Making Caring Common, a project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, envisions a world in which children learn to care about others and the common good, treat people well day to day, come to understand and seek fairness and justice, and do what is right even at times at a cost to themselves. Since 2013, Making Caring Common has worked toward this vision with families, educators, and communities through its Caring Schools Network, #CommonGood Campaign, and Empathy in Schools Research Initiative. Making Caring Common’s work spans a wide range of topics, all connected by a commitment to forefront caring and concern for the common good at school, at home, and in communities. Visitors to the site can explore resources by key topics—Bias and Bullying; Caring, Empathy, and Concern for the Common Good; College Admissions; Sexual Harassment, Misogyny, and Romantic Relationships; and Social–Emotional Learning (SEL). They can also explore Resources for Educators and Resources for Families in detail.
Each month we publish blogs and several newsletters full of digital learning, funding, professional growth, social media, and STEM resources. Below are items from our blogs and newsletters that educators turned to the most in November.
Students come to school with, as Dr. Adolph Brown describes, two backpacks. One of the backpacks contains academic tools, such as pencils, calculators, and textbooks, that represent their readiness to learn. The second backpack represents the invisible emotional weight that burdens each student entering our school buildings. Anxiety, stress, rage, self-doubt, and low self-worth resulting from bullying, child abuse, substance abuse, and neglect cannot be unpacked and shoved into a school locker. This backpack accompanies students throughout the school day and impacts their engagement, attentiveness, and interactions. Educators don’t always see the contents of this backpack, yet they witness its negative impact on student learning every day. So how can educators and leaders reach these students? How can we unburden them and teach them coping and relationship skills that allow them to participate in their education fully?
Simple Interactions, a project of the Fred Rogers Center in partnership with researchers at Harvard University and University of Pittsburgh, has been adopted by schools, afterschool and summer programs, and other organizations for children in 35 states and several countries, including in China, Canada, and Scotland. Under the program, educators’ interactions with children are filmed to help strengthen relationships and educators’ professional growth.