Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Classroom Practice



Do students like your teaching? Try this and find out

Summary:  What if we asked our students about the type of work they would prefer to do while in class? It may reveal a lot about their personal learning styles.

Source:  Alan November, February 23, 2015, eSchool News

Category:  Classroom Practice, Student-Centered Learning, Technology



Student Achievement and the American Education System

Summary:  “When schools are held accountable only for the accomplishments most obviously linked to future earnings, they sacrifice many of the experiences that are most important for optimal development but which are not lucrative.”

Source:  Susan Engel, February 2015, the Utne Reader

Categories:  Classroom Practice, Standardized Testing, Student Achievement



How Developing Trust is Problematic (But Essential) For Independent Learning

Summary: Katrina Schwartz’s recent KQED blog post explores why trust is crucial in shaping independent learners. The article points out that in this age of preparing students to be “college and career ready,” it is puzzling that schools block portions of the internet in the name of protecting students from inappropriate online behavior. Additionally, by blocking digital tools that serve a useful purpose in learning, schools effectively stop educators from teaching and modeling appropriate online behavior. And yet, younger students especially need some kind of protection online. In this article, we explore why building trust today is difficult in a traditional sense, while also remaining crucial for independent learning activities.

Source:  Edudemic Staff, January 7, 2015

Categories:  Classroom Practice, Student-Centered Learning, Student Voice



Teacher’s Guide to Digital Storytelling

Summary:  Perhaps the most exciting thing about digital storytelling is that it teaches so many fundamental skills using a medium in which students are already fundamentally interested — and, notably, one that will prove essential for them as they move up the academic chain and on to their careers. Digital storytelling techniques do not simply add to a student’s craft toolbox; they become a source for creativity itself when students are encouraged to get inventive with those tools.

Source: Leah Levy, Edudemic, November 6, 2014

Categories:  Classroom Practice, Student Voice, Creativity, Technology



Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

Summary: In this TED Talk, which is the most watched TED Talk of all time, Sir Ken Robinson speaks about how our current education system stifles children’s creativity.

Source: Sir Ken Robinson, TED Talk, June 2006,  see also

Categories:  Creativity, Classroom Practice, Student Engagement



The Five Habits of Creative Teachers

Summary:  This article talks about how to harness creativity in an educational system that often stifles it.  Read about five habits that help teachers maintain their creative approach to teaching and learning.

Source: By Cathleen Nardi, Melissa Goodwin, Tracee Vetting Wolf, Strawberry-Blue Olive, and Maureen Maher Wizel, Ed Week Teacher, August 19, 2014

Categories: Classroom Practice, Creativiity



Harvard ed school shares ‘Usable Knowledge’ for educators

Summary:  The Harvard Graduate School of Education has launched a new website to share best practices and research with educators, administrators, and policymakers across the nation.  The site, Useable Knowledge, will highlight specifically the work and research of the University’s faculty and their co-researchers across the globe.  K-12 and Higher Education content will both be featured on the site.

Source:  Allie Gross, Education DIVE, September 11. 2014

Categories: Classroom Practice, Educational Research



Teacher Collaboration Benefits Students

Summary:  According to Esther Quintero, a senior fellow at the nonprofit Albert Shanker Institute, teachers collaborating and fostering a supportive professional environment is just as important for student achievement as having good individual teachers in place.

Source: Allie Gross, Education DIVE, Sept. 11, 2014,

Categories: Teacher Collaboration, Classroom Practice



Are You a Relevant Educator?

Summary:  This article speaks about a new how-to book by Tom Whitby and Steven Anderson called The Relevant Educator.  It is part of the Corwin Press Connected Educator Series and delves into the use of technology and social media to help teachers (and administrators) remain relevant.

Source: Peter DeWitt, Education Week September 9, 2014

Categories: Classroom Practice, School Culture and Climate, Social Media



Commentary: What Makes a Great Teacher?

Summary:  According to the loudest and most influential education reformers, the answer is pretty straightforward. Great teachers have mastery over their subject matter, can design coherent lesson plans, and are able to track student improvement.  But while it’s true that great teachers possess those skills, it is deeply misguided to believe that those skills alone make a great teacher.

Source: Jack Schneider, Education Week, September 8, 2014

Categories:  Classroom Practice, SEL Basics, SEL Teacher Training