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Stories by Jill Anderson

By Jill Anderson 03/29/2017 4:31 PM EDT
Keeping the DREAM Alive
While a doctoral student at Arizona State University (ASU), Jesus Cisneros was struck by the lack of visible supports in place for undocumented students in the higher education setting. Especially surprising was that this was Arizona, as he calls it, "the hotbed of immigration." Cisneros felt that something needed to be done, so in 2012, he co-founded DREAMzone, an initiative with the goal of responding to the needs of these underserved students and creating an ally network at ASU. It has now grown beyond ASU, forming strategic partnerships with organizations such as TheDream.US and Teach For...
By Jill Anderson 03/23/2017 2:53 PM EDT
Birth of a Super School: Building Up
Kari Croft, Ed.M.’15, and fellow teacher Erin Whalen (pictured left), have been working to launch RISE High — an innovative high school aimed at serving the unique needs of Los Angeles-area homeless and foster youth. RISE was named one of 10 $10-million winning school projects by XQ: The Super School Project — a national campaign co-led by the Emerson Collective’s Laurene Powell Jobs and Russlynn Ali, calling on educators, students, and sector leaders to design new high school models. RISE High’s model focuses on ensuring that transient students can receive steady access to quality...
By Jill Anderson 03/22/2017 12:33 PM EDT
Anne Holton
What will public education look like in the United States in the near future? Former Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton — lawyer, judge, onetime First Lady of Virginia, and longtime advocate for children and families — knows that the current political climate has left the fate of the institution uncertain at best. "I'm concerned that there is a mood that's questioning the fundamentals of public education," says Holton, at the Ed School for a conference on Women in Leadership. "And, while I think there is strong support in our communities for both folks' local schools and the concept...
By Jill Anderson, Casey Bayer 03/16/2017 4:17 PM EDT
Pathways to Strong Early Learning Environments
The Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative kicked off its professional learning efforts this week bringing together state-level leaders from across the United States and its territories to discuss how to develop higher quality early care settings. With only two out of 10 prekindergarten programs being considered “high quality,” Professor Nonie Lesaux noted how many districts are eager to expand early education and yet there remains a vast need for improvement. “Getting there is not about downloading on the field but more collective action,” Lesaux said. The one-day convening, “Pathways to...
By Jill Anderson 03/01/2017 3:32 PM EST
Tweet to Action
As Ashley Ford describes it, it was "some random thoughts on a random day." She had no idea that putting it out into the twitterverse at that moment would spark a movement. Yet, now, over $150,000 has been donated nationwide by hundreds of people in order to wipe out the lunch debt of strangers. "What's beautiful is that I tweeted the idea and these other people decided to make it happen in their own communities," says Ford, a writer and editor whose work has appeared in The Guardian, ELLE, and Slate, among other publications. "That's the thing that overwhelms me." The importance of school...
By Jill Anderson 02/21/2017 7:58 AM EST
photo illustration of a young girl against a blue background, looking down, sadly
Despite the attention bullying has received over the past decade, there’s still too often a gap between what schools consider to be bullying — officially — and what children experience as bullying on a day-to-day basis. For many specialists, it’s time to reexamine what we mean by bullying, in order to better understand and prevent it. Policymakers and educators often rely on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definition of bullying to determine legal, preventative, and intervention efforts in schools. In that definition, bullying is “unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by...
By Jill Anderson 02/07/2017 4:48 PM EST
The Sandy Hook Promise
The first step to lessening the threat of potential gun violence in our communities and schools? Awareness and a knowledge that it can happen to you, says Nicole Hockley, founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, an organization launched by family members of the victims of the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. "In order to create sustainable and meaningful change, people really need to be engaged in the issue," says Hockley, who lost her young son in the tragedy. "The best way to be engaged in an issue is to know about it, realize it is...
By Jill Anderson, Matt Weber 01/31/2017 12:25 PM EST
Next Generation Design
How can educators can use innovative design models to develop and implement data-driven educational approaches in a digital learning environments? This was the question explored in Next Generation Design: Methods and Heuristics, a January-term course co-taught by Professor Chris Dede and Dejian (“DJ”) Liu, the founder of NetDragon Websoft Holding Ltd., one of the most successful online gaming companies in China. Liu, the inventor of the “design methodology of planning,” was excited about the prospect of teaching a course at Harvard in which students would learn to develop and refine a design...
By Jill Anderson 01/24/2017 10:22 AM EST
Nina Sokolovic
As Nina Sokolovic, Ed.M.’16, finished her project this past spring for the HGSE course, Risk and Resilience in Social Contexts from Birth to Young Adulthood, she never imagined the report detailing child health and development in Serbia would lead to an opportunity to develop a pilot program in the country. But that is exactly what happened this fall when the Novak Djokovic Foundation — a nonprofit founded by the tennis player and his wife, Jelena, that invests in early childhood education and family support programs throughout Serbia — hired Sokolovic to do so. “When I sent the report to the...
By Jill Anderson 01/09/2017 4:40 PM EST
For undocumented students, the path to college can be littered with unique obstacles, from limited financial resources to fear of disclosing status to a sense of hopelessness that can get in the way before they even apply. What can educators do to meet the particular needs of these students — to prepare them academically and support them emotionally? A pivotal piece of the equation: Get to know your students well, and develop strong relationships, says Roberto Gonzales, who has studied the experiences of undocumented young people for years. “Because undocumented students are excluded from...


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