Peer Relationships: Their Lives Depend On Them

Happy New Year! Here is a good reminder of the importance of fostering a positive community of learners in every classroom. Strategies galore below!

Education to Save the World

imagesI always understood that my relationships with students would reduce the number of discipline problems, increase motivation and ultimately learning. But — WOW — I wish I had known more about the importance of student-to-student relationships when I first started teaching.

I never spent much time on the anti-bullying craze not because I didn’t think it was important but there just seemed like so much else to focus on. Now I understand the importance but still think anti-bullying (by educating on signs of bullying, encouraging reporting to adults and focusing programming outside of the curriculum and regular instruction time) might be a slightly less effective way to go about fostering positive peer interactions.

First, the research:

  • The Harvard Men study followed 268 men from their entrance to college in the 1930s to present day. The study’s director, George Vaillant states that there are “70 years of evidence that our relationships…

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