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.


Pedagogies of the Imagination

I have long admired the mythopoetic tradition in curriculum studies. That admiration followed from my experience as a high-school teacher of English in a wealthy suburb of New York City at the end of the 1960s. A “dream” job—I taught four classes of 15–20 students during a nine-period day—in a “dream” suburb (where I could afford to reside only by taking a room in a retired teacher’s house), many of these often Ivy-League-bound students had everything but meaningful lives. This middle-class, Midwestern young teacher was flabbergasted. In one sense, my academic life has been devoted to understanding that searing experience. Matters of meaning seemed paramount in the curriculum field to which Paul Klohr introduced me at Ohio State. Klohr assigned me the work of curriculum theorists such as James B. Macdonald. Like Timothy Leonard (who also studied with Klohr at Ohio State) and Peter Willis, Macdonald (1995) understood that school reform was part of a broader cultural and political crisis in which meaning is but one casualty. In the mythopoetic tradition in curriculum studies, scholars labor to understand this crisis and the conditions for the reconstruction of me- ing in our time, in our schools.


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)


The Big Picture

What is the purpose of education? What kind of people do we want our children to grow up to be? How can we design schools so that students will acquire the skills they’ll need to live fulfilled and productive lives?

These are just a few of the questions that renowned educator Dennis Littky explores in The Big Picture: Education Is Everyone’s Business. The schools Littky has created and led over the past 35 years are models for reformers everywhere: small, public schools where the curriculum is rich and meaningful, expectations are high, student progress is measured against real-world standards, and families and communities are actively engaged in the educational process.

This book is for both big “E” and small “e” educators:

* For principals and district administrators who want to change the way schools are run.

* For teachers who want students to learn passionately.

* For college admissions officers who want diverse applicants with real-world learning experiences.

* For business leaders who want a motivated and talented workforce.

* For parents who want their children to be prepared for college and for life.

* For students who want to take control over their learning . . . and want a school that is interesting, safe, respectful, and fun.

* For anyone who cares about kids.

Here, you’ll find a moving account of just what is possible in education, with many of the examples drawn from the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center (“The Met”) in Providence, Rhode Island–a diverse public high school with the highest rates of attendance and college acceptance in the state. The Met exemplifies personalized learning, one student at a time.

The Big Picture is a book to reenergize educators, inspire teachers in training, and start a new conversation about kids and schools, what we want for both, and how to make it happen.


A History of Art Education

Recent debates on the place of the arts in American life has refocused attention on art education in schools. In this book, the author puts current debate and concerns in a well-researched historical perspective. He examines the institutional settings of art education throughout Western history, the social forces that have shaped it and the evolution and impact of alternate streams of influence on present practice. The book treats the visual arts in relation to developments in general education and particular emphasis is placed on the 19th and 20th centuries and on the social context that has affected our concept of art today.

The book is intended as a main text in history of art education courses, as a supplemental text in courses in art education methods and history of education, and as a resource for students, professors and researchers.


Waging Peace in Our Schools

The most prominent activists working in the fields of conflict resolution and emotional literacy argue that schools–as our children’s last common public institution in a fractured time–must educate the heart as well as the mind. Linda Lantieri and Janet Patti show us how it can be done. They draw on the latest research in social and emotional learning, as well as on their years of experience with thousands of kids and teachers through the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program–one of the largest and most successful of its kind in the country, serving over 150,000 children in more than 325 schools nationwide. Waging Peace in Our Schools is news from the front–the essential primer on a movement that is transforming our schools.

The book is a practical guide, filled with stories, voices, ideas, and advice. We see teachers using innovative techniques to create “peaceable classrooms,” student mediators who are changing the lives of their schools, and the core curricula of conflict resolution and diversity education.

“Waging Peace in Our Schools is a model of emotional intelligence. . . . I hope that every teacher and parent reads this, and takes this superb advice to heart.”

–Daniel Goleman


The Pendulum

The pendulum is a universal topic in primary and secondary schools, but its full potential for learning about physics, the nature of science, and the relationships between science, mathematics, technology, society and culture is seldom realised.

Contributions to this 32-chapter anthology deal with the science, history, methodology and pedagogy of pendulum motion. There is ample material for the richer and more cross-disciplinary treatment of the pendulum from elementary school to high school, and through to advanced university classes.

Scientists will value the studies on the physics of the pendulum; historians will appreciate the detailed treatment of Galileo, Huygens, Newton and Foucault’s pendulum investigations; psychologists and educators will learn from the papers on Piaget; teachers will welcome the many contributions to pendulum pedagogy.

All readers will come away with a new awareness of the importance of the pendulum in the foundation and development of modern science; and for its centrality in so many facets of society and culture.


Teaching with Poverty in Mind

In Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It, veteran educator and brain expert Eric Jensen takes an unflinching look at how poverty hurts children, families, and communities across the United States and demonstrates how schools can improve the academic achievement and life readiness of economically disadvantaged students.

Jensen argues that although chronic exposure to poverty can result in detrimental changes to the brain, the brain’s very ability to adapt from experience means that poor children can also experience emotional, social, and academic success. A brain that is susceptible to adverse environmental effects is equally susceptible to the positive effects of rich, balanced learning environments and caring relationships that build students’ resilience, self-esteem, and character.

Drawing from research, experience, and real school success stories, Teaching with Poverty in Mind reveals

* What poverty is and how it affects students in school;

* What drives change both at the macro level (within schools and districts) and at the micro level (inside a student’s brain);

* Effective strategies from those who have succeeded and ways to replicate those best practices at your own school; and

* How to engage the resources necessary to make change happen.

Too often, we talk about change while maintaining a culture of excuses. We can do better. Although no magic bullet can offset the grave challenges faced daily by disadvantaged children, this timely resource shines a spotlight on what matters most, providing an inspiring and practical guide for enriching the minds and lives of all your students.


Values Education and Quality Teaching

Some revision of public schooling history is necessary to challenge the dominant mythology that public schools were established on the grounds of values-neutrality. In fact, those responsible for the foundations of public education in Australia were sufficiently pragmatic to know that its success relied on its charter being in accord with public sentiment. Part of the pragmatism was in convincing those whose main experience of education had been through some form of church-based education that state-based education was capable of meeting the same ends. Hence, the documents of the 1870s and 1880s that contained the charters of the various state and territory systems witness to a breadth of vision about the scope of education. Beyond the standard goals of literacy and numeracy, education was said to be capable of assuring personal morality for each individual and a suitable citizenry for the soon-to-be new nation. As an instance, the NSW Public Instr- tion Act of 1880 (cf. NSW, 1912), under the rubric of “religious teaching”, stressed the need for students to be inculcated into the values of their society, including understanding the role that religious values had played in forming that society’s legal codes and social ethics. The notion, therefore, that public education is part of a deep and ancient heritage around values neutrality is mistaken and in need of se- ous revision. The evidence suggests that public education’s initial conception was of being the complete educator, not only of young people’s minds but of their inner character as well.


Researching School Experience

There is a tendency in much educational thinking to view pupils in passive terms, as the material on which schools operate. This damaging view is challenged here. Significant recent research shows the effects of changing educational conditions on the experience of teaching and learning in schools. By redressing the balance and acknowledging the affective side of pupils and their learning, this book shows that improved understanding leads to improved teaching. Contributions from Stephen Ball, Martyn Descombe, Ann Filer, Andy Hargreaves, Bob Jeffrey, Geoff Troman, Andrew Pollard and Peter Woods.