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ASCD Express is the association's free e-newsletter. Published twice a month, this resource seeks to give educators practical, actionable strategies and information from the most reputable sources—the colleagues and experts working in the education field. ASCD Express content is developed and curated for brevity and relevance to the real experiences of working educators.
ASCD Express seeks brief, practical content. Article submissions typically range from 600 to 1,000 words, and multimedia submissions should be no longer than 10 minutes. Please send submissions to email@example.com.
We welcome research-based submissions as well as your own examples from the classroom and advice about how to adapt successful strategies or overcome challenges, whether as a teacher, administrator, or specialist.
Read our list of upcoming themes, and consider publishing in ASCD Express. When submitting articles, please write the issue theme in the subject line of your e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
denotes a theme that corresponds to an issue of Educational Leadership.
What does it mean to live and work across many cultures, many time zones, and many technologies? Our students are certain to find out! This issue will explore how we can help students develop the global competencies they will need for active, responsible citizenship in an increasingly interconnected world. What helps students understand multiple perspectives on history and world events? How are they learning to collaborate and communicate? Tell us about your innovative language instruction programs, STEM classes, and arts curriculums that further career success, inform civic engagement, and promote flexible thinking, creativity, and problem solving. How are schools educating students about global problems? Are we teaching students how to cope with continuous and rapid change? Are we teaching them to be ethical citizens?
Learning through play and messy, joyful discovery – these are often the hallmarks of our earliest learning experiences. Which developmental approaches to learning are the most successful, and how can teachers across the K–12 continuum apply these principles? What should early learning focus on? Are tests appropriate for our youngest students? How can we support language rich learning in school and at home? Which early learning initiatives hold the most promise for giving each student a great start?
In a whole child approach to education, each student experiences challenging curriculum that prepares them for success in college, career, and the global community. Yet studies show a growing lack of rigor in the work students do as they move through school. Struggling students can feel particularly caught in a cycle of "baby stuff," or below-grade level work that never moves them beyond the basics. This issue will look at what educators are doing to map assignments to grade-level standards and make challenging work accessible to all students, whether they come to school below or above grade level. How do you unpack the standards to create a roadmap to rigor? How do you work with colleagues to diagnose gaps and design challenging assignments? What can leaders do to fuel schools where every student is pushed to new levels?
John Locke said that reading furnishes only the materials of knowledge: "It is thinking that makes what we read ours." No matter what the discipline, students need to be able to think and write about the material they read so it becomes their own. Across the curriculum, teachers are looking for better ways to develop these reading, writing, and thinking skills. Articles in this issue will describe strategies teachers use to support students who struggle with reading, to find relevant academic texts, and to incorporate writing activities to enhance learning. How can we teach students to tackle complex texts and develop skills like locating textual evidence, evaluating arguments, and synthesizing information from print and digital sources? How does the application of these skills vary for different disciplines?
"Relationships are the 13-letter F word in education," says student voice advocate Russell Quaglia. He argues that education policies don't do enough to elevate human connections, even though educators on the ground know this work is central. In this issue, we'll revisit our popular "Relationships First" theme from September with even more strategies and success stories from educators living the adage, "they don't care what you know until they know that you care."
"Have it your way" may be a catchy slogan, but how does it work in education? This issue will delve into the various ways educators define student-centered learning and what it looks like in schools. Articles will explore differentiation, project-based learning, "school of one," and customized learning using computers. To what extent is personalization possible in a standards-oriented education environment? How can technology best aid student-centered learning? Tell us how you've seen personalization done well—and not so well. We're interested in what the research says about the benefits of student-centered learning as well as stories of schools that have reimagined their instruction, schedules, and structures to give students more choice.
We learn to count on our fingers, one of the earliest indicators that math learning is dependent on our ability to create visual pathways for mathematical concepts. Now, research led by Stanford's Jo Boaler shows that training people on ways to perceive their own fingers while solving problems results in higher math achievement. In response, educators and parents are looking for ways to help students develop their brains to better "see" the math they are learning. How do you get students to envision math? How do you represent math concepts through visuals? What approaches do you use to get students to envision math? How do you provide opportunities for students to represent ideas in pictures, graphs, or other student-generated images? How might teachers in other content areas ask students to visualize data patterns?
Submissions due: Closed
All too often students are defined by their disability—a label affixed to their IEP, student records, and, over time, their identity. A growing movement seeks to shift the paradigm from "learning disabilities" to "learning differences." This small semantic change signals a shift in acknowledging that no two brains are the same, so no two students learn in the same fashion. We're interested in research into the science of various learning differences as well as articles on skills-based strategies that help students learn. Instead of labeling ADHD, autism, or dyslexia as deficits, how can we use all students' strengths to help them learn? How can approaches like Universal Design for Learning meet the unique needs of all? Tell us how you have embraced learning differences and the effect it has had on student achievement and school climate.
Digital media has democratized news and information production so that literally anyone can make a claim or present evidence in a blog or tweet. With the proliferation of information sources comes an even greater need for readers to be able to cut through the fog of fake news and "alternative facts" and practice critical literacy. How do you challenge students to take a critical stance toward digital texts? What helps students develop the habits of questioning the news and opinions they read; assessing bias or motive, checking facts, and comparing sources? How can readers hold digital texts accountable through class discussions, creation of counter-narratives and responses, or through social action? Share your strategies for supporting active, reflective, and responsible readers.
Submissions due: March 1
A great school depends on great leadership—from administrators and from teacher leaders. This issue will look at what it takes to develop and support outstanding leaders throughout a school. Articles will address such topics as the qualities and skills today's school leaders need; strengths and weaknesses of current leadership preparation programs; and how practices like internships, coaching, and teams can support new leaders. How can we reduce principal turnover? Help new principals hit the ground running? Evaluate school leaders in ways that support growth? How are teacher leaders taking on various roles, such as peer evaluator, coach, advocate, PLC facilitator, and curriculum developer? What kinds of job-embedded supports benefit leaders?
Submissions due: March 15
Bullying can be hard to pinpoint because it manifests in both diffuse and acute ways. Awareness of certain types or targets for bullying may mask other, more subtle forms of on-going harassment. As educators, our own generational or cultural differences from our students can also make it hard to decode bullying and design authentic interventions. Recognizing that new strategies are needed to confront the problem, some schools are adopting student-driven approaches to bullying. This issue will share how educators are unpacking school climate and culture to expose bullying blind spots, and the steps they took to move from awareness to action. Are there areas of your school where bullying goes undetected? How do you address methods of bullying that might not be as apparent as overt name-calling or physical intimidation? Which data sources help you define and measure bullying? How do you make your schools safe for your most vulnerable students? What does a culturally-responsive approach to bullying look like? What role do students play in calling out abuse, and how can student-centered models for resolving interpersonal drama take hold? From big steps to small, we want to hear how you're targeting bullying in all its forms.
Submissions due: April 15
Learning unlocks the world, and that's something Pulitzer Prize winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates wishes he'd realized earlier. "Not getting shot and not going to jail simply wasn't enough to make me want to succeed in school. No one ever told me about Paris. No one I knew had ever been." Language, literature, and journalistic accounts are just a few of the avenues for bringing the world to your classroom. How do you apply a global lens to teaching and learning? How do you invite students to explore and share their own culture and experiences? What types of exchanges or field experiences are the most meaningful and why? What are some authentic methods for learning another language? Using resources like the Pulitzer Center or the Global Oneness Project, how can educators leverage storytelling as a passport to different places and perspectives? Tell us your best strategies for making the people, places, and issues "out there" relevant to the students in your room.
Submissions due: May 1
From the hissing of the lawns, to the arc of a roller coaster, to the gadget-filled blockbusters—STEM learning seems to be everywhere in the summer. Are you planning to expand your STEM repertoire, this summer? How might you import new knowledge and skills into your classroom? Have past summer experiences generated innovative STEM lessons or activities? Summer months can inspire maker spaces, school gardens, coding curricula, and museum partnerships. Tell us—what will you do with these wild and precious days?
Submissions due: May 15
To some degree, change is a constant in K–12 education—but it seems particularly prevalent right now. Rapid advances in technology, evolving instructional and assessment priorities, expanding options for curriculum resources, shifting student demographics, a new federal education law, and a new presidential administration—all of these are putting tremendous pressure on educators to prepare for and adapt to change. So how do you do it? As our readers take time to think ahead to the coming school year, this special online-only issue of Educational Leadership will feature best practices and personal reflections on how educators can both gear up for and proactively lead change in their schools. How can school leaders successfully implement new policies or instructional requirements? How can they bolster staff morale amid organizational change or outside pressure? How do teachers prepare to take advantage of new technology resources? What specific innovations, whether in the curriculum or in your approach to instruction, are you or your school planning for the next school year? What's next in education, and how are you or your staff getting ready for it? Share your stories and advice.
Submissions due: June 1
It's easy to assume that what motivates us will motivate others. Stanford sociologist Rob Willer studies this phenomenon in terms of the United States' growing political divide. "When we go to persuade someone on a political issue, we talk like we’re speaking into a mirror," Willer says. For educators, the same can be true of our approach to student engagement and motivation. To move students, we must know what moves them. What have you learned from trying to motivate students? Have you had to rethink your methods? How do you get to know your students' motivators and deflators? How do you change up your game to reach even the most checked-out students? What roles do grades, competition, and choice play in your motivational matrix? How can schools help students unlock what motivates them and use it to persist in school (and life)?
Submissions due: June 15
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