Holistic Learning Spring Newsletter - 2016
Catharine Hannay is the creator and editor of MindfulTeachers.org, which focuses on mindfulness, compassion, social-emotional learning, and teacher self-care. Her website is a tremendous resource for anyone who is interested in deepening their understanding of mindfulness in education.
The Building Blocks of Learning
David Brooks JUNE 14, 2016
The ancient Greeks had different words for different kinds of love — like Ludus (playful love), Pragma (longstanding love) and Agape (universal love). Sixteen hundred years ago, Augustine argued that the essence of a good life is choosing the right things to love and loving them well.
But over the past several centuries our models of human behavior have amputated love. Hobbes and other philosophers argued that society is a machine driven by selfishness. Enlightenment philosophers emphasized reason over emotion. Contemporary social science was built on the idea that we’re self-interested, calculating creatures.
This philosophical shift has caused unimaginable harm, especially in the sphere of education.
Most teacher professional development focuses on curriculum delivery. CARE for Teachers is different because it promotes core skills and dispositions teachers need to create and maintain supportive learning environments while retaining their well-being and love of teaching.
Courage in Schools encompasses the range of programs offered by Courage & Renewal facilitators, including Courage to Teach® and Courage to Lead® retreats and programs. In addition to those in-person personal and professional development opportunities, you can also find many online resources for teachers and educators.
Sara Rimm-Kaufman, PhD, and Lia Sandilos, PhD, University of Virginia
Improving students' relationships with teachers has important, positive and long-lasting implications for both students' academic and social development. Solely improving students' relationships with their teachers will not produce gains in achievement. However, those students who have close, positive and supportive relationships with their teachers will attain higher levels of achievement than those students with more conflict in their relationships.
Picture a student who feels a strong personal connection to her teacher, talks with her teacher frequently, and receives more constructive guidance and praise rather than just criticism from her teacher. The student is likely to trust her teacher more, show more engagement in learning, behave better in class and achieve at higher levels academically. Positive teacher-student relationships draw students into the process of learning and promote their desire to learn (assuming that the content material of the class is engaging, age-appropriate and well matched to the student's skills).