hold teachers accountable for them?.”(more)

Borsuk: Character counts — and these 6 schools prove it

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel – Alan J. Borsuk

“I like character education for two simple reasons: One is that there are so many schools where the atmosphere created by the way people treat each other impedes education. This goes not only for how kids act but for how adults in the school sometimes treat kids — and other adults. (I’ve witnessed these things.) So much class time in so many schools is taken up with behavior problems. More broadly, a positive school culture leads to more positive outcomes. The other is that I am convinced the well-designed efforts around character and conduct can make differences. It is possible to create a more positive atmosphere in a school. Intentional efforts around character education can be a part of that. South Milwaukee offers strong evidence of two of the most important traits of a successful character program: persistence and pervasiveness.”(more)

4 Digital Tools That Help Students Practice Integrity

KQED News Mind/Shift – Danny Wagner

“Students are expected to demonstrate integrity in the classroom, but how often are they given the chance to practice modeling it? Teachers have an enormous obligation to do what’s right, and as role models they’re given that opportunity each day. But in order to achieve a student-centered environment, kids need to be encouraged to showcase who they are and what they value. Practicing these skills is necessary so that students’ actions will be consistent with their beliefs and they’ll then be able to listen to the feelings and concerns of others without judgment.”(more)