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International Research Handbook on Values Education and Student Wellbeing

Informed by the most up-to-date research from around the world, as well as examples of good practice, this handbook analyzes values education in the context of a range of school-based measures associated with student wellbeing. These include social, emotional, moral and spiritual growth – elements that seem to be present where intellectual advancement and academic achievement are being maximized. This text comes as ‘values education’ widens in scope from being concerned with morality, ethics, civics and citizenship to a broader definition synonymous with a holistic approach to education in general. This expanded purview is frequently described as pedagogy relating to ‘values’ and ‘wellbeing’.

This contemporary understanding of values education, or values and wellbeing pedagogy, fits well with recent neuroscience research. This has shown that notions of cognition, or intellect, are far more intertwined with social and emotional growth than earlier educational paradigms have allowed for. In other words, the best laid plans about the technical aspects of pedagogy are bound to fail unless the growth of the whole person – social, emotional, moral, spiritual and intellectual, is the pedagogical target. Teachers and educationalists will find that this handbook provides evidence, culled from both research and practice, of the beneficial effects of such a ‘values and wellbeing’ pedagogy.

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Promoting Social and Emotional Learning

Educators today have a renewed perspective: when schools attend systematically to students’ social and emotional skills, the academic achievement of children increases, the incidence of problem behaviors decreases, the quality of the relationships surrounding each child improves. The challenge of raising knowledgeable, responsible, and caring children can be enhanced by thoughtful, sustained, and systematic attention to children’s social and emotional learning (SEL). The purpose of this book is to address the crucial need among educators for a straightforward and practical guide to establishing, implementing and evaluating comprehensive, coordinated programming to enhance the social and emotional development of children from preschool through high school. Framing the discussion are 39 concise guidelines, as well as many field-inspired examples for classrooms, schools, and school districts. Chapter 1 addresses the “Need for Social and Emotional Learning.” Chapter 2 addresses “Reflecting on Your Current Practices.” Chapter 3, “How Does Social and Emotional Education Fit in Schools?”, provides a more indepth examination of what social and emotional education is. Chapter 4, “Developing Social and Emotional Skills in Classrooms,” explains how teachers can help students develop social and emotional skills in their individual classrooms. Chapter 5, “Creating the Context for Social and Emotional Learning,” examines issues related to creating an organizational climate supportive of social and emotional educational programs. Chapter 6, “Introducing and Sustaining Social and Emotional Education,” discusses practical issues involved in starting and continuing a program. Chapter 7, “Evaluating the Success of Social and Emotional Learning,” outlines ways to evaluate social and emotional education efforts to determine whether specific goals are being achieved. Chapter 8, “Moving Forward: Assessing Strengths, Priorities, and Next Steps,” revisits the self-reflection process. Three appendices offer a curriculum scope for different age groups, guidelines for social and emotional education, and program description, contacts, and site visit information. (SD)

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Cognitive Load Theory

Over the last 25 years, cognitive load theory has become one of the world’s leading theories of instructional design. It is heavily researched by many educational and psychological researchers and is familiar to most practicing instructional designers, especially designers using computer and related technologies.

The theory can be divided into two aspects that closely inter-relate and influence each other: human cognitive architecture and the instructional designs and prescriptions that flow from that architecture. The cognitive architecture is based on biological evolution. The resulting description of human cognitive architecture is novel and accordingly, the instructional designs that flow from the architecture also are novel. All instructional procedures are routinely tested using randomized, controlled experiments.

Roughly 1/3 of the book will be devoted to cognitive architecture and its evolutionary base with 2/3 devoted to the instructional implications that follow, including technology-based instruction. Researchers, teachers and instructional designers need the book because of the explosion of interest in cognitive load theory over the last few years. The theory is represented in countless journal articles but a detailed, modern overview presenting the theory and its implications in one location is not available.

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Learning Targets

In Learning Targets, Connie M. Moss and Susan M. Brookhart contend that improving student learning and achievement happens in the immediacy of an individual lesson–what they call “today’s lesson”–or it doesn’t happen at all.

The key to making today’s lesson meaningful? Learning targets. Written from students’ point of view, a learning target describes a lesson-sized chunk of information and skills that students will come to know deeply. Each lesson’s learning target connects to the next lesson’s target, enabling students to master a coherent series of challenges that ultimately lead to important curricular standards.

Drawing from the authors’ extensive research and professional learning partnerships with classrooms, schools, and school districts, this practical book

* Situates learning targets in a theory of action that students, teachers, principals, and central-office administrators can use to unify their efforts to raise student achievement and create a culture of evidence-based, results-oriented practice.

* Provides strategies for designing learning targets that promote higher-order thinking and foster student goal setting, self-assessment, and self-regulation.

* Explains how to design a strong performance of understanding, an activity that produces evidence of students’ progress toward the learning target.

* Shows how to use learning targets to guide summative assessment and grading.

Learning Targets also includes reproducible planning forms, a classroom walk-through guide, a lesson-planning process guide, and guides to teacher and student self-assessment.

What students are actually doing during today’s lesson is both the source of and the yardstick for school improvement efforts. By applying the insights in this book to your own work, you can improve your teaching expertise and dramatically empower all students as stakeholders in their own learning.

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Guide to Teaching Computer Science

The dynamic evolution of the field of computer science also poses educational and pedagogical challenges, such as issues of computer science (CS) teacher recruitment, pre-service teacher preparation, support for teachers’ ongoing professional development, and the design of teaching and learning material.

This unique Guide to Teaching Computer Science presents both a conceptual framework and detailed implementation guidelines for general CS teaching. The content is clearly written and structured to be applicable to all levels of CS education and for any teaching organization, without limiting its focus to instruction for any specific curriculum, programming language or paradigm.

Topics and features: presents an overview of curriculum topics in computer science, and of research in CS education; examines strategies for teaching problem-solving, evaluating pupils, and for dealing with pupils’ misunderstandings; provides learning activities throughout the book, consistently supported by chapter references; proposes active-learning-based classroom teaching methods, as well as methods specifically for lab-based teaching; discusses various types of questions that a CS instructor, tutor, or trainer can use for a range of different teaching situations; investigates thoroughly issues of lesson planning and course design; describes frameworks by which prospective CS teachers gain their first teaching experience.

Drawing on the authors’ experience of more than two decades of teaching and research in computer science education, this concise, thorough and easy-to-follow book is eminently suitable for use as either a teaching guide or as a textbook for computer science teacher training programs.