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September 1, 1998
Vol. 56
No. 1

Web Wonders / Realizing a Positive School Climate

Creating a secure place for today's youth to learn starts with a strong foundation of discipline that produces good behavior. Only when students feel absolutely safe in their learning environment can productive—and fun!—education happen. Here are content-rich Web sites that can help promote a positive, welcoming school climate.

Violence Prevention

<BIBLIST> <CITATION> http://www.ncsu.edu/cpsv/CtrPreSchVio.html. The Center for the Prevention of School Violence offers information, program assistance, and research on school violence prevention. The "Safe Schools Pyramid" describes prevention programs, such as School Resource Officers, law-related education, and conflict management and peer mediation. Links to the center's publications provide current information on center activities. </CITATION> <CITATION> http://silcon.com/~ptave/quincy.htm. This essay, "No One Hits Anyone, No Matter What," is part of the Project NoSpank site, sponsored by Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE). Principal Alpha Quincy stresses the importance of implementing school policies that teach students that violence is wrong by banning corporal punishment and insisting that everyone, both teachers and students, find alternatives to physical force to work out disagreements. Go to the Table of Contents to find essays by Thomas Gordon, Ashley Montagu, and Albert Einstein. As Einstein stated, "I have known children who preferred schooltime to vacation." </CITATION> </BIBLIST>

Classroom Management

<BIBLIST> <CITATION> http://7-12educators.miningco.com/msub49.htm. Order in the classroom is vital to a healthy school climate. Here at Classroom Management Resources, you'll find "Eleven Techniques for Better Classroom Discipline" and "An Introduction to the Honor Level System," an approach to school discipline that emphasizes the need to create in students the desire to behave. </CITATION> <CITATION> http://education.indiana.edu/cas/tt/v2i3/v2i3toc.html. This issue of Teacher Talk, titled "Violence in the Schools" focuses on ways to manage student disruptions. Under "Interventions," click "Respect!" and "Tips for Creating a Peaceful Classroom" for simple steps educators can take to ensure a friendlier and more productive relationship with all students. </CITATION> <CITATION> http://www.ascd.org Educational Leadership, September 1997. The article "Making a Good Start" by Jamie Sawatzky (one of ASCD's Web Wonders contributors) surveys teachers about how to set up a positive classroom environment. Jamie also lists many ASCD resources on classroom management and discipline, including two books: The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher by Harry K. Wong and Rosemary Tripi Wong (1997) and As Tough As Necessary: Countering Violence, Aggression, and Hostility in Our Schools by Richard Curwin and Allen Mendler (1997). </CITATION> </BIBLIST>

Improving the Learning Environment

<BIBLIST> <CITATION> http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/topics.htm. Abundant "pathways" await visitors to the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory site, which bursts with advice on improving school quality. Follow the "Leadership" link to "Creating High-Achieving Learning Environments." The "Learning" link leads to "Working Toward Student Self-Direction." "Parent and Family Involvement" is also a great source for guidance on involving those outside the immediate educational system in school improvement. </CITATION> <CITATION> http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~rogg/_tools.htm. The Tools for Change site contains lots of tips on how to evaluate learning situations to cultivate healthy school environments. "Raising Self-Esteem" and "Reducing Offending" explain the benefits of activities over constant lecture-based learning. </CITATION> <CITATION> http://www.nwrel.org/scpd/ote/a.html. Schools participating in Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory's Onward to Excellence program bring together students, faculty, board members, parents, and other community allies. Participants establish goals and form teams in which each person has a role to play. Stephanie Youngerman describes her school's experience in "The Power of Cross-Level Partnerships" (p. 58). </CITATION> <CITATION> http://pandora.med.yale.edu/comer/quicklook.html. The School Development Program was founded with the belief that educators' knowledge of children's personal, social, and moral development, along with good communication between educators and families, will lead to high achievement. This site contains a model of the program and summarizes results at participating schools. Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo and colleagues describe how the program works in the New Haven Public Schools in her article, "Helping Students Avoid Risky Behavior" (p. 80). </CITATION> </BIBLIST>

Amy Eckman has contributed to Educational Leadership.

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