Learning and Health Model Highlighted by the American School Health Association

Alexandria, VA (10/14/2015)—The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model for student learning and health, developed by ASCD and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and announced in March 2014, is the subject of the latest issue of the Journal of School Health (JOSH), the journal of the American School Health Association (ASHA). In addition, five sessions at the 2015 ASHA School Health Conference, which is being held from October 15 to 17 in Orlando, Fla., will focus on the model and its application.

The WSCC model combines and builds on elements of the traditional coordinated school health approach and the whole child framework to strengthen a unified and collaborative approach to learning and health. Adding to this effort, CDC, ASCD, and numerous partners have published 10 articles in the November 2015 special issue of JOSH. These articles expand the evidence base for the components of the WSCC model and are a resource for practitioners implementing the model to create school environments that support health and learning. You can read the full issue online here.

“ASCD is excited to have the WSCC model featured in the Journal of School Health and at the ASHA School Health Conference, as these are key platforms to share information about implementing and utilizing the model with an influential group of educators and health professionals,” said Theresa Lewallen, ASCD chief constituent services officer. “Many school communities have increased or renewed their commitment to learning and health since the model was introduced in 2014, and we’re confident that the articles in the journal will support further progress.”

A few of the articles in the new issue of JOSH are

In addition to these journal articles, those looking to learn more about implementing and using the WSCC model can do so at the 2015 ASHA School Health Conference this week in Orlando, where a variety of sessions will describe how to take the model from theory to implementation. The highlight will be the closing keynote session, presented by the CDC’s Dr. Wayne Giles, which will inform attendees about the trainings, tools, resources, and partnership opportunities that exist to support the WSCC model and the practices and infrastructure that are essential to effective implementation. At the conclusion of this session, Dr. Giles will direct the audience to specific conference evaluation survey questions related to the WSCC model, which we will use to determine the direction of a spring 2016 follow-up webinar cohosted by ASCD, CDC, and ASHA.

For more information about ASCD’s Whole Child Approach, visit www.ascd.org/wholechild. To find out about ASCD’s focus on integrating learning and health visit www.ascd.org/learningandhealth. You can also find out more about ASCD’s other programs, products, services, and memberships at www.ascd.org.

ASHA is a multidisciplinary organization of health and education professionals dedicated to transforming all schools into places where every student learns and thrives. For more information about ASHA’s position statement on a coordinated approach to support health and learning, visit this page. To learn more about ASHA, visit www.ashaweb.org.

ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 125,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. ASCD’s innovative solutions promote the success of each child. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit www.ascd.org.



Lessons using mirroring and data portal track progress while encouraging children with autism to practice and understand facial expressions

DALLAS (Oct. 14, 2015) – In modern, data-centered classrooms, social robotics is an increasingly appealing strategy for autism intervention. In response, RoboKind, the world leader in social robotics, introduces lessons taught through mirroring and a data portal to its Robots4Autism curriculum. Delivered by the humanoid robot Milo, the Robots4Autism curriculum is designed to teach critical social skills to children on the autism spectrum.

The Robots4Autism emotion module uses mirroring to help children identify, discriminate and imitate facial expressions of nine different emotions. In these lessons, Milo first describes the facial features of an emotion and then models the corresponding expression. The child is then asked to identify or discriminate between emotions at increasing levels of difficulty. They look at subjects such as a picture of Milo or photographs and videos of people of various ages and cultures. Finally, the child is able to imitate Milo by looking into a tablet where the child can see his or her own face.

“Since children on the autism spectrum are less likely to exhibit mirroring, the imitation of gestures, speech patterns or attitudes of others, mirroring lessons are an important component of autism intervention,” said Dr. Pamela Rollins, MS, Ed.D., associate professor of Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas. “The updated Robots4Autism curriculum, coupled with Milo, offers a uniquely impactful method to teach emotions.”

With the newly released data portal, schools can track a variety of data on each student as they work through their individual lessons with Milo, and transmit the data to educators, parents and other parties. In addition to the data collection on student answers and timing, the robot also measures students’ eye contact, frustration and engagement level to provide a variety of data that are often not available to most schools.

“Data collection is critical for schools, parents and government funders to see how each child is progressing with the Robots4Autism lessons,” said Fred Margolin, CEO and co-founder of RoboKind. “Not only does the data portal give access to data on individual progress, but also how a group of individuals is responding to each lesson to discover what is working.”

To learn more about the new emotion lessons using mirroring and data portal features, visit www.robokindrobots.com.


Contact: Lauren West