The top 10 Educational Leadership stories of 2020

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As we usher in a new year, we’re taking a look back at the most widely read Educational Leadership articles of 2020. Educational Leadership published more than 170 features and columns in nine issues last year, as well as a special report on “Getting Remote Learning Right.” We addressed topics including reading instruction, brain-based learning, equitable grading, trauma-sensitive schools, and mental health for educators. We talked about the pandemic and we talked about it some more.

In a year of unprecedented change and uncertainty, one thing remained steadfast: educators’ commitment to serving students and supporting each other. We hope this collection of articles will help you continue in this important work.

1. Successfully Taking Offline Classes Online by Catlin Tucker

How to build community and create student-centered lessons.

2. Drawing on Reading Science Without Starting a War by Benjamin Riley

Research has revealed key truths about how children learn to read. Can we apply these findings in classrooms without reigniting the “Reading Wars”?

3. The Curse of “Helicopter Teaching” by Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher

To gain skill and voice, student writers need space to hear themselves think.

4. The Power of Protocols for Equity by Zaretta Hammond

Structured protocols can help teachers ensure equitable participation and create more culturally responsive discussions.

5. The Trauma We Don’t See by Dena Simmons

Too often, the trauma of high-achieving Black students goes unnoticed.

6. No Instructional Minute Wasted by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey

To avoid wasting learning time, the best teachers do three things differently.

7. Taking the Stress Out of Grading by Joe Feldman

Now more than ever, we need to take steps to reduce students’ anxiety about grading (while improving learning). Will we?

8. How Trauma-Informed Are We, Really? by Paul Gorski 

To fully support students, schools must attend to the trauma that occurs within their own institutional cultures.

9. When Young Readers Get Stuck by Nell Duke

There’s an art—and science—to providing prompts for young readers when they struggle.

10. The Mental Balancing Act for School Leaders by Baruti Kafele

To be an effective leader, you must be intentional and deliberate about taking care of your mental and physical health.


Follow @ASCD and @ELmagazine on Twitter (#ELTopStories) and let us know which was your favorite article of 2020. You can also browse Educational Leadership’s full archives.

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