Indian Government Passes One Additional Line Financial Reporting Scheme for CSR Which Was Designed by Sa



Crowded Street, India


A new, additional line in financial reporting that demonstrates a company’s corporate social responsibility contribution, could radically change the way businesses operate, according to Tomo Suzuki, Professor of Accounting and Sustainability Management at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

The additional line appears on a company’s Profit and Loss Account under expenses, as an independent item which reads ‘CSR Expenditure’. It discloses the amount of money being given to corporate social responsibility. The disclosure has very little cost and can promote a positive sense of competition between companies to do more around corporate social responsibility.

Companies that meet certain financial criteria such as a net worth, turnover or net profit of at least Rs 500 crore, Rs 1,000 crore and Rs 5 crore, respectively, have to comply with One Additional Line. They must spend at least 2% of the average net profits made during the previous three financial years on CSR and if they cannot pay, they must explain the reasons in their financial reporting.

‘I am delighted that the One Additional Line has been adopted in India,’ said Professor Suzuki, ‘This simple and small facility which has little cost to companies’ administration will radically change the lives of countless people in the country. We could see huge improvements in healthcare, education and sanitation in some of the poorest areas. Because the One Additional Line, being the simple disclosure requirement, is administratively easy, politically neutral and effective in raising money for both companies and stakeholders, other emerging countries are also considering developing a similar scheme.’

The concept, which was designed by Professor Suzuki has already been passed in India, with the help of Mr. Sachin Pilot, former Minister of Corporate Affairs, Dr. B Chatterjee, CEO and Director General and Ms. G. Gaur, Programme Executive for CSR at the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Corporate Affairs in India.

16,000 companies came under this scheme in India and billions of dollars have already been generated in its first year ending 31st March 2015. A great deal more money is expected to be generated in the future for socially disadvantaged people. The companies which spend appropriate CSR expenditure are recognised by the market which raises their reputation, opportunities and capital.

Professor Suzuki added: ‘The advantage of the One Additional Line is that once a country implements the scheme, and starts to attract funds, other competing economies may choose to follow the same scheme in order to compete internationally. I am currently in consultation with representatives in Brazil, China, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries about the scheme and how it could radically increase corporate social responsibility while enhancing corporate reputation and international finance opportunities.’

Professor Suzuki ’s recommendations for the line were based on his paper ‘Institutional Mechanism Design of Corporate Socio-Environmental Data for Sustainable Growth in Developing Countries – Theory and Practice (Tomo Suzuki, 2013)’, and was tested through research, experimental accounting and analysis of the political economy between Government and business.

Research was done on four companies, two from India which included the additional line in their financial reporting and two from China which didn’t have the line. The results showed that investors favoured the companies in India more, even though their profits were less due to additional CSR expenditure.

The line is also key for the Indian government to further develop data systems which can be utilised to allocate appropriate resources to education, sanitation and healthcare and help to achieve India’s sustainable growth. Professor Suzuki and Geetnjali Gaur have already submitted a paper to the Indian Government on this subject titled ‘The Further Development of India’s CSR Policy: Review and Proposal from the Institutional Mechanism Design Point of View.’

For further information or to speak with Professor Suzuki please contact the press office:

Jonaid Jilani, Press Officer, Saïd Business School

Tel: +44 (0)1865 614678, Mob: +44 (0)7860 259996

Email: jonaid.jilani(at)sbs.ox.ac.uk

Kate Richards, Press Officer, Saïd Business School

Tel: +44 (0)1865 288879, Mob: +44 (0)7711 000521

Email: kate.richards(at)sbs.ox.ac.uk

Notes to editors

About Tomo Suzuki

Tomo Suzuki is Professor of Accounting and Sustainability Management at the University of Oxford. He is one of the leading experts of accounting and financial regulations to promote CSR activities and sustainable development. He is also an advocate of the long-term investment practices which enables epock-making innovations and sustainable growth. He uses the Institutional Mechanism Design method to develop pragmatically feasible schemes for profitable, yet socially sustainable businesses.

http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/community/people/tomo-suzuki

About Saïd Business School

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2014) Saïd is ranked 10th. It is ranked 10th worldwide in the FT’s combined ranking of Executive Education programmes (May 2015) and 22nd in the world in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2015). The MBA is ranked 7th in BusinessWeek’s full time MBA ranking outside the USA (Nov 2014) and is ranked 5th among the top non-US Business Schools by Forbes magazine (Sep 2013). The Executive MBA is ranked 21st worldwide in the FT’s ranking of EMBAs (Oct 2014). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 14th in the world in the FT ranking of Masters in Finance programmes (Jun 2015). In the UK university league tables it is ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (May 2015) and has ranked first in nine of the last eleven years in The Times (Sept 2014). For more information, see http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/







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Preschool Education In USA – Emerging Trends And Implications For Future

Early childcare and education is now universally regarded as an important component of basic education. The World Conference on Education for All held in March 1990 at Jomtien, Thailand promoted the idea that “Learning begins at birth”. According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNICEF, proper early childhood programs can produce more agile minds, better school attendance, lower repetition and dropout rates and stronger academic skills. And at a time, when most parents are increasingly finding it difficult to spend adequate time with their children in USA, playschools or preschools in USA, by providing early childhood care and education, have come to play a very significant role in the proper development of skills and ethics of the future American citizens. Therefore, it is very important to take stock of the emerging trends in the preschool education of USA and analyze the implications they bear for the future.

Preschool Education in USA:

United States of America has a federal structure and education is primarily a State and local responsibility. This is reflected well in the expenditure pattern on America’s education. While the local communities, private organizations and State agencies contribute more than ninety percent of education budget; federal expenditure generally remains below ten percent. States and communities, as well as public and private organizations of all kinds are involved in establishing schools and colleges, develop curricula, and determine requirements for enrollment in educational institutes of USA.

Emerging trends in Preschool education of USA:
While, by allowing private players to provide elementary education, a healthy competition is sought to be promoted among the playschools in USA, the government is also taking some measures to make preschool education available for all. In order to make early childhood education and care available for the disadvantaged section of American society, the U.S department of education sets aside the Title-I grants. Moreover, the Early Reading First program, established in the No Child Left Behind Act, provides competitive grants to school districts and pre-school programs, such as Head Start centers. The grants fund the development of model programs to support the school readiness of preschool-aged children, particularly those from low-income families. In order to make the children with disabilities succeed in their life, the Special Education Preschool Grants and State Grants program are constituted. They would provide formula grants to states to make quality preschool education in USA available for the 3- to 5-year-old children with disabilities. Thus, while several preschools in USA are making profit by taking care of the young children, some measures are also being taken to make quality early child care available to the marginalized sections of the society as the Bush administration has promoted the “Good Start, Grow Smart” policy when it comes to preschool education in USA. However, all is not hunky-dory when we look at the state of preschool education in USA and despite all the efforts to provide quality preschool education to all, preschool fees in several parts of USA have gone sky high. According to the Forbes magazine, the admission fee in some of the preschools has crossed $ 30,000. The admission fee in New York’s Ethical Culture Fieldstone School has gone up to $ 30, 440. Another preschool in New York, bank Street charges $ 27, 450 and the Center for Early Education in Los Angels charges $ 15, 400. This rising admission cost of preschools in USA paints a picture of preschool education in USA that is in sharp contrast to the European model where most countries prefer to provide state sponsored free quality preschool education.

Conclusion:

While competition among the preschools to provide best facilities and education cannot be dubbed as bad, a check on the rising cost of preschool education in some of the preschools in USA would definitely help driving away feelings of alienation from the various sections of American population and help in producing quality human capital for the nation.

Vivek Gupta

[http://preschools.indiaedu.com/america-preschools/]

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Vivek_Kumar

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Career Key Career Assessment Chosen for Strong Start Orientation Course at Bishop State Community College

Portland, OR (PRWEB) April 30, 2015

The Career Key, http://www.careerkey.org, and its valid career assessment have just been chosen for inclusion in Bishop State Community College’s mandatory Strong Start Orientation Course, given to all first-year students in the Fall of 2015. The college is located in Mobile, Alabama and serves nearly 4,000 students.

The Strong Start – First Time Student Orientation Course is a key strategic initiative that enhances student learning by addressing important student needs, including those in career planning. The Course’s primary focus is on helping first year students develop skills and abilities leading to academic persistence at Bishop State.

The Career Key assessment helps students learn about themselves and apply that knowledge to choosing a motivating course of study – leading to greater persistence or “sticking with” a program choice. The assessment is based on the respected Holland’s Theory of Career Choice, measuring students’ strongest personality types and interests. Career Key then matches them to careers, programs of study, and career pathways. Research shows this close personality-program-career match leads to greater persistence in a major or program, higher grades, more on-time graduation, and higher long-term job satisfaction.

Career Key displays all of Bishop State Community College’s programs on its website so that students can at any time match their personality and interests to the programs that best fit them.

Career Key Vice President, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, says, “We’re so pleased that such a forward-looking, proactive institution has chosen The Career Key to help their students choose programs and careers in which they will be more likely to persist, learn, and succeed.

The Course is part of the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), “a five year action and implementation plan designed to enhance student learning and further strengthen Bishop State’s educational mission.” In designing it, Bishop State faculty and administrators made it a priority to identify research-based best practices on student learning and success, like those on which The Career Key is based. The QEP is also required for accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

For more information on the Course, visit the Bishop State Community College home page and click on “QEP.”

About The Career Key

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Just in time for Earth Day, new e-boutique petalandpost.com is unveiled, focusing on luxury organic beauty, baby home and wellness products.


Toronto, Ontario (PRWEB) April 21, 2015

The new online store, http://www.petalandpost.com offers a vast array of exceptionally high quality authentic green products imported from around the world. Products sold at http://www.petalandpost.com promise to cut through the greenwashing clutter. This new e-boutique offers a refined collection of small batch and imported products that are free-from harmful synthetic ingredients with each meeting their strict ‘Purity Pledge Criteria’.

“The store was designed to be a source for luxury eco products that are truly authentic in a time where greenwashing has peaked and consumers are left uneasy and discouraged,” states Jamie MacLean, President & Founder of Petal & Post. “I am deeply disappointed and frustrated by companies in the ‘natural’ personal care space who continue to trick consumers through misleading packaging, branding and label call-outs on products that are not natural in formulation, let alone organic.”

Passion informs everything Petal & Post offers; from the meticulous selection of their global niche brands to working with people who care as much about the environment as they do.

“We believe that using natural ingredients in their purest state makes a world of difference. Nature has provided us with powerful resources which work in harmony with our bodies and which make us look and feel more beautiful,” says MacLean.

The criteria behind the selection of brands they carry ensures that undesirable synthetic chemicals are not present and that nutritional expertise, traditional remedies, regional heritage, along with cutting-edge scientific research and product development testing remain the focus behind every product. Among the 50+ brands they carry are Neom Organics, Ila Spa, LURK, Lily Lolo, Province Apothecary, Odacite, Primavera Life, Kahina Giving Beauty, Treat Collection, Leaves of Trees, Safeas Organic Beauty, Graydon Clinical Luxury, MUN, Lite + Cycle, Murchison-Hume, The Laundress, HAVEN, Finn + Emma, Kickee Pants, Love Mae, Kate Quinn Organics and Mini Organics.    

Petal & Post offers a refined collection of products that are free-from Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), parabens, propylene, or butylene glycols, petroleum, PEGs, TEA, DEA, phthalates, silicones, pesticides, BPA, lead, artificial dyes, harmful synthetic fragrances or animal by-products. None of the brands they stock test their products on animals, nor do they instruct anyone to do so on their behalf. They must meet their strict ‘Purity Pledge’, be free of toxins, be effective in their performance and offer absolute luxury.

Their sourcing policy looks beyond the elimination of common ingredients to avoid and drills down further requiring brands to conform to their ‘Strict Free-From Ingredients Policy’, a comprehensive list of ingredients found on government watch lists around the world. Petal & Post also looks for brands who are manufactured as 100% carbon neutral, donate to developing areas, and/or create foundations to protect our environment and our health. Each product Petal & Post carries is accompanied by a complete, full disclosure ingredients list detailing its composition to enable the consumer to make a clear and informed choice.

Items purchased can be shipped anywhere in the world, in fact, all orders received by 1pm EST Monday to Friday are guaranteed to be processed same day. Shipping and returns in Canada and the USA are free on orders $ 50 or more and all major credit cards are accepted, including PayPal accounts.

“This Earth Day, we are thrilled to launch online eco-luxury shopping to consumers in North America & abroad,” commented MacLean. “These consumers will now have twenty-four hour access to the world’s leading luxury green beauty, baby, home and wellness brands via their desktops, smartphones, and tablets.”

The online store offers many customer service perks such as exceptional customer care via email, Twitter, Facebook and their 1-800 phone line answered Monday to Sunday 10am – 7pm EST. Their product Ratings and Reviews assist customers to make an educated buying decision. Past Purchase History captures all orders in the user’s account so they will have access to that favourite shade of eyeshadow or that cleanser that was a hit, making future shopping easier than ever. They also offer free shipping and returns in North America on order $ 50+, a money back guarantee policy and an information rich resource portal offering links to key research reports, influential books, articles, apps and more.

In addition to introducing its new online store, Petal & Post has also launched a blog called blogPOST. The blog brings together a digest of all things green in the beauty, baby and home scene. BlogPOST is where the Founder shares her personal style and offers eco-inspiration through recipes, wellbeing, DIY projects, contests, industry news, green beauty tips, tricks and more.

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NOTE TO EDITORS:

Screen shots and high resolution product photography are available upon request.







Turner Construction Company Recognized for Leadership in Community Outreach and Education by the National Society of Black Engineers

New York, NY (PRWEB) April 09, 2015

Turner Construction Company is pleased to announce that the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) recognized the company with a Corporate Education Partnership Award.

The Golden Torch Awards recognize and honor individuals, organizations, and institutions that have enriched the engineering and construction industry with their intelligence, talent, and vision, and distinguished themselves by advancing opportunities for African Americans. Through the Turner School for Construction Management and YouthForce 2020, Turner strives to foster curiosity, inspire passion, and provide support and guidance to people in the construction industry.

Reflecting on the recognition, and on Turner’s long history of productive partnership with NSBE, Sonia Irving, a purchasing agent with Turner and NSBE member said, “Our relationship with NSBE does more than give Turner access to a great pool of hire candidates, it demonstrates to our clients and partners how committed we are to working with organizations that are doing good things in the community. I always like to see people that are doing great work get recognized.”

Additionally, NSBE recognized Glenn Dickerson, a superintendent in Turner’s Philadelphia office, with a Young Technical Professional Member on the Move award.

About Turner Construction Company

Turner is a North America-based, international construction services company. Founded in 1902, Turner first made its mark on the industry pioneering the use of steel-reinforced concrete for general building, which enabled the company to deliver safer, stronger, and more efficient buildings to clients. The company continues to embrace emerging technologies and offers an increasingly diverse set of services. With an annual construction volume of $ 10 billion, Turner is the largest builder in the United States, ranking first in the major market segments of the building construction field, including healthcare, education, sports, commercial, and green building. The firm is a subsidiary of HOCHTIEF, one of the world’s leading international construction service providers. For more information please visit http://www.turnerconstruction.com.

About HOCHTIEF

HOCHTIEF is one of the most international construction groups worldwide. The company delivers complex infrastructure projects, in some cases on the basis of concession models. The Group operates in the transportation infrastructure, energy infrastructure and social/urban infrastructure segments as well as in the contract mining business.

With about 53,000 employees and a sales volume of more than EUR 22 billion in FY 2014, HOCHTIEF is represented in all the world’s major markets. With its subsidiary Leighton, the Group is market leader in Australia. In the USA, the biggest construction market in the world, HOCHTIEF is the No. 1 general builder via its subsidiary Turner and, with Group company Flatiron, ranks among the most important players in the field of transportation infrastructure construction. Because of its engagement for sustainability, HOCHTIEF has been listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes since 2006. Further information is available at http://www.hochtief.de/press.







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Ultrasound Technician Colleges

You are supplied with extensive options from the long list of accredited colleges that will get you ready with your medical career. If you desire to learning for a year, 2 years or even a bachelor’s amount, there are plenty of schools and programs to want from. If you want to undergo academic classes or learning in a hands-on location, feel free to search for schools that offer the type of training program you are most comfortable of.

Like any usual universities, ultrasound technician universities and institutions varies in program length , fundamentals and charge. So it will be wise for you to determine what you wish for for a school and consider your budget, schedule, spot, etc. Review the subjects they offer and conduct a background check. Through that, you will be able to know your preference and may feel at home to whichever institute you will enroll in. Ultrasound schooling would necessitate your commitment to be taught and for you to be confident with the citizens, location and training course, you should settle in a school that suits you.

You should also decide if you will have a year, 2 years or still a bachelor’s level in ultrasound learning. If you wish to take a one-year program, then you will be able to work on a certificate. That will be enough for you to land a medical technician position but if you desire to have upper pay and be able to work on big hospitals, then taking up 2 years of training would do you good. An associate’s degree would qualify you to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) examination.

This will be a good credential widely accepted by most employers. And with a Bachelor’s grade in Sonography, you sure can find better opportunities, take and pass the national certification exam and employers will hire you with no doubt. If you want to take a medical career and start as an ultrasound technician, you will have better possibilities of pursuing advance related professions. You can be a supervisor on a hospital’s ultrasound department and have an opportunity to teach sonography and move to other related field.

Ultrasound technician schools maybe one of the the public/junior colleges. It can also be vocational/technical schools. Ultrasound technology may also be learned if you enroll in career schools or even in teaching hospitals and have similar trainings conducted in 4-year colleges and universities. So start your career through the help of exceptional training grounds accomplish with great teachers, facilities and subjects for you to have a full study regarding ultrasound technology.

To learn more about Ultrasound Electrician visit Ultra Sound Electrician website now!

my edu180atl post from 5.21.12

June 11, 2012 1 comment

The following post was my contribution to the edu180atl project for the 2011-12 school year. During the final week in May, members of the founding team wrote reflections on the power of this learning project and all 180 posts of learning are archived on the site. My reflections centered on the concept of wide-awakeness…something I am trying to grow in myself and also the inspiration for this blog.

Without the ability to think about yourself, to reflect on your life, there’s really no awareness, no consciousness. Consciousness doesn’t come automatically; it comes through being alive, awake, curious, and often furious. ~Maxine Greene

I have felt alive, awake, curious, and furious this 2011-12 school year. Consuming the wisdom generated from 175 posts, and now creating this 176th post, I have gained greater consciousness about learning and schooling and being in this world.

And I feel wide-awake to possibility.

Maxine Greene’s words about being wide-awake in the world serve as a reminder…and so will the 45,000 words posted to this site from August 1st to May 25th. Open eyes, open ears, and open hearts allow for learning to happen. The edu180atl project, a small-seed-of-an-idea back in the spring of 2011, blossomed in the fall and has been producing the most diverse and substantive fruit for 175 days. For that I am grateful.

And on this 176th day, I feel wide-awake to possibility.

What if all of our classrooms and teams and schools and school systems sought to cultivate students’ spirit of wide-awakeness — their spirit of wanting to know and learn? What if we educators — both teachers and administrators — sought to cultivate that spirit in ourselves and in others? How might we change? What would the possibilities look like?

If we all had greater consciousness about learning and schooling and being in this world, the possibilites would be endless…for our students…for our selves…for our schools…and maybe even for our society. So, what have I learned? That it’s time to pursue such wide-awakeness with the reckless abandon of being alive, awake, curious, and furious every day. Not just during the 180 days of the school year. Or on the 176th.

About the Author: Megan Howard (@mmhoward), co-founder of edu180atl and passionate learner, is grateful for what the edu180atl project has taught her this year. She can’t wait for August 1, 2012, which will mark the second year of this important and inspiring project.

Categories: edu180atl

the edu180atl project and #180voices180stories

May 25, 2012 2 comments

The first year of the edu180atl project came to a close today. And after 180 days, 180 posts, 180 voices, and 180 stories of learning, I am better for it. The project, born out of a back-and-forth on Twitter in January 2011 has been a powerful vehicle for nurturing and encouraging the spirits of those who love to learn, connecting learners across the city, and deepening the national conversation about education over the course of the past 180 school days.

This week, members of the founding edu180atl team took time to reflect on what this project has meant to us (the full posts are linked below). Today, Holly Chesser wrote a post looking toward the future and also sharing what this project has meant to her. She will be leading the edu180atl team alongside Jennifer Murphy for the 2012-13 school year.

I am proud to have been a part of this project and the edu180atl team.

edu180atl: megan howard 5.21.12:

I have felt alive, awake, curious, and furious this 2011-12 school year. Consuming the wisdom generated from 175 posts, and now creating this 176th post, I have gained greater consciousness about learning and schooling and being in this world.

And I feel wide-awake to possibility.

edu180atl: john burk 5.22.12:

Through the edu180atl project, I’ve connected with countless learners and their stories of learning—stories filled with struggle and challenge, but also fulfillment and joy. These connections make me feel even more empowered to persevere through my own difficulties, and give me a great sense of gratitude.

edu180atl: ted sadtler 5.23.12:

Since August I too have leaned toward the sun, toward the bright spots of reflection and dialogue in Atlanta: students expressing their uniqueness and creativity, adults facing cataclysmic change in their lives, teachers reveling in the endearing moments of their day, parents expressing their hopes for their children. I really do think that the 170+ authors have captured the full range of experience that comes with devoting oneself to a lifetime of learning. And yet, there are so many degrees yet to capture. So I continue leaning toward the brightness of our community’s reflections, waiting with anticipation as the next group of volunteers write, read, comment, edit, and share what it means to be a learner.

edu180atl: laura deisley 5.24.12:

Indeed, it is this kind of spirit that inspired us to create edu180atl — a place where individuals have dared to share, to be transparent, to struggle, to reinvent themselves. By so doing, the hallmark of a healthy community is evolving: empathy for one another. Isn’t that a fundamental condition for learning? People may say education in Atlanta is broken. Institutionally, as a whole, maybe it is. But, I believe. I believe that this edu180atl community is designing a future for education in Atlanta built on empathy.

edu180atl: holly chesser 5.25.12:

This desire to find our commonalities and to appreciate our uniqueness lies at the heart of edu180atl’s mission: “to nurture and encourage the spirits of those who love to learn,” “to connect learners,” and “to deepen the national conversation about education.”

Today marks the sunset of this school year: post # 180. Time to seek relaxation and renewal. But like any good teacher, I’m thinking back over all the posts I’ve read and wondered, “”What’s the take away? What did I learn?” In re-reading many posts this week, I discovered a harmonious refrain – a gratitude for those who care, a discovery of something hidden within, and a wish for what could be. As I tell my students, there’s only one story – the human story – and we each keeping telling it with infinite variation.

Categories: edu180atl

Remembering the Importance of Resilience

May 13, 2012 1 comment

This was my final contribution to Trinity This Week, the School’s weekly publication which highlights “Notes from the Administrative Leadership Team” in the form of a short blog post on a weekly basis. The original post is on the Trinity site and can be found here.

As a young child, my hair tangled easily. I remember sitting on a stool in my parents’ bathroom, looking into the mirror and up at my mother, as she took a comb to my wet head and carefully, slowly, meticulously, combed the tangles out of my long sandy blond hair. As I reflect on those hours spent sitting still and grimacing with each catch in the comb, I can now see that it was really a beautiful time for my mother and me. Time spent talking, problem-solving, musing, laughing, arguing, connecting. Time spent just-the-two-of-us without interruption. Time spent building a stronger mother-daughter bond. Time spent combing out the tangles…literally and metaphorically.

As the end of the school year approaches, it’s easy to think that all of those “tangles” have been combed out of our children. It is natural to think of the end of the year as a time to celebrate all of the great successes and forget, in many ways, about the bumps in the road or even some of the mistakes and failures that happened throughout the year. As our Sixth Graders smile and accept their diplomas in just a few short weeks — in heels, in suits, and perfectly poised and confident — it’s important to remember that their learning process at Trinity has been full of plenty of successes but also a number of tangles as well. And just as I had my mother to help me tease out and recognize those tangles, our Trinity Sixth Graders graduate with the knowledge that their learning experiences have been rich – full of ups and downs and full of the support of parents, siblings, teachers, and of course, their peers.

Resilience is one of those 21st Century skills that is often cited in studies that highlight “the top essential skills for college and career.” At Trinity, we believe that the development of a number of skills is essential, resilience being one of them. From outdoor education trips to cooperative learning experiences in classrooms, the learning process – and not just the product – is something that is celebrated throughout the Trinity community. Carol Dweck’s research on motivation, achievement, and mindsets guides much of our focus on risk-taking and reflection. Developing a growth mindset (as opposed to a fixed mindset) is essential for children in the 21st Century. Trinity students must learn that their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work – and that their brains and talent are just the starting point. Fostering growth mindsets not only creates a love of learning but also increased resilience in the face of risk-taking, struggles, and even failure as well.

So as we approach the end of the May, a time of year when achievement and accolades are often given so much attention, it’s important to spend time thinking and talking with our children about the process of growing, learning, and developing. Just as Trinity teachers begin each school year focusing on children’s strengths as part of our strengths-based educational approach, our teachers spend time at the end of the year reflecting on the growth that has occurred – academically, socially, emotionally, and in a myriad of other areas as well. Trinity children begin to understand that the journey with all of its ups and downs is something to reflect upon and be proud of. And that is an incredible accomplishment in itself.

If you are interested in learning more about the importance of resilience and child development, the following books may be of interest to you:

CHANGEd 60-60-60: EXPERIMENTS AND EXPERIENCES

May 8, 2012 1 comment

On March 9th, I started this experi(ence)ment by saying, “I have no idea what the two of us will play. And I won’t be able to tell you what it is until it happens.” Today, on May 8th, after 60+ consecutive days of what-ifs and riffs, I’m still not sure that I can say what it is but I can certainly share what all of this thinking and reflecting has meant to me, both personally and professionally.

Thinking about CHANGEd: What if we all tried something new for 30 days (or longer) and learned out loud? 60-60-60 #60 and reflecting…

In his short but powerful TED Talk, Matt Cutts advocates for us all to try something new for a month. Sharing what he’s learned from his own personal experiments and experiences, he highlights that we can all learn to make the days count, to appreciate the boost of confidence that a new habit brings, and to heighten our ability to persevere despite the ups and downs of life. In Bo’s #60 CHANGEd post, he also highlights just a few things he has learned and enjoyed in his 60-60-60 journey. As I think about my own progress and process over the course of the past two months, I can borrow from both Matt and Bo and use their themes as starting points for my reflections…

1. Making the Days Count: Sixty days is a long time. Consistent reflection over the course of two months around a certain theme pushed me in ways that I never imagined. Sure, a number of similar themes emerged. Only one word however — empathy — made an appearance two times in a title post. And as I reflect on CHANGEd 60-60-60, I see that the notion of empathy, especially as it relates to the design process, is having a larger and larger influence on who I am as an educator. There’s still so much that I want to learn about the design process, but I know that I must find ways to cultivate a more empathetic spirit in myself and in others as well. For that, I am motivated.

2. Building Confidence (Motivators and Blockers): At the outset, one of my goals was to learn to write more spontaneously and without as much fear of failure. Writing sixty posts and getting positive feedback from others on my thinking was inspiring. A half-baked blog post (of which there were many) was not considered failure…failure (in my mind) was not seeing this project to its completion. Convinced through Twitter that I had at least one reader (Bo, who was RTing my posts) was a “motivator” for me. Then, when Grant Lichtman began leaving comments on my posts, I knew that I had at least two readers. Normally, such pressure would have been a blocker, but Bo and Grant’s encouragement and what-if questioning only inspired me more. Like Bo, I saw that “learning-out-loud” caused me to double and triple my weekly readership which will only add to a more robust and diverse personal learning network. For that, I am proud.

3. Perseverance (Stick-To-It-Tive-Ness): I had a learning partner whose consistency kept me on track. Never did I think that Bo wouldn’t post and so even when I fell behind in my writing (sometimes days behind), I knew that quitting was not an option. Interestingly, some of my better posts (in my opinion) came when I was writing two or three in one evening. Those evenings, although mentally tiring, were often the nights when I felt most motivated and energized. Sticking to this project, which forced me to spend a significant time (on more than a few occasions) thinking and writing was a hidden gift. For that, I am grateful.

4. I’ve learned and enjoyed… It’s very difficult to catalog my learning and enjoyment in this one post. Even now as I go back and look through the titles of posts 1-30 and 31-60, I see a new pattern in my thinking or notice something different in my writing…just in the titles of the posts. Going through and re-reading each day will prove fruitful as I spend time this summer critiquing my own leadership and developing a personal vision for my work in a new role next school year.

Even this 60th post feels flat…my voice sounds one-dimensional…the topic a bit too navel-gazing. But, what I realize is that making this CHANGEd 60-60-60 music has been one of the more dynamic and enjoyable learning experiences that I have engaged in for quite some time.

And for that, I am inspired.

All in all, this CHANGEd 60-60-60 experi(ence)ment has helped me refine my vision of school in ways that I never thought possible. Never did I expect that this would happen during an incredibly overwhelming end of the school year. Obviously my definition will always be a working definition, but I am proud of where I stand today. So, on May 8th after 60+ days of thinking and reflecting, that I believe that school should be…

…a place where inquiry, imagination, ongoing assessment, reflection, and “what ifs” drive the experiences of adults and children at the school…people of integrity and resilience who honor and promote growth mindsets…programs which reach beyond school walls and into everyday life of the expanding global community.

And, in the words of my CHANGEd partner, so that we can conclude (for now) this musical play with a uniform sound but one which leaves room for possibly new riffs…

We educators should never think that we’ve got schooling as good as it can ever be. We should be seeing our current reality clearly, and we should be envisioning how we can get better. Isn’t such delta-oriented vision what it will take for education and schooling to be CHANGEd?

Categories: 60-60-60

CHANGEd 60-60-60: REAL LIFE LEARNING

May 6, 2012 1 comment

Thinking about What if we teachers had to enroll in our own classes…and at least one more? 60-60-60 #59 and reflecting…

Here’s an email I received over the weekend from a Trinity Sixth Grader:

Hello Ms. Howard and Ms. Chapman!

Do either of you know someone named Kirby Lui? Well, he commented on my blog and check out what he said!

I’ve been a photographer for quite a while and have seen many different types of photographers, and I must say that I’m very impressed at your technical and creative knowledge of photography, the enthusiasm and discipline that you approach your subjects, and your strong photographic compositions. Compared to other students that I have worked with, you have a definite edge over most of the people that I have seen.

If you continue to approach photography with the same level of dedication as I’ve seen on your website, I believe that you have a talent that could be developed to a remarkable high level if you choose to continue cultivating it. Don’t let the talent go to waste. Keep up the hard work, it is obvious from your website. I look forward to your next post.

Kirby

Isn’t that really nice?

Julia

The first art class that I remember actually enjoying was Photography 101 with Mrs. Harris in Eighth Grade. For much of my high school career, I was passionate about black and white photography but due to the demands of academics and athletics, my experimenting with this art happened only in the summer during long walks in the woods or at the beach on vacation. I am still proud of the prints I made of the massive St. Simons Island palm trees that a family friend framed and put in a guest bedroom of a beach house in Florida. I always wonder what would have happened if I had more time to devote to building upon those skills and passions that I began to uncover just before high school began.

“Megan, you have a real gift for teaching.” That’s the first comment I remember hearing about my natural ease in the classroom with elementary students…uttered first when I was in high school and then in college multiple times throughout my volunteer tutoring times and later during an internship I created with the help of a teacher-mentor. The skills and passions — similar to those I possessed with black and white photography — were there but so was the echo of a believing voice.

I believe that all students need to hear the following words:

I believe that you have a talent that could be developed to a remarkable high level if you choose to continue cultivating it. Don’t let the talent go to waste.

Those are the words that I heard over and over again about my work in classrooms and in schools. I realize that there are some students — adults too — who never hear such words or affirmations.

I wonder, if we enrolled ourselves in our own classes, would we hear ourselves offering such words of support to the budding biologists, teachers, doctors, pilots, directors, caregivers, and entrepreneurs in our classrooms? Would we hear ourselves connecting the subject areas we are teaching with the real-life learning our students are longing for? Would we be inspiring students in the way that Kirby is inspiring Julia — to keep working hard, to overcome obstacles, and to pursue an area of interest that has potential for greater learning and…life?

Categories: 60-60-60

CHANGEd 60-60-60: MEMORIES AND REFLECTIONS

May 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Thinking about What if we really reflected on what former students remember? 60-60-60 #58 and reflecting…

I’ve been catching up on the Trinity-Fac&Stu folder of my GoogleReader account. I rarely let that folder go unread for as long as I have this week, but what a surprise I found this evening as I was reading last week’s posts.

Bo writes about how students remember what they craft and create. As I think about a learning experience that Trinity sixth graders will likely remember alongside their outdoor education trips and musical performances and academic experiences from their final year at the school, at the top of the list is the QUEST and Capstone project. It’s not a coincidence that Andrew Hennessy took his sixth grade project all the way to the TEDxKIDS@BC stage in Vancouver in September 2011.

As I read the students’ memories and reflections, all of which were written upon completion of the QUEST research paper, I was struck at how almost every student spoke to one, two, or all three elements of true motivation as categorized by Dan Pink: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

We must allow students to craft and create. We certainly need more Dolphin Tale experiences and internships than we have now, but let’s not forget that even the more traditional experiences (even those research papers!) — if crafted innovatively and created with care by the lead learners in the school — can be memorable and powerful.

Check out these four reflections from sixth graders about what they’ve learned through their QUEST research experience. The reverberating sound of autonomy-mastery-purpose through these students’ words provides the perfect riff for today’s CHANGEd 60-60-60 post:

I learned many things about myself as a student through the QUEST paper. I learned that I write a good first rough draft and that I should trust that I can. I also learned that I am good at managing my time because I turn most of my long term projects in early. I also learned things about myself. I learned that I am capable of any task if I take the time and work as hard as I can. ~ Matt

As a student, I learned that i can write something cool and put a lot of effort into something in school and acquire your future talents in 6th grade. As a person I found out how to solve problems between people. My mentor took a while to e-mail me so I took charge.~ Pete

As a student I have learned that I can be very organized. I also can be very conscientious about creating good presentation. I have also learned that I love to do hands on projects. If I set my mind to a topic that I find interesting, then I can create a good presentation. On my next project I think I will be more conscientious about my time-line. I also should plan ahead of what my goals are going to be. I will definitely bring in more analytically and organizational skills. I think through this project I have learned to always have perseverance which I will definitely use in all my assignments. ~ McKenzie

I learned that as a student I can always work better when I am really into the topic and I enjoy learning about it and working on it all of the time. I learned that I love to learn more anytime I can and I love to hear from the best people that I can so I can learn the most and learn from the best. ~ Emerson

As a student, I really realized that I work best when studying a topic I love. I also learned that doing the most boring things like writing long essays are more fun when they are about something I love. I love dogs more than words can describe, and I cannot wait for the Capstone project…Next year, I will bring the note card organization method in my ‘student tool box’ when writing papers next year. It is an excellent way of grouping the facts into topics, later to be made into paragraphs. ~ Julie

I learned different things about myself too. As a student, I feel like I learned better ways about finding information for anything and being able to figure out what is important and whats not. I also think that I learned how to stay more organized by using note cards to write down my facts. As a person, I feel like I learned to trust in myself more about what I think I should do when working on something. Second, I learned to feel more confident about my work and am better at managing my time…In the future, I think that I would change the way I researched. I would read more about the topic to make sure I am more comfortable with it. I would do this because I feel like I started the QUEST project kind of clueless about cake decorating. I wish I had known more about my topic so I would feel more comfortable about the whole thing during the beginning of the process. During this whole QUEST project I learned lots of facts, but mostly I learned about myself as a student and a learner. ~Emily

Categories: 60-60-60

CHANGEd 60-60-60: THE BIG SHIFTS FOR ADMINISTRATORS

May 6, 2012 3 comments

Thinking about What if school leaders practiced the change they preach…and developed a people strategy? 60-60-60 #57 and reflecting…

A people strategy begins with EMPATHY. It moves along the stepping stones of the Golden Rule. A people strategy refuses to commit the fundamental attribution error (see the Heath Bros’ Switch).

Bo’s reflections on “The Big Shifts” are ones that I want to save here on my blog, thus making today’s riff a re-post of his questions…in hopes that they will inspire future posts about how I, in my future work in school administration, am striving to proactively respond to the shifting notions of what it means to create the right learning environments for both children and adults in the 21st century.

So, for this 57th post…

If we administrators expect teachers to proactively respond to these big shifts for the futures of their students, mustn’t we do so ourselves?

  • Shouldn’t we be transforming faculty meetings (and other “PD”) into faculty doings? Shouldn’t we be experimenting with PBL with adults…and with projects that are relevant and meaningful to teachers? Are we even asking them what they want and need?
  • From the admin view, how can we make school more “teacher-centered” so that teachers can, in turn, make school more student-centered? Shouldn’t we admin be modeling “student voice and choice” by providing such to our faculties?
  • How are we un-silo-ing our schools to facilitate teachers working in teams?
  • How are we facilitating the construction of meaning among our faculties, instead of asking them to consume information? Do decisions feel top-down or bottom-up? Or inside-out? Or outside-in?
  • How are we admin employing and engaging learning networks and advocating for OPEN and SAFE and THOUGHTFUL use of such endless learning resources in the network…outside our school walls?
  • How are we crowd-sourcing our collective wisdom within our faculties and among our faculties from school to school? How are we refusing to re-invent the wheel and instead partnering with the crowds of other doing schools…I mean networks?
  • How are we refusing the high stakes testing of teachers and engaging high value demonstrations of professional practice?

Thanks for creating and categorizing these questions, Bo. They are important ones that we must tackle…and not necessary in isolation!

Categories: 60-60-60
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