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Commencement season is upon us. That means graduations and speeches, caps and gowns, and ceremonies to mark some of the most important milestones in the educational careers of our students. Rightly, it is a time when we celebrate our individual and collective successes.  However, in a recent address U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor reminds us to embrace what she calls the “uh-oh moments.”
 
In a great example of growth mindset and resilience, Justice Sotomayor says, ““The ‘uh-oh’ moments are worth cherishing just as much as ‘ah-ha’ moments: Mistakes, failures, embarrassments and disappointments are a necessary component of growing wise…We can learn more from our not-so-good experiences than we can learn from our good ones.”
 
To watch Justice Sotomayor’s full speech, which starts at 1:44, click on the image below:
Source: huffingtonpost.org/University of Rhode Island
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In the Press


MINDSETS, ESSENTIAL SKILLS, & HABITS | MESH

Motivated Minds - putting mindset theory into practice
Teacher – Sara Murray, Jane Mitchel, & Jenny Allen, May 24, 2016
 
'Helping Children Succeed': An Interview With Paul Tough
Education Week – Larry Ferlazzo, May 24, 2016
 
App Teaches Learners the Important Skill of Empathy
Education World – Nicole Gorman, May 23, 2016
 
Does Mindfulness Actually Work in Schools?
The Atlantic– Emily DeRuy, May 20, 2016
 
What Does Flawless Prevention Look Like?
The Huffington Post – Janine Francolini, May 19, 2016
 
Growth Mindsets for STEM Careers (Video)
Education Week – Teaching Channel, May 18, 2016
 
4 Ways Furnishings Can Enhance the 21st Century Classroom
THE Journal – Leila Meyer, May 18, 2016
 
End of Year Action Plans: A Restorative Practice
Education Week – John T. McCrann, May 17, 2016


MEASUREMENTS & INTERVENTIONS

Student data privacy: Moving from fear to responsible use
Brookings – Brenda Leong, May 23, 2016
 
'Uberizing' Assessment: Why the Trust Economy Could Provide a Model for Schooling
Education Week – Jal Mehta, May 23, 2016
 
Can a 360-Degree Assessment Help Graduates Root Out Skill Gaps?
Chief Learning Officer – Tom Conine, May 19, 2016
 
Portfolios hold new promise for schools
District Administration – Deborah Yaffe, May 2016


EDUCATION POLICY & REFORM  

Biggest Transitions Facing States for ESSA Accountability Flagged in New Report
Education Week – Andrew Ujifusa, May 19, 2016

Why the Language We Use About Learning Determines Inclusivity
KQED Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz, May 18, 2016

How first-generation students are helping each other through college
The Hechinger Report – Lillian Mongeau, May 18, 2016
 
It's Time to Reframe How We Think About Education and Health
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – Kristin Schubert, May 17, 2016
 
Social-Emotional Learning Needs Funding Support Under ESSA
Education Week – Bridget Laird, May 17, 2016

California's Continuous Improvement Needs Political Muscle
Education Week – Charles Taylor Kerchner, May 16, 2016


PROJECTS, PARTNERS, & ADVISORS 

Integrating Collaboration, Learning Systems, and Empowerment to Accelerate Improvement in Education — The Promise of NICs
Carnegie Foundation – Anna Kawar, May 18, 2016
 
CORE districts turn spotlight on struggling student groups
EdSource – John Fensterwald, May 18, 2016

Recent Research 


Ability emotional intelligence and mental health: Social support as a mediator
Personality and Individual Differences – Moshe Zeidner & Gerald Matthews, September 2016
 
Abstract: The mediating role of perceived social support availability is examined in the observed association between ability emotional intelligence (EI) and psychological distress. 185 Israeli undergraduate students completed measures of ability EI, social support, and distress. As predicted, path analyses demonstrated that social support was a significant mediator of the effects of EI on distress. These data suggest that the adaptive benefits of high EI should be understood from a social perspective.
 
Efficacy of self-control and patience interventions in adolescents
Applied Developmental Science – Sarah A. Schnitker, et al., May 19, 2016
 
Abstract: Self-control and patience are character strengths predictive of positive developmental outcomes, but few interventions targeting their growth have been tested in adolescents. Moreover, interventions based on the limited-strength model of self-control have received considerable criticism, but few studies have tested moderation of interventions by motivational variables fundamental to computational and process models of self-control. To correct this deficiency, we tested the ability of three interventions—using one’s nondominant hand, engaging in cognitive reappraisal exercises, and tracking one’s schedule—to increase self-control and patience in 355 high school students (mean = 16.0 years; 59% female). The nondominant hand and schedule tracking conditions were found to increase self-control, patience, and well-being only when the perceived difficulty was low. Results suggest that the limited-strength model of self-control is insufficient and underscore the explanatory power of computational and process models that account for difficulty. Implications for constructing character interventions for adolescents are discussed.
 
Beyond a deficit model of strengths training in schools: Teaching targeted strength use to gifted students
Gifted Education International – Justine Bates-Krakoff, et al., May 17, 2016
 
Abstract: Prior literature on the use of character strengths suggests that both deficiencies and excesses in the use of strengths can be problematic. While most school-based training in character strengths tends to focus on the former issue, an example is provided of a school-based program offered by the Mayerson Academy in partnership with the VIA Institute on Character that does not focus on deficiency but rather celebrates enhancing one’s own personal key strengths. This program, entitled Thriving Learning Communities, will be implemented in 42 Cincinnati public schools this year. It aims to motivate students, as well as educators, to perform at their highest levels through encouraging increased use of character strengths. We provide an overview of the program and discuss how it may be modified by the teacher to offer a more nuanced perspective on character strengths within a gifted student population. Specifically, within a gifted classroom setting, we discuss ways in which educators can encourage gifted students to understand the importance of balancing their strengths and effectively matching their use of strengths to the situation. In addition to focusing on the use of signature or top strengths, we suggest a program that would aid gifted students in deciphering when it is most and least appropriate to use top strengths, through a dial-up/dial-down framework for targeted strength use.
 
The effectiveness of the Lions Quest Program: Skills for Growing on school climate, students’ behaviors, perceptions of school, and conflict resolution skills
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal – Mine Gol-Guven, May 17, 2016
 
Abstract: This study examines the effectiveness of the Lions Quest Program: Skills for Growing by employing a quasi-experimental design with a control group. The experimental and control group each comprises two primary schools – one public, one private. One classroom at each grade level, 1 through 4, in each school was selected by random sampling for a total of 16 classrooms in the study. Pre-test data were collected in September 2013 and post-test data in May 2014, after the schools in the experimental group had implemented the program for eight months. Observations, interviews, and questionnaires were used for data collection. To examine the effects of the program on school climate, students’ behaviors, students’ perceptions of school, and students’ conflict resolution skills, data were collected from both students and teachers. The findings show that the Lions Quest Program had a positive effect on school climate, students’ behaviors, and conflict resolution skills, but did not have any significant effect on students’ perceptions of school.
 
Can Social–Emotional Learning Reduce School Dropout in Developing Countries?
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management – Huan Wang, et al., May 16, 2016
 
Abstract: An alarming number of students drop out of junior high school in developing countries. In this study, we examine the impacts of providing a social–emotional learning (SEL) program on the dropout behavior and learning anxiety of students in the first two years of junior high. We do so by analyzing data from a randomized controlled trial involving 70 junior high schools and 7,495 students in rural China. After eight months, the SEL program reduces dropout by 1.6 percentage points and decreases learning anxiety by 2.3 percentage points. Effects are no longer statistically different from zero after 15 months, perhaps due to decreasing student interest in the program. However, we do find that the program reduces dropout among students at high risk of dropping out (older students and students with friends who have already dropped out), both after eight and 15 months of exposure to the SEL program.

Social Cognitive Predictors of Academic and Life Satisfaction: Measurement and Structural Equivalence Across Three Racial/Ethnic Groups
Journal of Counseling and Psychology – HB Sheu, et al., May 12, 2016
 
Abstract: Data of 306 Caucasian American, 284 Asian American, and 259 Latino/a American college students were analyzed in this study to test a modified version of Lent and Brown's (2006, 2008) satisfaction model in the academic context. In addition to the full set of variables hypothesized in the original model, the modified academic satisfaction model also included independent and interdependent self-construals to represent one's cultural orientations. Comparisons between the hypothesized model and 2 alternative models showed that direct paths from extraversion and emotional stability added significantly to the predictions of academic satisfaction and life satisfaction for all 3 racial/ethnic groups while those from independent and interdependent self-construals also had the same effects for Latino/a American students. The hypothesized model offered excellent fit to the data of all 3 racial/ethnic groups. Consistent with theoretical prediction, academic supports, self-efficacy, outcome expectations, or goal progress formed pathways that mediated the relations of personality traits and self-construals to academic satisfaction or life satisfaction across 3 groups. Although full measurement equivalence (configural invariance and metric invariance) was observed, 4 structural paths and 16 indirect effects differed significantly by race/ethnicity. Most of these differences in structural paths and indirect effects occurred between Caucasian Americans and Asian Americans. On balance, findings of the study provided evidence for the cross-racial/ethnic validity of the modified academic satisfaction model while identifying racial/ethnic differences that might have useful clinical implications.
 
Cultivating Teacher Mindfulness: Effects of a Randomized Controlled Trial on Work, Home, and Sleep Outcomes
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology – Tori Crain, Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl, & Robert W. Roeser, May 2016
 
Abstract: The effects of randomization to a workplace mindfulness training (WMT) or a waitlist control condition on teachers’ well-being (moods and satisfaction at work and home), quantity of sleep, quality of sleep, and sleepiness during the day were examined in 2 randomized, waitlist controlled trials (RCTs). The combined sample of the 2 RCTs, conducted in Canada and the United States, included 113 elementary and secondary school teachers (89% female). Measures were collected at baseline, postprogram, and 3-month follow-up; teachers were randomly assigned to condition after baseline assessment. Results showed that teachers randomized to WMT reported less frequent bad moods at work and home, greater satisfaction at work and home, more sleep on weekday nights, better quality sleep, and decreased insomnia symptoms and daytime sleepiness. Training-related group differences in mindfulness and rumination on work at home at postprogram partially mediated the reductions in negative moods at home and increases in sleep quality at follow-up.
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Transforming Education supports educators and education systems in equipping students with the Mindsets, Essential Skills, and Habits (MESH) they need to succeed in college, career, and life. 

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