Location

Verelst

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Our proposal relates the Heart strand because A Culture of Hope addresses the social/emotional learning and skills that at-risk students must have in order to find success in school and beyond. Our proposal also relates to the "Head" strand because our 10+ years of research in high-poverty, high-performing schools resulted in four "Seeds of Hope" which represent the social/emotional components addressed by successful schools, on top of academic interventions.

Brief Program Description

Presenters will share research on the school culture differences found between high-performing and low-performing high-poverty schools. Participants will learn about A Culture of Hope and the four Seeds of Hope. After learning explicit steps and strategies for collecting and using survey data, participants will practice using surveys to assess components of school culture, and develop additional survey questions relevant to individual circumstances.

Summary

This session reviews research documenting relationships between students’ academic achievement and their social/emotional needs, and describes specific counseling and teaching strategies that are being used in effective high poverty schools. Teaching poor and culturally diverse student populations continues to represent a great challenge for public education. Even after a decade of a national focus on effective practices for reaching and teaching all learners, high numbers of poor and minority students continue to struggle in school and, even after elementary and middle school success, many falter, fail, and ultimately dropout at the high school level. As documented by recent studies, effective instructional and organizational strategies are not enough to keep poor and minority students succeeding and achieving in school. Such strategies fail to address the “learned helplessness or hopeless” that is so often associated with poverty, and fail to respond to the clash of cultures within public schools that alienates many poor and culturally diverse students and families. Instead, schools must attend to students’ social/emotional needs first. Effective schools build a “culture of hope” that provides a foundation for academic success by helping students develop 1) a sense of optimism, 2) a sense of belonging, 3) a sense of pride and 4) a sense of purpose. This presentation will share specific practical strategies and interventions that are being used in effective high poverty schools across the country and internationally to address the social/emotional needs of poor and culturally diverse students, keep students succeeding in school and support students’ plans for life beyond high school.

Evidence

A Culture of Hope is based on over 10 years of field research in high-poverty schools across the United States. The differences between high and low performing schools were synthesized into four social/emotional aspects of learning. These social/emotional aspects of learning are supported by other research on high-performing schools, poverty education, and school culture. A Culture of Hope coalesces the practices of educators across the country to address the needs of at-risk youth.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Robert Barr is a nationally recognized scholar for his work on high poverty/high performing schools, low income and minority students, and alternative schools. He is the author or coauthor of 12 books on these topics, one of his books (Saving Our Students/Saving Our Schools, 2008, Corwin with William Parrett) was recognized with an honorable mention as the Education Book of the Year. Barr has served as Director of Teacher Education at Indiana University, Dean of The College of Education at Oregon State University and Boise State University, where he also started the Center for School Improving. He has received three national awards for excellence in education and often appeared on national TV: on the O’Reilly Factor with Bill O’Reilly, the Firing Line with William Buckley and ABC Evening News. He has been quoted in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and most recently he was the focus of a story in the London Times Sunday Magazine, 2009.

Emily Gibson has worked as a teacher, instructional coach, professional development provider, and teacher-consultant for the Redwood Writing Project in California. She recently completed her doctoral studies at Boise State University. A Fellow of the National Writing Project since 1997, she has provided professional development to K-12 teachers in the areas of reading a writing instruction. She started and directed a site for at-risk middle school students with a charter school in California. Her research foci are children of poverty, differentiated instruction and equity & access to education.

Keyword Descriptors

school culture, hope, high-poverty, learned helplessness, school improvement

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-4-2015 11:15 AM

End Date

3-4-2015 12:30 PM

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Mar 4th, 11:15 AM Mar 4th, 12:30 PM

Building a Culture of Hope for At-Risk Students

Verelst

Presenters will share research on the school culture differences found between high-performing and low-performing high-poverty schools. Participants will learn about A Culture of Hope and the four Seeds of Hope. After learning explicit steps and strategies for collecting and using survey data, participants will practice using surveys to assess components of school culture, and develop additional survey questions relevant to individual circumstances.