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. The approach is inspired by Fred Rogers’ words that we learn and grow best through relationships. Junlei Li, senior lecturer in early childhood education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, developed the program based on Rogers’ belief that media can be a positive force in children’s lives. Along with recording adult–child interactions, the model highlights four elements of human development—connection, reciprocity, inclusion, and opportunities to grow. The Simple Interactions tool defines opportunities to grow as “presenting incremental challenges and matching with appropriate support.” The data collected are used as feedback for teachers and others working with children, and a one-page resource illustrating the interactions serves as a means for conversation.
Super skills, twenty-first century skills, best practices—whatever you want to call the 4C’s (creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication), they are an integral part of the student experience in our classroom. Even so, sometimes a pathway to incorporate the 4C’s may seem evasive or like it takes too much time. Adding the following tools and ideas to an instructional toolbox can support a seamless incorporation of the 4C’s into our teaching and learning for all students.
To celebrate 50 years of Earth Day, Project WET has teamed up with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Project WILD to launch a freeonline professional learning opportunity on climate topics on March 23, 2020.
FOOD Ed. is a national standards-aligned course that brings STEAM to life by exploring the complexities of the nation’s food system. The semester-long interdisciplinary course explores connections between food and culture, food and environment, and food and power.