May 3, 2016 by

Leading Educators Will Discuss How to Close the Engagement Gap at ASCD Symposium

Whole Child Symposium
Whole Child SymposiumJoin us for the 2016 Whole Child Symposium, titled “The Engagement Gap,” which will focus on how to make each school and each classroom an all-engaging environment. This is ASCD’s fourth Whole Child Symposium, following previous years’ panel discussions on the future of education, teacher leadership, and poverty’s influence on education. For the first time, the event will take place during primetime—from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. eastern time on May 4, 2016—enabling more educators to join the live audience in the Knight Conference Center at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and view a free live streamed video at www.ascd.org/wcsymposium.

“The achievement gap has received much attention, and deservedly so, but the engagement gap is a root cause of variances in student achievement and has yet to receive the same recognition,” said Sean Slade, ASCD director of outreach and whole child and moderator of the Whole Child Symposium. “Making sure each child is engaged in learning is one of the five tenets of the Whole Child approach to education for a reason: it ensures that our children are invested in their own success and prepared to encounter challenges in and outside of school. We look forward to hearing innovative and proven ideas and strategies from our expert panelists and developing tactics to ensure all learning environments are fully engaging.”

Ensuring engagement may be the closest thing schools have to determining whether or not learning is taking place. Focusing on proper pedagogy, rather than narrowing attention only to the outcomes, can contribute to the development of a sustainable structure for effective instruction.

The symposium discussion will feature four panelists whose work in education has proven their commitment to engaging all learners and expertise in helping diverse groups of students achieve success. The panelists will present their cases for what engagement truly means, why it is important, and how to create an all-engaging environment in each classroom. Here are the panelists:

  • Russell Quaglia is executive director of the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations and founder of the Teacher Voice and Aspirations International Center.
  • Kaya Henderson is chancellor of D.C. Public Schools (DCPS), where she has led four consecutive years of enrollment growth in the country’s fastest-improving urban school district.
  • Bena Kallick is codirector of the Institute for Habits of Mind, program director for Eduplanet21, and author of many books, including Habits of Mind Across the Curriculum.
  • Joe Fatheree is instructor of creativity and innovation at Effingham High School in Illinois and director of strategic projects for the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, and he was recently named one of the top 10 teachers in the world by the Varkey Foundation.

Educators can watch the event or register for a free pass to attend in-person at www.ascd.org/wcsymposium. Educators watching at home can follow @ASCD on Twitter, using #WCS16 to engage in the discussion.

Poverty and Education Report from the 2015 Whole Child Symposium

In May 2015, ASCD convened its third Whole Child Symposium, in which panelists discussed how to address poverty as a sector, as a school, and as a classroom. Educators and experts, including ASCD author Kathleen Budge, Steve Suitts of the Southern Education Foundation, and superintendent Tiffany Anderson of the Jennings (Mo.) School District, described what policymakers, community leaders, and educators can do to address this increasing and urgent issue. Read the full report here (PDF).

For more information about the ASCD Whole Child approach, visit www.ascd.org/wholechild. To find ASCD books with strategies to help teachers create engaging learning environments, visit www.ascd.org/books. You can also find out more about ASCD’s other programs, products, services, and memberships at www.ascd.org.

Ross Romano is the Publicist on the ASCD Communications team. He helps to maintain and grow ASCD’s strong relationship with the media and is charged with distributing important news to the press and ASCD constituents. He is also a contributor to the association’s social media channels and other areas of the group communications efforts. Prior to joining ASCD in 2014, he worked in media relations within Major League Baseball, both domestically in the US and internationally in Australia.