Monthly Article Archives: September 2019

The Impact of PGDs in SchoolsRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

Many of my past September articles have addressed themes related to education and school climate, especially since the end of summer ushers in the start of a new school year. It is also a period during which I have had the pleasure of being the opening day speaker at a number of schools and school districts. A sense of excitement and anticipation always permeates these events as teachers, administrators, and other school staff see each other for the first time in months, welcome new staff, and prepare for the arrival of students. During my presentations I emphasize the importance of creating a “motivating environment” in which all members of the school community feel welcome and safe. When these feelings exist, they provide a climate for effective teaching and learning that goes beyond academics and embrace the reinforcement of such attributes as empathy, caring, and altruism. As I have emphasized in previous writings, the presence of positive emotions in the school setting impacts on motivation, learning, self-discipline, and resilience. In this article I will highlight one variable that I consider to be essential in generating positive emotions in schools—namely, a student’s sense of belonging and connectedness. Not only does this variable

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