The Science of Adversity
Children living in poverty often endure stress from adverse experiences, such as exposure to violence, loss of a loved one or homelessness. Unfortunately, most schools aren’t designed to address the impact of stress on learning. Pamela Cantor, M.D., President and CEO of Turnaround for Children explains the science of adversity and how we can use this information to design better learning environments to help all children reach their full potential.
Building Blocks for Learning
Turnaround for Children’s Building Blocks for Learning is a framework for the development of skills children need for success in school and beyond. Each element represents a set of evidence-based skills and mindsets that have been proven by research to strongly correlate to, and even predict, academic achievement. The framework draws from research in multiple fields to suggest movement from lower-order to higher-order skills. Overall, it provides a rigorous perspective on what it means to intentionally teach the whole child – to develop the social, emotional, motivational and cognitive skills in every learner. Turnaround offers the building blocks framework as a contribution to a vital collaborative endeavor to deepen and transform K-12 education.
How Brains are Built: The Core Story of Brain Development
The AFWI developed the video with considerable input from our partners at the Harvard Center on the Developing Child and the FrameWorks Institute. Using metaphors developed by FrameWorks and tested with audiences both in the US and in Alberta, "How Brains are Built" infuses core story concepts with energy, accessibility, and high fidelity to the science.
Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools
Dr. Mary E. Curtis, director of the Center for Special Education at Lesley University discusses “3 big ideas” in volume 2 of Helping Traumatized Children Learn that influenced Lesley University’s design of a series of trauma and learning graduate courses for educators.
New Approaches to Youth Violence Prevention in Schools
Violence impacts our youth at home, in the community, and on campus. This NITT multimedia video describes various forms of violence that impact youth and hones in on the evidence-based practices, programs, and policies that ensure students are safe at school.
Repairing our Schools Through Restorative Justice:
Relying on suspensions and zero-tolerance discipline doesn't deter misbehavior in schools--in fact, it makes matters worse. Teacher Jean Klasovsky shares Farragut High School's story, a model for how schools can improve climate and discipline by using restorative justice practices such as peace circles and peer juries. Such practices lead to reduced dropout rates and greater student achievement.
Chad's Story: The Power of Teachers to Reduce Stress of Traumatized Students
The story of Chad shows how a supportive and caring adult can help a child overcome childhood trauma and exposure to violence. Each year, nearly 60% of youth are exposed to violence in their homes, schools, and communities. Recent studies demonstrate how observing violence has a lasting negative impact on a child’s brain and their cognitive development. Over time, exposure to violence during childhood is significantly correlated with negative outcomes such as psychological issues, adverse behavior, and serious illnesses.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Futures Without Violence, and the Ad Council have developed the Changing Minds campaign, as part of the Defending Childhood Initiative, to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of children’s exposure to violence and the trauma that may result; motivate adults to be more caring, concerned, and supportive figures to the children around them; and support programs and practices that help to make homes, schools, and communities safer for children and youth
One of the biggest predictors of a child’s ability to be resilient in the face of trauma is interacting with a caring adult. Through everyday gestures, any adult in a child’s life can vastly increase that child’s opportunity for success. Learn how your everyday gestures can help a child in your life at ChangingMindsNOW.org.