Inspire to Aspire Creating Classrooms and Communication in Which All Children Can Know Who They Are and Become All They Can Be
All children come to us with great inner potential. Ours can be the greatest gift one can give to a child—the awareness of self—and all of the latent talents, hopes and feelings that belong only to him or her.
We either help them to become self aware or we suppress their inner selves and substitute our voice and our will.
Every student needs more than instruction in reading, writing and solving mathematical problems. S/he needs inspiration. Yes, literacy matters as a basic skill- but when we supply ample amounts of daily inspiration we will cause children and adolescents to become more than they think they might be. Inspiration directs them to look within where they may draw courage; hope—and then to express their gifts in a world that sorely needs them.
How can we inspire children to develop their character and learning dispositions? One way is to promote the important cognitive skills of concentration and will-power that help them to access all their talents and mental capabilities.
How do we avoid the mistake of overpowering their emerging ability to become self disciplined, courageous and kind, by substituting our power to obtain compliance?
How do we create classrooms that promote and celebrate creativity and enjoyment of problem solving; instead of promoting competition and fear of failure?
If we see ourselves as advocates for the development of the whole child we will become dissatisfied to be only the dispenser of subject area knowledge and our rules of conduct. We will seek children’s voice, intention and intellect in building caring communities of learning.
“Be it yours to give them bread; Mine shall be to give them themselves.” W. Froebel
Inspire to Aspire —Create the foundation within each child for the development of courage, love, hope, joy, kindness, patience, and faith in oneself and all others. —Create classrooms in which all children can shine—share their unique individuality in a caring community.
100% Human Potential is the result of a “proper” education – The future is literally in our hands. J. Hagelin
Education (e’ ducar - To draw forth) Education – the development of mind, skill, character and knowledge Are we truly educating the children and adolescents in our classrooms? Miriam Webster Dictionary
Instruere (fr)- to put into Or are we simplyinstructing? -putting knowledge into students
How can you create a classroom that promotes true education for every child, every day? How can you be aware of how your classroom impacts the total development of each child or adolescent?
Seek to create a classroom community that truly educates the Whole Child--Mind SkillCharacterKnowledge Join the ASCD Whole Child Initiative
Do I Inspire to Aspire As I work with students each day, am I seeking to be an educator? Or am I simply being aninstructor? How do I believe that my students best learn? How do I address the development and learning needs of the Whole Child? How does communication within my classroom advance my goals? How do the lessons I plan and teach promote my goals for every child to grow toward his/her potential?
YOU CAN HELP EACH CHILD TOSHINE Recognize that each child deserves to develop the inner power to access and develop all his or her potential. Celebrate the individual giftedness of every child! Promote each student’s voice and self expression in the classroom community
Think of self discipline as the will to do; the will to overcome unproductive, unwanted behavior or desires; the will to do something when it needs to be done. Know that the child has the ability to develop will power when explicitly taught, valued and modeled. Understand that you can work with the child because he or she wants to gain self control and mastery over his/her body and mind. Promote and Cultivate Self Discipline
Understand the basic needs of all students “Humans start with a very weak disposition that is then fashioned fully as the person grows. If the environment is right, people will grow straight and beautiful, actualizing the potentials they have inherited. If the environment is not "right" (and mostly it is not) they will not grow tall and straight and beautiful.” A. Maslow
Design a classroom setting that is aligned with child development theory E. Erikson
Lead a classroom that livesthese virtues as suggested by Erik Erikson Hope, Faith Will, Determination Purpose, Courage Competence Fidelity, Loyalty and Gratitude From Gallup: What All Followers Need from Leaders— Trust Compassion Stability Hope E. Erikson Tom Rath and Barry Conchie Gallup Press (January 6, 2009)
Understand that the development of each student’s social skills and positive learning dispositions is the most important basic skill we can achieve for the student.
Create a classroom in which positive learning dispositionsare valued and lived ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN R. Fulghum
Help each student to develop the Ability of Concentration--Flow MihalyCsikszentmihalyi
Concentration From the very first day, include the word “concentration” in your classroom communication. Define it for students as “the ability to gain power over attention; an ability developed from within using intention and practice.”
Help Each Student to Develop the Ability of Concentration "The first essential for the child's development is concentration. It lays the whole basis for his character and social behavior. Praise, help, or even a look, may be enough to interrupt him, or destroy the activity. It seems a strange thing to say, but this can happen even if the child merely becomes aware of being watched. After all, we too sometimes feel unable to go on working if someone comes to see what we are doing.” M. Montessori
Developing Concentration Leads to the State of Flow “… flow – the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” MihalyCsikszentmihalyi
Four components of Flow: Control; Attention; Curiosity; Intrinsic interest. Csikszentmihalyi (1975)
Flow Each of these aspects can be achieved through well planned cooperative/engaged learning lessons Control- Staying in your group; taking turns; sharing materials; Disagreeing with the idea not the person. Attention- Keeping on task; persisting even when the work is hard; becoming totally engaged, immersed in the work; having intention. Curiosity- Getting hooked on the problem and invested in learning the answer; creating the questions; loving the journey of problem solving Intrinsic interest- Loving the questions; having a sense of awe and wonder
Think of Your Classroom as the Place Where Students Develop Positive Habits (Attitudes) of Mind Gratitude Persistence/Perseverance Harmony Joy The Will to Be Kind
Flow and Mind—It All Comes Together in a Community of Learners Intrinsic motivation- whatever produces "flow" becomes its own reward Innate curiosity – build from children’s natural awe and wonder in the natural world Concentration – provide engaging lessons in which students can become completely involved, focused, and enjoy problem solving and hard work Wonderment and Awe – provide opportunities in school as well as ideas for time with families where children can have experiences that maintain their sense of ecstasy in the wonders of the world Great inner clarity – let students understand that intelligent behavior is knowing what needs to be done, how to do it and how well it is going. Farmer (1999)
--Every time they know the activity is do-able; that their skills are adequate, and they are neither anxious or bored;--Every time they draw on their sense of Safety – they have no worries about self—instead, a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of themselves; and a feeling of transcending their known selves in ways not thought possible (even by you!) afterwards.--Every time there is a shared sense of timelessness – they become thoroughly focused on the present; and don’t notice time passing. When Do We Develop Students’ Minds by Using the Theory of Flow? Farmer (1999) “Lose time don’t gain it.” Rousseau