Wednesday, January 17, 2018

C H I L D... each calls to... Creation, Harmony, Inspiration, Love, Deliverance...

APOGEE Learning Enhancement Training Systems™ is a distillation of formal academic course and degree completion, personal experiences and prospectives, yoga science, ancient Egyptian, Indian,  Roman, Greek, and Chinese principles of wellness and wellbeing. YES,  all this seasoned with the delights of being an educator, serving students across the age span, since 1960.

I have here posted a recent communication from Bank Street College of Education, New York City. I am a graduate of their advanced Supervision and Administration graduate degree program. Since 1983,  I have integrated the teachings of this program into the APOGEE Paradigm™

It is with pleasure that I post this communication. Its presentation is most certainly in accord with the very principles and practices that I have implemented in my capacities as a consultant, educational therapist, sound/stress management therapist, and yes, poet laureate and artist.

Rose Marie Raccioppi, MS FABI
APOGEE Learning Enhancement Training Systems™
Tappan, New York


January 2018

Dear Colleagues, Families, Students, Alumni, and Trustees,

Happy New Year! 

1. Variability in human development is the norm, not the exception. The pace and profile of each child’s development is unique. When schools design learning experiences around a mythical average, or try to force all children to fit one sequence, they miss the opportunity to nurture the individual potential of every child. 

2. Human relationships are the essential ingredient that catalyze healthy development and learning. Supportive, responsive relationships are characterized by consistency, compassionate communications, modeling social behaviors, and the ability to accurately perceive and respond to a child’s needs. These types of relationships provide protection, emotional security, knowledge, and the support to build age-appropriate skills.

The capacity of parents and teachers to attune to the needs of children and youth may require support. Adults may lack skills and knowledge, including social and emotional skills, experience stress that interferes with their ability to attune, or lack the time necessary to establish or sustain developmental relationships.

Schools and early care settings can be designed to support positive relationships between teachers and students and between students themselves, both of which strengthen development and learning. They also can promote trust and cultural understanding between schools and the home, which provides deeper knowledge about children and contributes to their feelings of physical and psychological safety. 

3. Children actively construct knowledge based on the convergence of their individual biology, experiences, relationships, and social context. Students dynamically shape their own learning. Learners compare new information to what they already know to create mental models. These mental models enable students to connect facts to their past experiences and to make inferences and predictions about new situations. This process works best when students actively engage with concepts and knowledge, and when they have multiple opportunities to connect the knowledge to personally relevant topics and lived experiences.

When learning experiences invite students to be active participants, they gain skills in producing and working with knowledge to create something useful…Effective teachers act as mentors: setting tasks, watching and guiding children’s efforts, and offering feedback. The model of teachers spoon-feeding information to students is outdated. 

4. Learning is social, emotional, and academic. Studies of the brain in action reveal that different parts of the brain that control social, emotional, and cognitive processes work together when a child is learning, intertwined like the strands of a rope. For example, the areas of the brain involved in memory are strongly tied to those involved in emotion. 

There is a hierarchy to skills. Some skills act as building blocks for more complex skills later in life. For example, children’s early skills in regulating their behaviors, emotions, and attention provide the foundation for later abilities to persist with hard tasks and to pursue interests over a longer period of time.

5. Adversity affects learning—and the way schools respond matters. Stress is a normal part of healthy development and learning, but excessive stress can throw learning and development off track and exert profound effects on children’s well-being. 

When adversity is severe, prolonged, or when the counteracting effects of stable relationships are missing, the body adapts to the continual activation of the stress response system by going on “permanent high alert” and staying there. This produces excessive levels of cortisol that flood the brain and other vital organs, disrupting their normal functioning... The stress response also helps to explain how unbuffered stress in early life can affect educational outcomes. In early childhood, when the brain’s architecture is still being formed, unbuffered stress can make for a shaky foundation and can have long-term detrimental effects on children’s learning and behavior as well as on their physical and mental health.

Because supportive adult relationships can prevent or reduce unhealthy stress responses in children and the resulting negative consequences, building and supporting the capacity of adults who care for and teach children is critically important. Schools and early childhood settings that provide developmentally rich relationships and experiences can buffer the effects of severe stress and trauma, promote resilience, and foster healthy development.

 Copyright © 2018 Bank Street College of Education, All rights reserved.