Bouncing Back

The art of resiliency Excerpt from “Emotional Safety: Personal and Character Development,” from chapter 15 of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools by Dr. Jane Bluestein © 2001, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL. This excerpt was extracted from the manuscript for this book and may be slightly different from the actual printed copy. The entire bibliography of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools is…

The Saber-Tooth Curriculum Revisited—A Brief Walk in Time

Abstract Objectives and Purpose of Proposal In his 1939 book, The Saber-Tooth Curriculum, Harold Benjamin (aka J. Abner Pediwell) sketched a parable of stagnate curriculum reform. The book is a metaphorical and historical account of the development of an educational system. This paper addresses, through the “lens” of Pediwell, the critical need to examine the…

The Problem with Zero Tolerance and Push Out Strategies

contactHow these programs are making things worse On March 4, 2015, I had the privilege of keynoting the National Youth At Risk Conference for the second time. In meeting with many of the participants who attended the keynote and my follow-up session, as well as what I’ve observed in my visits to schools around the country and…

Bullying Podcast with Stan Davis

Learn what kids say works best, and what makes things worse Episode Summary: Dr. Jane Bluestein talks with author and retired therapist Stan Davis about the true value of the advice kids receive and the interventions they experience when they experience mistreatment at the hands of their peers. 

Staying Positive in the Face of Negativity and Horror

Staying positive in the face of negativity and horror I am, by nature, a positive person. For my own sanity, and for the sake of maximizing my potential contribution to the world, I try to look for the good in all things. That said, I am also extremely sensitive to violence and cruelty, and seem…

Industrial Age vs. Information Age

Two very different classrooms On this page you will find a comparison between traditional classrooms established according to the demands of an industrial-age or factory economy, and win-win classrooms adapted to the needs the information age, particularly as these differences correspond to classroom values, priorities, motivators, authority relationships, desired (encouraged) student behaviors, and discipline goals….

Test Time

Bringing balance and sanity to our schools How often do you hear yourself urging a student, “Come on, you have to learn this. It’s going to be on the test!”? I hear this appeal in classrooms all the time, and am certainly guilty of having uttered it myself. Still, I have to laugh, because after…

Rules and Beliefs of Unhealthy Systems

Foundations of unhealthy adult-child group systems For much of my recent career, I have referred the following two lists (“Rules” and “Beliefs”) as the basis for the paradigm in which many of our current practices and polices exist. The information comes from Alice Miller’s work (cited below) and represents destructive, if common, ideas which cumulatively…

The School as a Dysfunctional Family

And some healthy, functional alternatives Similarities between schools and dysfunctional families are reflected in the beliefs or rules that can compromise the emotional climate of any system. Included for each category are alternatives which, when chosen, can have a positive impact on this climate, as well as on the relationships and performance of individuals functioning…