Room 241: A Blog by
Concordia
University-
Portland

Visit our Edu Site Subscribe Now

Leadership Insights

A teacher looking at a globe with students

A farm kid from Wisconsin, for the past two decades Diana Laufenberg has taught seventh-12th grade Social Studies in several states, most recently at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on modern learning. It’s here where I first met Laufenberg, at the yearly conference Educon, where she was swarmed… Read More

How to Encourage Student Self-Efficacy

By Jennifer Gunn January 7, 2019

A confident classroom is a successful classroom. How do you build a culture of academic excellence in classrooms that promote student accountability, confidence, and success? By encouraging a growth mindset for all learners, finding ways to boost their confidence and their sense of academic potential. Here’s a look at a few ways to cultivate student… Read More

What Equity Really Means in Schools

By Jennifer Gunn December 28, 2018

Equity and equality are two different concepts that are often used interchangeably. Many people think that equity in education means everyone getting the same thing, but it actually means that everyone gets access to what they need. So how can we work to truly narrow the gaps and improve student learning? Let’s take a closer… Read More

It’s unfortunate but true: every school deals with cases of bullying. Cyberbullying is also a widespread issue, and many learning communities struggle with both forms of mistreatment. But some schools are testing out more innovative methods, yielding positive results here in the U.S. and abroad. Let’s look at a few examples to see what’s working… Read More

The Impact of a Thoughtfully Designed Learning Space

By Kara Wyman, MEd December 18, 2018

A school’s design can greatly impact students’ ability to learn. The layout alone can either make it confusing for students and their families or it can create a welcoming environment where staff, students, and resources are connected and accessible. The design can promote an inclusive school culture, hands-on learning, and community engagement. Many schools today… Read More

Creating a Culture of Wellness at Your School

By Tara Saucier, PhD, RN December 14, 2018

Wellness is often emphasized in educational settings, but there’s more to it than promoting good health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), students who are healthy are better learners, and academic achievement creates a lifetime of benefits. Recognizing the benefits of wellness According to Action for Healthy Kids, children who attend schools… Read More

Exploring Tinkergarten’s Learning Model

By Jennifer Gunn December 10, 2018

The outdoor education movement gets children outside to experience hands-on learning in nature. Some organizations are taking this approach to the next level. One innovative example is Tinkergarten, which offers outdoor classes and activities that incorporate play-based learning. Available to children and families in 47 states, Tinkergarten’s activities are designed to “help kids develop a host of important capabilities, including empathy,… Read More

Understanding Culturally Responsive Teaching

By Jennifer Gunn December 3, 2018

Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) is so much more than a trendy education term, but many educators struggle to define it. They are unsure of how it’s different from other equitable teaching practices and they can’t explain how to utilize it in their classrooms. Zaretta Hammond’s popular book Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic… Read More

In order for students to be successful in school, they first have to be in school. Seems logical, right? But for millions of students in the U.S., attendance is a barrier to success with lifelong consequences. Here’s a look at how chronic absenteeism impacts learning, and how schools can begin to turn the tide. Measuring… Read More

Many states are coping with teacher shortages, particularly in low-income districts with students of color. The coping mechanism has largely involved hiring under-qualified teachers to fill vacancies, leaving our neediest students receiving lower quality teaching. Meanwhile, teacher education programs have seen a large decline in enrollment, which translates to less certified and qualified teachers for… Read More

The Impact of Income on Student Success and What We Can Do About It

By Mary Jane Pearson, PhD October 30, 2018

The American Dream depends upon the belief that, regardless of your background, if you work hard enough you can achieve your goals. But extensive research has shown that income does impact student success. As educators, what can we do about this national issue? Read on to find out how one Portland school addressed the challenge. Research on… Read More

Emerging Technologies in Higher Education: A Case for Putting Learning First

By Patrick Garrett York, MFA October 25, 2018

There are few things that evoke a sense of wonder — the type abundant in childhood and precious to adults — like pulling plastic wrap off a glimmering new phone. With the push of a single button, the screen to comes to life, glowing with possibility. How many hours in my day will I win back… Read More

Expanding STEM To Underrepresented Communities

By Jennifer Gunn October 24, 2018

STEM occupations continue to seriously lack minority representation, and therefore STEM programs are needed more than ever in schools that serve minority and low-income populations. As the nation moves toward a greater emphasis on STEM learning and prepares students for a more technological future, it’s time for a tectonic shift, expanding STEM learning opportunities to all students…. Read More

A Framework for Teaching Tomorrow’s Innovators Today

By Jennifer Gunn October 22, 2018

It’s said that today’s teachers are educating students for a job market that doesn’t yet exist. Foundational skills are still important, but how should this generation’s educators teach tomorrow’s workers and innovators? 21st-century learning is at the heart of a movement preparing students to work in a very different world. But the concept of 21st-century… Read More

Post-Crisis Challenges Associated with School Shootings

By Gail Kirby, EdD October 20, 2018

We never want to think about our worst fears but, when it comes to our school’s crisis preparedness, we need to make sure we have the proper protocol in place. Research indicates that schools are the least prepared to handle crises such as school shootings. Scant evidence-based data exist to help understand the challenges that school districts… Read More