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Building Blocks for Learning

A Framework for Comprehensive Student Development

Turnaround for Children’s Building Blocks for Learning is a framework for the development of skills children need for success in school and beyond. Each element represents a set of evidence-based skills and mindsets that have been proven by research to strongly correlate to, and even predict, academic achievement. The framework draws from research in multiple fields to suggest movement from lower-order to higher-order skills. Overall, it provides a rigorous perspective on what it means to intentionally teach the whole child – to develop the social, emotional, motivational and cognitive skills in every learner. Turnaround offers the building blocks framework as a contribution to a vital collaborative endeavor to deepen and transform K-12 education.

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INDEPENDENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY
Self-
Direction

Self-Direction

A process in which learners take the initiative in planning, implementing and evaluating their own learning needs and outcomes, with or without the help of others.

Knowles, M.S., (1975).
Curiosity

Curiosity

The desire to engage and understand the world, interest in a wide variety of things and preference for a complete understanding of a complex topic or problem.

Goff, M., & Ackerman, P., (1992).
Civic
Identity

Civic Identity

A multifaceted and dynamic notion of the self as belonging to and responsible for a community or communities.

Rubin, Beth C., (2007).
PERSEVERANCE
Resilience

Resilience

Positive adaptation during or following exposure to adversities that have the potential to harm development: (a) developing well in the context of high cumulative risk for developmental problems (beating the odds, better than predicted development), (b) functioning well under currently-adverse conditions (stress-resistance, coping) and (c) recovery to normal functioning after catastrophic adversity (bouncing back, self-righting) or severe deprivation (normalization).

Masten, A., (2007).
Agency

Agency

A student’s individual decision-making and autonomous actions.

Toshalis, E. & Nakkula, M.J., (2012).
Academic
Tenacity

Academic Tenacity

The beliefs and skills that allow students to look beyond short-term concerns to longer-term or higher-order goals, and withstand challenges and setbacks to persevere toward these goals.

Dweck, et al., (2011).
MINDSETS FOR
SELF AND SCHOOL
Growth
Mindset

Growth Mindset

Wherein students ascribe to the belief: my ability and competence grow with my effort.

Farrington, et al., (2012).
Self-
Efficacy

Self-Efficacy

The perception that one can do something successfully.

Farrington, et al., (2012).
Sense of
Belonging

Sense of Belonging

A sense that one has a rightful place in a given academic setting and can claim full membership in a classroom community.

Farrington, et al., (2012).
Relevance
of School

Relevance of School

A student’s sense that the subject matter he or she is studying is interesting and holds value.

Farrington, et al., (2012).
SCHOOL
READINESS
Self-
Awareness

Self-Awareness

The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.

Payton, J. et al., (2008).
Social Awareness/
Relationship Skills

Social Awareness / Relationship Skills

The ability to take the perspective of, and empathize with, others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school and community resources and supports.

Payton, J. et al., (2008).
Executive
Functions

Executive Functions

The cognitive control functions needed when one has to concentrate and think, when acting on one’s initial impulse would be ill-advised. Core executive functions include cognitive flexibility, inhibition (self-control, self-regulation) and working memory. More complex executive functions include problem-solving, reasoning and planning.

Diamond A, Lee K., (2011).
HEALTHY
DEVELOPMENT
Attachment

Attachment

A deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space.

Ainsworth, M.D.S., (1973).
Stress
Management

Stress Management

Constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person.

Kraag, G., et al., (2006).
Self-
Regulation

Self-Regulation

Regulation of attention, emotion and executive functions for the purposes of goal-directed actions.

Blair, C., & Ursache, A., (2011).
MINDSETS FOR SELF AND SCHOOL HEA L THY DEVELOPMENT SCHOOL READINESS PERSEVERANCE INDEPENDENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY Stress Management Self- Regulation Social Awareness/ Relationship Skills of School Academic Tenacity Agency Resilience Self- Efficacy Growth Mindset Sense of Belonging Curiosity Self- Direction Civic Identity Self- Awareness Executive Functions Attachment Relevance

HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT

A deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space.

Ainsworth, M.D.S., (1973).

Constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person.

Kraag, G., et al., (2006).

Regulation of attention, emotion and executive functions for the purposes of goal-directed actions.

Blair, C., & Ursache, A., (2011).

SCHOOL READINESS

The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.

Payton, J. et al., (2008).

The ability to take the perspective of, and empathize with, others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school and community resources and supports.

Payton, J. et al., (2008).

The cognitive control functions needed when one has to concentrate and think, when acting on one’s initial impulse would be ill-advised. Core executive functions include cognitive flexibility, inhibition (self-control, self-regulation) and working memory. More complex executive functions include problem-solving, reasoning and planning.

Diamond A, Lee K., (2011).

MINDSETS FOR SELF AND SCHOOL

Wherein students ascribe to the belief: my ability and competence grow with my effort.

Farrington, et al., (2012).

The perception that one can do something successfully.

Farrington, et al., (2012).

A sense that one has a rightful place in a given academic setting and can claim full membership in a classroom community.

Farrington, et al., (2012).

A student’s sense that the subject matter he or she is studying is interesting and holds value.

Farrington, et al., (2012).

PERSEVERANCE

Positive adaptation during or following exposure to adversities that have the potential to harm development: (a) developing well in the context of high cumulative risk for developmental problems (beating the odds, better than predicted development), (b) functioning well under currently-adverse conditions (stress-resistance, coping) and (c) recovery to normal functioning after catastrophic adversity (bouncing back, self-righting) or severe deprivation (normalization).

Masten, A., (2007).

A student’s individual decision-making and autonomous actions.

Toshalis, E. & Nakkula, M.J., (2012).

The beliefs and skills that allow students to look beyond short-term concerns to longer-term or higher-order goals, and withstand challenges and setbacks to persevere toward these goals.

Dweck, et al., (2011).

INDEPENDENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY

A process in which learners take the initiative in planning, implementing and evaluating their own learning needs and outcomes, with or without the help of others.

Knowles, M.S., (1975).

The desire to engage and understand the world, interest in a wide variety of things and preference for a complete understanding of a complex topic or problem.

Goff, M., & Ackerman, P., (1992).

A multifaceted and dynamic notion of the self as belonging to and responsible for a community or communities.

Rubin, Beth C., (2007).

Guiding Principles for Selection of Building Blocks for Learning

Alignment to the development of the child as a “learner” in an educational setting

A research base demonstrating impact of skill, behavior or mindset on academic achievement

A measurable and malleable skill, behavior or mindset – differentiating between personality/ character traits and learner attributes