Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 19, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“The Laziness Dogma” & The Manipulation Of Social Emotional Learning

I’ve written a lot about my support for Social Emotional Learning, as well as my concerns about how some are trying to manipulate it into a “Let Them Eat Character!” strategy to blame low-income students and their families and not provide the necessary economic and political support they, and our schools, need.

In fact, I wrote about this very topic a few days ago – CNN Video “Can Grit Be Taught?” Shows Its Seductive Attraction & Lurking Danger (If You Look For It).

Paul Krugman wrote a column about Jeb Bush’s recent admonition to American workers about how we need to work more and gave that attitude a great name, The Laziness Dogma.

He makes a number of similar points to my concerns about how some are trying to warp the message of SEL.

Here’s an excerpt from his column:

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I’m adding this post to The Best Articles About The Study Showing Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough.

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July 19, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Some Recent New Resources On Education Research

Here are a few new useful resources specifically related to education research:

Assessing 21st Century Skills: Integrating Research Findings is from Pearson.

Thinking and Academic Success Skills is also from Pearson.

Here’s a huge collection of presentations that UK education researcher Dylan William has done on education issues, particularly around assessment.

8 Strategies Robert Marzano & John Hattie Agree On could be useful.

The Economics of Practice is from SqueakTime. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The 10,000 Hour Rule & Deliberate Practice.

I’m adding this next tweet to

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July 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Group Behind Vergara Fiasco Goes After Teachers Again

Students Matter, the multi-millionaire-financed organization that seems determined to attack teachers, students, and families, has decided that the fiasco of the Vergara lawsuit was not enough of a fiasco (see The Best Resources On California Court Case Attacking Teacher’s Rights).

Today, they filed another lawsuit challenging thirteen school districts here in California who specifically ban the use of standardized test scores in teacher evaluations. You can read the lawsuit here.

The districts named as defendants in the lawsuit are: Antioch Unified School District, Chaffey Joint Union High School District, Chino Valley Unified School District, El Monte City School District, Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, Fremont Union High School District, Inglewood Unified School District, Ontario-Montclair School District, Pittsburg Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, Upland Unified School District, and Victor Elementary School District.

It’s highly likely that Vergara, which attacked teacher tenure, will be thrown out on appeal. This newest suit appears to be on even shakier ground with a wild misinterpretation of state law. Perhaps, instead of wasting time, money and energy on lawsuits that will go nowhere, they should read The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments to learn what an effective and accurate teacher evaluation looks like.

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July 15, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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CNN Video “Can Grit Be Taught?” Shows Its Seductive Attraction & Lurking Danger (If You Look For It)

You will find no more forceful advocate than me for teaching Social Emotional Learning Skills in schools — I’ve written three books on the topic and have posted multiple related “Best” lists.

I’ve also written, and spoken, about how some SEL advocates (including David Brooks and KIPP Charters) are using it inappropriately as a “Let Them Eat Character!” approach that doesn’t recognize the assets our students bring (it’s not an issue that our students don’t have self-control and grit – many have them in huge amounts and may just need some assistance in applying those qualities in academic ways) and acts as a substitute for providing adequate economic and political support to our students, their families and our schools (see my Washington Post piece titled The Manipulation of Social Emotional Learning and my post The Best Articles About The Study Showing Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough).

This week’s CNN segment, Can Grit Be Taught? (embedded below), shows how seductive that “Let Them Eat Character!” approach can be – all it takes is a bit of grit and self-control and things will be fine. It demonstrates no recognition of the broader socio-economic challenges facing students and their families.

I respect Professor Duckworth’s work, and appreciate her recent attempts to rein in over-zealous uses of her work (see Measurement Matters….Maybe Not So Much). Perhaps she is really trying to communicate a more nuanced approach and the media, not known for its appreciation of nuance, is not going for it.

If she’s trying, I just hope she starts trying harder….

Strangely, CNN deleted the video from it’s YouTube account, but you can still see it on their website (though it’s not embeddable).

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