Mindfulness provides a means of handling distress with intention and nonjudgment via several proposed mechanisms: First, bringing attention to the present-moment experience of thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations shifts cognitive focus away from the past (such as a memory of a troubling incident) and the future (such as apprehension of impending trouble), thereby disrupting the connections between automatic cognitive interpretations and patterns of reacting. Second, focus on present-moment internal and external experience broadens attention and allows for suspension of previously practiced patterns of reacting (avoidance or overengagement), sometimes called decentering. Third, the quality of nonjudgment that is essential to mindfulness permits the observation of your experience without judgment or evaluation. The practice of orienting to experience with curiosity and acceptance strengthens tolerance for distress by altering automatic response patterns described previously. When practiced regularly, mindfulness can provide a powerful tool for restoring emotional balance and preventing engagement in harmful behavior.
In essence, it's not the textbook that needs to change -- it's how we deliver content to our students. Additionally, this transition lies in how we design and integrate that delivery system and with what tools we can work.
What skills do you want students to learn and apply?
What content will you deliver, and how does it connect to the desired outcome and align with standards?
How will you check for understanding and challenge students to apply their learning?
How are you transitioning the learning from a passive experience to an active, creative experience?
I mean that we must challenge them to question and use their learning to seek out an answer that cannot simply be Googled
find one or two apps or resources that work best for you, become an expert with them, and focus on student learning rather than app harvesting.
In one independent-study-type course, students set their own learning goals, work collaboratively and seek help from mentors when it’s needed.
He recommends teachers give students the ability to work on long-term projects that meaningfully contribute to the world, helping to provide the motivation for independent learning.
A few schools working with some of the most traumatized and disadvantaged students are finding that practicing mindfulness — centering activities like focused breathing that keep the mind in the here and now — can help students build the focus, decision-making and ability to think ahead that many students lack. One elementary school in Richmond, California, with
in spite of the obvious need for training and support, “principals often receive less professional development than anyone else in a district”(xiii)
“Partnership,”Knight speaks to the importance of developing relationships and building trust between teachers and administrators before engaging in deep conversations about classroom instruction. Staff should have the chance to “discuss, dialogue, and then decide together”(29) about school issues important to everyone.
“Leaders who genuinely win the respect of their staff are those who never miss an opportunity to demonstrate their respect for others”(
He offers specific strategies for school leaders, such as leading professional development, monitoring instruction in the classroom, and mapping out progress of teacher performance.
“No professional can choose to be unprofessional”(93).
He continues the theme of taking a partnership approach when planning, such as asking for ideas and suggestions during leadership meetings. The author also provides specific steps a leader needs to take when preparing staff learning opportunities
At first glance, it appears that deciding what a STEM program should look like is an ongoing conundrum for the K-12 education world.
STEM lessons don’t necessarily teach the specific content in math and science – they may apply content that has already been taught. The key point is whether a STEM program applies math and science concepts to solve an engineering challenge and provide students with opportunities to integrate learning.
Maker projects, however, are not intended to substitute as STEM programs. They frequently accomplish Criteria #2 and #3 and touch on other criteria to some degree. But their goals and focus differ from STEM.
Remember, STEM as originally conceived is intended to get kids up to speed on science and math using an engineering design approach, emphasizing teamwork and real-world problems.