From Education Resources

New Healthy Schools Web Portal

Monday, September 17th marks the official launch date of the redesigned Healthy Schools BC web portal. Just in time for the new school year, the website has been updated with loads of new features and content including the Healthy Schools Process tab, a section that focuses on the “how to” for building a healthy school. To support the increased healthy school program and resource options, the site also features a research section where you’ll find articles on comprehensive school health, healthy living topics, healthy eating and evidence based approaches to creating healthy schools. Interested in seeing how the portal can work for you? Visit the website here for more information, or contact DASH here to learn more.
To read the entire article, click here.


The Importance of Play

Learning through play is not only backed by science (neural pathways in children’s brains are impacted by problem solving, exploring, and developing thinking skills which occur during play based learning), but it is supported by experts, parents, and children alike. There are many benefits to learning through play such as developing social, emotional and physical habits, and critical thinking skills. The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada released a statement acknowledging the importance of learning through play. Read their full statement here.


Parents Handbook on Inclusive Education

The BCACL publication, “A Parent’s Handbook on Inclusive Education,” has been updated to reflect current legislation and resources. The handbook is now available in three formats, for your convenience.
1) Three ring binder: The binder format allows you to keep your own paper files together with the manual.  It also allows for you to replace pages as they are updated. Contact BCACL to order your copy ( 604-777-9100).
PDF file: Download the PDF file to print the manual on your home computer.
3) E-Book: Browse through the manual on our website with easy-to-use navigation buttons and hyperlinks. 


BC’s Education Plan “What You’ve Said” Summary Report

On October 28, 2011, the Ministry of Education launched BC’s Education Plan and opened a web site for comments on a series of questions about changes to the K-12 education system. This report contains a list of the major themes and ideas that have emerged from the online portion of the Education Plan discussion forum from October 2011 – July 2012. The themes that came out of the forum are: Curriculum, Quality Teaching and Learning, Parents, Communities, and Schools, Digital Technologies in Schools, and Administrative Issues. You can read the full summary here.  Additional comments can still be posted to the Ministry site.


Family Assets: Things That Make Families Strong

What are family assets?

In simplified terms, they are the things that make families strong. That is, the qualities of families who are functional.

The American Family Assets Study released last June by the Search Institute includes the most comprehensive national survey of family assets ever conducted in the United States. The Search Institute developed The Family Assets Index to capture the diversity of ways family members support one another through their day-to-day interactions and focus on family relationships, interactions, opportunities, values, skills, and self-perceptions. The Index was informed by scientific research in the areas of family systems theory, resiliency, and adolescent development; as well as listening sessions hosted with youth, adults, family professionals, and leaders in family research and policy arenas.

Data for this study came from an online survey conducted in June 2011 among 1,511 parent adults and their 10- to 15-year old child (one parent-child pair per family). Participants were recruited to represent a diverse mix of genders, races, ethnicities, and socieoeconomic statuses.

The following are some highlights of the study:

  • The average American family surveyed scores 47 out of 100 on the Family Assets Index.
  • Families are more alike than different when it comes to overall levels of Family Assets. When comparing different subgroups of families, there are no meaningful differences in overall levels of Family Assets based on income, family structure (single-parent or two-parent; heterosexual or LGBT parenting adults), parents’ education level, region of the country, or immigrant status.   

Read more 


Bullying on the Rise for Girls, Decreasing for Boys

Efforts to combat school-aged bullying in Canada may be working – for boys.  

 Girls, on the other hand, are experiencing an increase in the amount they are bullied, and finding it more difficult to cope with everyday psychological stressors. Unfortunately, the gap in numbers continues to grow between boys and girls on all sorts of measures of health and well-being.  

 According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, which sampled 9,288 students in grades 7 through 12 in Ontario, found that, increasingly, more girls than boys are facing school bullying (31% vs. 26%). The survey also determined that the most prevalent form of bullying in schools is by verbal attack, with 25% of students reporting that they had been bullied in this manner. Additionally, 1 in 5 students who participated in the survey reported that they had been bullied over the internet in the past 12 months, and girls were nearly twice as likely as boys to be bullied in this way (28% vs. 15%).  

 So why is it that boys are bullying less and girls are bullying and getting bullied more? It has been suggested that because girls tend to engage in more verbal and relational bullying, that texting and social networking allows them to bully via relational aggression on a bigger scale. Another consideration is that many bullying prevention programs have focused on preventing the bullying style most commonly used by boys, that is — one-on-one, physically aggressive bullying. But, according to the survey, bullying isn’t the only thing that has become increasingly bad for girls.  

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Executive Function: Skills for Learning and Life

Being able to focus, hold, and work with information in mind, filter distractions, and switch gears is like having an air traffic control system at a busy airport to manage the arrivals and departures of dozens of planes on multiple runways. In the brain, this air traffic control mechanism is called executive functioning, a group of skills that helps us to focus on multiple streams of information at the same time, and revise plans as necessary. This edition of the InBrief series explains how these lifelong skills develop, what can disrupt their development, and how supporting them pays off in school and life. Acquiring the early building blocks of these skills is one of the most important and challenging tasks of the early childhood years, and having the right support and experiences through middle childhood, adolescence, and into early adult life is essential for the successful development of these capacities. This 5-minute video provides an overview of Building the Brain’s “Air Traffic Control” System: How Early Experiences Shape the Development of Executive Function, the joint Working Paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child and the National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs.

View video >>


New Resource to Support Father Engagement

Anyone who has run a program or workshop for dads knows that finding a successful format can be hit and miss – there’s no secret formula that guarantees that fathers will come or keep attending. Dads of different ages, cultural backgrounds and socio-economic conditions often have different needs and what will draw them to a program can vary greatly. There has been formal and informal research done in the past, pulling together evidence and best-practice around father engagement, and in the new resource STEP BY STEP: Engaging Fathers in Programs for Families from practitioners can read about the factors that can lead to success in father-involvement programs.
With sections on how to reach specific target groups, including single fathers, newcomer fathers, gay dads and young dads, this resource is full of practical, evidence based ideas to bring in dads. One practical tool included in the document, for example: a list of good conversation starters when speaking with a father in a family centre or program; including:

  • What has your infant/child taught you?
  • When did something really special happen between the two of you?
  • What have you changed about yourself because of your infant/child?

What have you done to make things better for your infant/child?

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