Education is Social

Esther Quintero has been doing great work over on Shanker Blog forwarding the idea that context matters in education.

Check out this great series on “the social side of education.”

Suspensions Disrupt Student Communities

“As Perry and Morris argue, removing a student from the school context may not be the individual act that it might seem. Rather, it occurs within an existing web of social relations and, as such, it affects student networks and the messages and meanings that are shared through these relationships.

The researchers point to two underlying mechanisms that may explain these results. First, at the individual level, a high suspension environment can create a heightened sense of anxiety. Second, at the school level, suspensions disrupt student communities, creating unstable, socially fragmented environments, which undermine the social bonds that undergird positive outcomes.”

–Esther Quintero, “New Research On School Discipline” on Shanker Blog


Inoculate Children Against Future Behavior Problems

“. . .  one way to ‘protect’ young children from developing behavioral problems later on is supporting their oral language development early.

Although this sort of strategy may not appear to address early discipline disparities directly, it is likely to help mitigate the problem. We know that poor children (who are also disproportionately black and brown) start kindergarten already behind; Bornstein and colleagues’ work suggests that by providing extra support for these kids’ oral language development, we would not only be helping them academically, but also we would be “inoculating” them from developing behavioral problems down the road.”

–Esther Quintero, “Not All Discipline Disparities May Be The Result Of Implicit Bias” on Shanker Blog

Policy Must Obliquely Cultivate Relationships, Not Suffocate

“What makes a school – or, for that matter, any organization – great is in no small part intangible. One thing, however, is clear: Innovation and organizational learning are not going to take place in contexts where formal rules “suffocate” the emergence of informal norms and trust, both of which are elements of social capital that are created primarily through social interaction.”

–Esther Quintero, “Social Capital Matters as Much as Human Capital” on Shanker Blog