Title

THE “FACES” Framework for Leveraging Student Well-being and Achievement

First Presenter's Institution

Align Education, LLC

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 9 (Vernon)

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

This workshop relates directly to two of the five conference strands. First, it speaks to “HEART”: Social & Emotional Skills by offering a framework designed to help educators build and maintain positive learning environments. Second, the workshop addresses “HEALTH”: Mental & Physical Health by highlighting the connection between emotional well-being and school climate.

Brief Program Description

Anytime test scores trump student well-being as measures of school effectiveness – we’re in trouble! Addressing this national concern, the FACES framework offers school leaders a powerful tool for building healthy school climates. Just as practical as it is symbolic, FACES transforms the process of teaching and learning into one that nurtures students emotionally as well as academically!

Summary

The year 2020 marks the 35th anniversary of the shocking death of Edmund Perry, a Black graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy from Harlem, New York. There is perhaps no better example than this tragic story to illustrate this central point: To invest in academic rigor at the expense of emotional well-being is dangerous. Yet, more than three decades later, we see evidence that school climate today remains an important issue of concern. Honoring Perry’s memory, this presentation renews the call for supportive environments. The workshop equips school leaders with an innovative approach to instruction that nurtures all students emotionally as well as academically.

Using the FACES framework for teaching and learning, the workshop enables leaders to enhance educational processes and outcomes within their institutions and programs. School leaders set the tone of the school environment and thus are the foundation for developing a positive climate.

The framework stems from what is known as the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) of motivation. This FACES workshop, then, introduces educational leaders to SDT theory and the five elements of the framework that spring from it: Fun (making the learning process enjoyable), Affirmation (validating students), Challenge (pushing students to achieve), Expression (enabling student “choice and voice”), and Success (incorporating success principles into instruction). These five practical elements constitute the methods that the framework employs to support the psychological needs of students as described above. Moreover, their synergy forges student-teacher relationships that promote well-being as well as achievement.

Most importantly, participants will take home practical ideas and methods of implementing these five elements of the framework.

Evidence

The framework stems from what is known as the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) of motivation. According to the theory, as human beings, all students have three fundamental psychological needs: autonomy (i.e., a sense of choice or control), competence (achievement or mastery), and relatedness (attachment or belonging). These needs serve as a basis for intrinsic motivation. Thus, to the extent that the educational process supports these needs, students are more likely to become highly engaged. By the same token, to the extent that the process stymies these needs, students are much more likely to disengage from school.

Sample of testimonials from the field:

Students:

“I love this class!! It is engaging and exciting.”

“Conversations are enjoyable and projects are creative and inventive.”

“This course is fun but we also learn at the same time.”

70% agreed the approach helped them learn statistical concepts

85% said it was a good way to learn math

90% described the approach as effective

Educators:

“I thought FACES might be too simple of a construct but it was so insightful!”

“Wonderful workshop. Plenty of ideas were given to build youth and not keep them in a box.”

“For me FACES represents a paradigm shift wherein the student is the ultimate subject.”

“Very good and practical information … that works not just in the classroom but also with out of school programs.”

“FACES rocks! Thank you.”

Partial List of References

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2008). Facilitating optimal motivation and psychological well-being across life’s domains. Canadian Psychology, 49, pp. 14-23.

Reeve, J. (2012). A self-determination theory perspective on student engagement. In: Christenson, S. L., Reschly, A. L. and Wylie, C. (Eds.), Handbook of research on student engagement (pp. 149-712). New York: Springer.

Shaw, J. (2019). Rigor with joy: Rethinking the American High School. Harvard Magazine, May-June, pp. 11-13.

Yazzie-Mintz, E., & McCormick, K. (2012). Finding humanity in the data: Understanding, Measuring, and Strengthening Student Engagement. In: Christenson, Sandra L., Reschly, Amy L. and Wylie, Cathy (Eds.), Handbook of research on student engagement (pp. 743-761). New York: Springer.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Anane N. Olatunji, PhD, president and founder of Align Education, a consulting firm located in New Orleans, LA. With more than 30 years of experience, he has taught students from kindergarten to college and trained educators nationwide as well as abroad. Published in the Harvard Educational Review, he also is author of the upcoming book, FACES behind the NUMBERS: The Advocate’s Guide to Transforming Education. Dr. Olatunji is an alumnus of Harvard University, Teachers College, and Tulane University, where his research focused on the sociology of mental health.

Keyword Descriptors

School climate, school leadership, student well-being, Teaching and learning

Presentation Year

March 2020

Start Date

3-11-2020 11:15 AM

End Date

3-11-2020 12:30 PM

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

THE “FACES” Framework for Leveraging Student Well-being and Achievement

Session 9 (Vernon)

Anytime test scores trump student well-being as measures of school effectiveness – we’re in trouble! Addressing this national concern, the FACES framework offers school leaders a powerful tool for building healthy school climates. Just as practical as it is symbolic, FACES transforms the process of teaching and learning into one that nurtures students emotionally as well as academically!