OVERCOMING OBSTACLES: HELPING EDUCATORS KEEP STUDENTS

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OVERCOMING
OBSTACLES:
HELPING EDUCATORS
KEEP STUDENTS
ENGAGED
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Workshop Objectives:
•
Participants will discuss the issue of student
disengagement and share best practices for
keeping students engaged.
•
Participants will define “life skills,” identify
how life skills instruction engages students,
and explore the benefits of life skills
instruction.
•
Participants will be introduced to the
Overcoming Obstacles Life Skills Program
and learn about its results across the nation.
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About Community for
Education Foundation
Community for Education Foundation was
founded in 1992 to help make life skills
instruction a standard part of public education.
We created the Overcoming Obstacles Life
Skills Program with guidance from educators,
community figures, and business leaders to
make this goal possible.
To date, Overcoming Obstacles has impacted
the lives of over three million students.
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Our Mission
To ensure that all students learn the
communication, decision making, and goal
setting skills they need to be successful in life.
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Defining the Problem:
What Causes Students to
Disengage from School?
•
Passive learning makes it difficult for
students to retain information.
•
Students don’t recognize the value and
role of education in their lives and goal
attainment.
•
What factors hinder student motivation?
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Keeping Students Engaged
•
Engaging students means ensuring that they are
actively processing information.
•
Students value education when they see the
real-life application of what is expected of them
academically.
•
Students are motivated when they can easily
connect their successes to their efforts.
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What Are Life Skills?
Relevant life skills instruction teaches students to
integrate their thoughts, feelings, and behavior to
meet academic, personal, and social needs.
It allows them to become contributing members of
society.
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What Are Life Skills?
Relevant life skills include the following:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Communication
Decision making
Goal setting
Critical thinking
Time management
Collaboration
Relevant life skills are major focuses of the 21st
century skills movement, the Common Core State
Standards, and school climate initiatives.
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How Does Life Skills
Instruction Engage
Students in Education?
 Creates opportunities for students to connect
with their teachers
 Helps students develop life skills critical to
academic success, such as note taking,
teamwork, and time management
 Helps students apply the skills they learn to
their daily lives, demonstrating the relevance
of school
 Shows students how to identify and maximize
their own strengths
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Benefits of Life Skills
Instruction
Schools implementing life skills instruction
have experienced the following benefits:
 improved student attendance and
graduation rates
 greater academic achievement through
students’ mastery of relevant life skills
 decreased student conflicts and incidents
of bullying
 improved student readiness for college
and careers
 stronger relationships between students
and educators
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How Are Schools Implementing
Life Skills Instruction?




Advisory periods
Bullying prevention programs
Infusion into core content classes
Service learning projects
 Peer mentoring initiatives
 College and career planning
 Guidance and counseling
services
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Components of Effective Life Skills
Programs
Rigorous curricula and instruction
–
–
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Sets high expectations
Purposeful and structured
Teaches in an explicit way
Training
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Reviewing the curriculum content
Identifying implementation options
Setting goals & benchmarks
Educator Support
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Curriculum mapping and alignment of learning objectives
Assistance with implementation planning
Sharing ideas and experiences
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Key Components & Best Practices:
Goal Setting & Confidence Building
•
•
•
•
Students need to feel confident as learners.
Students build self-confidence by setting and achieving academic
and personal learning goals.
Students should identify learning goals for short-term periods (such
as a week or a curriculum unit).
Goals should be specific, measureable, and directly connected to
academic content .
Program Models:
• Advisory periods
• Bullying prevention programs
• Peer mentoring initiatives
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Key Components & Best Practices:
Creating Positive First-Year
Experience Courses
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•
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These courses help students acclimate to their new learning
environments.
Students learn what it means to contribute to their community.
Skills for success (e.g., time management, study skills, organization)
are identified.
Students identify long- and short-term goals for their high school and
college careers.
Program Models:
• Freshmen seminar
• College and career planning
• Guidance and counseling services
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Key Components & Best Practices:
Concrete Experiences Create
Relevance
• Concrete experiences make learning active.
• Students understand the relevance of education in their lives.
• Concrete experiences create connections between the classroom
and postsecondary education, the workforce, and 21st century skills.
Program Models:
• Infusion into core content classes
• Service learning
• College and career planning
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The Gifting Initiative
Launched in 2012, the Gifting Initiative
provides the complete Overcoming Obstacles
program free of charge to school districts
nationwide.
It began with our flagship partners: the New
York City Department of Education and the
Charleston County School District.
The Gifting Initiative enables school districts
to bring life skills instruction to their students
without the need for grants or additional
funding.
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Give students the tools
they need to succeed
in the 21st century.
www.overcomingobstacles.org
Erin Capone
Executive Director
(212) 406-7488, ext. 122
[email protected]
Jason Urbanski
Director of Education Partnerships
(212) 406-7488, ext. 124
[email protected]
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Keep Up with Us
facebook.com/OvercomingObstaclesLifeSkills
@CEF_OO
linkedin.com/company/community-for-educationfoundation
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