Tag Archives: edweek

Elusive Student Engagement

Daniel Pink, in his bestselling book Drive, states the key to intrinsic motivation is autonomy, mastery, and purpose. I would argue that in education, the order matters. You can’t start with full autonomy (often called voice and choice) or you might end up with anarchy. The majority of students will not voluntarily choose to learn most content standards. First, the teacher needs to connect their content to a relevant purpose. The framework that I wield to create meaning for students is project-based learning (PBL).

I had the privilege to share some thoughts at Larry Ferlazzo’s EdWeek column: Student Engagement Can Be Elusive. Here’s How to Help. Check it out in its entirety.

Learn with me!

Are you interested in professional development for your school on how to integrate SEL or implement PBL? I would love to have a conversation on how I can help. I am now scheduling summer workshops and book studies. Check out my workshop page or drop me an email at mikejkaechele@gmail.com. I would love to chat and co-plan meaningful PD for the educators at your school.

Would you like to explore more deeply how to integrate SEL into daily classroom activities? Check out my book below for tons of practical ways that can be immediately implemented in any classroom.

Pulse of PBL

Myths about Standardized Tests

Recently I contributed to Larry Ferlazzo’s column on EdWeek titled, It’s Time to Debunk the Myths About Standardized Tests. Here’s the beginning:

Standardized tests are great at measuring what they are designed to: student’s abilities to score well on a sterile test with a specific format, centered on a limited subset of knowledge deemed critical by some committee. We know that there is so much more to learning and education than what is on these tests. Too many of our students’ abilities fall outside of their narrow scope and are not measured. While standardized tests have demonstrated gaps between the educational opportunities for certain subsets of learners in this country, they have not offered any helpful solutions to educational inequity. It’s past time to reject the deficit thinking of standardized testing as a path forward.

The first thing that I would “measure” to determine a school’s effectiveness is student, parent, and community feedback. Schools would send multiple surveys throughout the year to elicit feedback from the community about the culture and effectiveness of the school. Regular meetings would connect students, teachers, and the community to reflect on school practices and local opportunities for students to learn and contribute.

Head on over to Edweek to read the rest and some thoughtful responses from other educators too.

Let’s Connect!

One and done Professional Development is ineffective. Here’s a great little post about questions you should be asking before you hire a consultant. I would be glad to develop a vision with you!

Summer dates are filling up fast. Please reach out to me at mikejkaechele@gmail.com if you would like to discuss how I could partner with your school for Project Based Learning, Transformative SEL workshop or coaching options.