Sunday, 3 March 2013

Going beyond the usual boxes, with an English footballer and American football coach

I haven't blogged much recently - this is purely down to other commitments taking over during my evenings and weekends, not least resource development.

However, there are a number of interesting articles and news items I have come across recently, bookmarking them for when I have a spare moment to share them with readers of this blog.

Firstly there is 'It shouldn't be one or the other: why wellbeing and academic success should be considered together', by Anne Trethewey. This article looks at initiatives undertaken by Greenwich Free School to develop both academic success and emotional well-being amongst their students, not as mutually exclusive areas of development but as areas integrally dependent on one another. I am currently working on a project within my own setting to help us to identify, target and track the development of aspects of learner self-esteem amongst our more vulnerable students and found this article to be encouraging.

Secondly there is 'Is it ADHD or anxiety? How adults are diagnosed', by Monica Robins. This fairly in-depth news item from US broadcaster WKYC-TV looks at ADHD amongst adults and raises the question of whether societal conditions are causing anxiety which is then mistook for ADHD. I think this has relevance to current trends and patterns within secondary schools - and relates again to the question of how we promote emotional well-being alongside academic success in our settings.

The final article I have found worthwhile to reflect upon is 'How Rodwell changed car, house and pillows to beat injury', from Eurosport. Although this does not relate directly to SEN or to education in general, I think this inspiring story highlights the importance of thinking holistically when looking at how we seek to develop our students - and with regard to students who encounter difficulty with their learning, again how we often need to seek to move beyond a linear problem-solution approach. I have recently been dipping in and out of a fantastic book called 'The Discipline Coach' by Jim Roberson which places, as the title suggests, great emphasis on establishing a larger concept of 'study as a self-discipline' within schools (and homes) rather than  focusing on narrower descriptive labels such as 'challenging behaviour' or 'learning difficulties'. 

In terms of the resources I'm working on, I'll share these in due course - I'm still very much at the develop and pilot stage.

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