Over the summer I listened to an episode of the podcast Note to Self, which is described by its host, Manoush Zomorodi, as, "the tech show about being human." The topic of the episode was kids and screens and the special guest was Elizabeth Englander, a researcher, professor of psychology, and the executive director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University. I found the episode surprisingly comforting. Why?
The opening of the new school year calls us to reflect: What present and future are we preparing our students for? What challenges and opportunities will they face in their lifetimes? How will they use all they learn here to act--to lead--in facing challenge and opportunity alike? Indeed, how will they turn challenge into opportunity?
Learning, at the core, is a relationship with the unknown. Anyone who is learning is interacting with knowledge, skills, and understandings that seem elusive, difficult, or vague, until they aren't. While some skills can be modeled and developed with repeated practice, some understandings require dialogue with a teacher or guide.
This spring, the upper division Literacies Block team has undertaken advancing our digital citizenship curriculum with a 7th and 8th grade unit on Digital Dilemmas.
This year I have been working with our 7th and 8th graders to explore leadership, one step of many as the school continues to refine and strengthen our approach to metacognitive skill growth in our students.