Submissions to the blog …

We would be happy to have reader submissions of articles and ideas.  In order to do this, please send your comments and an electronic link to the article you’d like to share with other blog readers to

Once we’ve received your submissions, we can post them for everyone to see.  Hope to hear from many of you!

6 Relationships that Characterize Successful Schools

A post in Education Week lists one educator’s suggestions for the six important relationships that make schools great places to be.  Do you agree, and do these apply to your schools?

SEL training needs to be a matter of attitude for teens

New research from the University of Texas Austin, reported in EurekAlert, looked at successful social-emotional training programs  for teens and determined that teaching skills alone did not result in positive growth in students.  The key to real change was helping students to develop a flexible attitude of coping with challenges – an incremental theory of personality – and finding purpose in learning – an effective mindset model – to be effective.  “Improving adolescents’ interior social and emotional lives can spill over into other areas of functioning, because social and emotional life matters so much at this age,” said the author.

Tantrums not associated with either speech or IQ in autistic kids

A recent study from Penn State University, reported in HealthDay, looked at the frequency of tantrums in autistic kids as a factor of their level of speech development and/or IQ.  Results suggested that it was neither speech problems nor IQ that predicted the occurrence of tantrums, but rather that these children needed to be taught more effective ways of getting what they need and their ability to be flexible.  The message for parents: don’t wait until your child’s speech improves to expect the tantrums to lessen, but act now with behavioural coaching.

Resilience more important than academic learning in real life

A study from Spain, published in Frontiers of  Psychology and reported in EurekAlert!, has determined that self-regulation and resilience are more important to life success than are academic achievement.  Are these skills taught regularly in schools?  Having just completed several workshops on Resilience here, I would say that they aren’t part of the regular curriculum.  Your thoughts?

Is there evidence to support mindfulness education for kids?

A recent article in Vox looks in depth at the various applications of mindfulness training in schools to examine the evidence base for the practice.  Does mindfulness meditation reduce student stress?  Does it improve student academic performance?  This is an interesting review of what has become a very popular movement in schools.  If we are going to promote this practice, we certainly should know the science behind it.

Is it sleep or morning sunshine that teens need – or both?

A new study from Northwestern University, reported in Chalkbeat, looked at start times for schools across the US, and noted that increased exposure to sunshine in the morning correlated to higher test scores for high school students.  We know that sleep is also a factor for this age group.  The irony is that most districts start their elementary schools later and high schools earlier – exactly the opposite of what the biological and learning needs of the students require.  What happens in your district?

How much screen time is too much for kids, and how to cut it back?

A blog from the Harvard Medical School looks at the reality of screen time for kids these days, and the down sides.  The post includes alternative ideas for spending time with kids and a “calculator” tool, which might help parents plan more helpful screen time in their homes.  The information is good for parents, and also for teachers and school psychologists who are also parents!