Sunday, September 23, 2012

Circle of Courage

The Circle of Courage® philosophy empowers youth through an environment with the values of belonging, generosity, independence, and mastery.

Teaching strategies to foster each core value are as follows. A strategy to foster belonging is to tap into real life experiences and prior knowledge (CUP theory). A strategy to foster generosity is fishbowl to encourage peer learning, provide supports for EL and special needs students, and facilitate creative thinking for higher level learning. A strategy to foster independence is literature circles (each member of the group is assigned a role. They share their role and manage the discussion and share opinions). A strategy to foster mastery is recasting the text (students rewrite the work discussed in class for genre understanding and mastery).

In both of my co-teaching classes (however one is much more severe) there are extreme and daily cases of multiple students’ distraction, immaturity, goofing-off, talking, disrespect, and lack of interest and participation.

A prevention strategy that would develop a sense of belonging and independence would be to give the students more autonomy in choosing material that meets their interests and designing a lecture that helps them make a connection to their lives. Sharing the results of their connections would also help them get to know and trust each other as part of a community.

I cannot support their desired behaviors by allowing the students to not participate, socialize, or disrespect the community; but, a way to support the students sense of belonging, generosity, independence, and mastery in ways that allow the students to make different choices (and avoid the incident) would be an active involvement technique of total physical response (body language, gesture, or motion) or reaction diagrams (visual response).

During the incident, at various points during the lesson, I could have used the Say Something strategy to keep the social community-building thinking going in a positive direction by enabling frequent, brief conservations between partners. Also, at key points, stopping to use outcome sentences where students complete a meaningful phrase may help foster belonging and mastery.

After the incident, having the students who broke community come up with an idea of how to rebuild community would help foster belonging and generosity.

Source: Circle of Courage Philosophy

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