In the 2004 comedy Mean Girls, the movie follows an insular and materialistic group of “popular” teenage girls—aptly named “the Plastics”—and its odd inclusion of a young lady who sought community and acceptance at her new school. As the actresses’ antics devolve into a predictable high school drama-fest, the movie itself offers a startling look into what can happen in toxic student communities.
These toxic communities may be funny when presented on the big screen, but their formation is especially troubling after recent events at a public high school in Wilmington, Delaware. A freshman was killed fighting over a boy with another female student, during which she was surrounded and assaulted in the girls' restroom.
To combat this potential for dangerous, damaging relationships to form within student social circles, Headteacher Jane Lunnon at Wimbledon High School—an independent girls’ day school in Wimbledon, England—invited educational speaker and trainer Emma Gleadhill to discuss how to build healthy relationships, both in school and later in life.
When a student is the odd man (or woman) out at recess, it can be discouraging and awkward for that student to try inserting him- or herself into ongoing games. But—through one young student’s clever and simple idea—loneliness on the playground might be a thing of the past, thanks to the Buddy Bench.
Families enroll their children in private schools for many reasons, including safety, unique educational opportunities, and their students’ ultimate academic future. That future often includes higher education and college—and the practically required expectation of standardized testing. In the last few years, several comparison studies lend third-party support to the theory that private-independent education better prepares students for college than public schools do, as indicated by those test scores.
Mark Engstrom is a Certified Blending Designer, Middle & Upper School Head at Allen Academy—and an ISM workshop leader. This February, he was invited to lead his fellow consultants in a day-long professional learning opportunity surrounding one of the latest educational trends emerging from the Information Age: blended learning. This curriculum focuses on the integration of personal learning through technology with more traditional face-to-face interactions between teachers and students.
The Source had a chance to speak with him after his presentation and dig deeper into what he sees the impact of technology-fueled education will be on private schools now, as well as what it could be in the future.
As telecommuting becomes more acceptable in many professional industries, several public schools that want its graduates to be prepared for the workforce have begun to experiment with “work from home” days for its students, as reported by Benjamin Herold for Education Week.
Don’t mistake this phenomenon for an online school or homeschooling program. These are brick-and-mortar schools offering unique interactive activities for students to complete in home offices or at dining room tables, creating a purposeful blended learning environment that administrators hope may replicate “real world” working conditions after graduation.
When blended learning, gamification, makerspaces, and other technology-heavy buzzwords make their way through educational journals and forums, it can be hard to see whether these tools and techniques are something to invest in. Are many of the digital learning trends just fun ideas for those bored with tried-and-true techniques, or do they truly mark a fundamental shift in how students need to learn?
Here, we break down four studies that offer a deeper context to show how technology-assisted tools have previously helped—or hindered!—learning in other schools.
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