Christy Folsom received her Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has a broad and deep background in education that includes preschool, deaf, general, gifted education, and teacher education at the university level. In addition, she has worked as a staff developer and as an administrator. Based on her experience as an educator and as a parent, she developed the conceptual framework of Teaching for Intellectual and Emotional Learning (TIEL®). She has presented her work nationally and internationally. She directs the TIEL Institute through which she works privately with students, schools, and districts. Her book is entitled Creating Powerful Curriculum: Teaching for Intellectual and Emotional Learning. The book shares how four NYC teachers used the TIEL model to transform their teaching, helping their students to become more self-directed learners. Dr. Folsom lives in New York City.
THE TIEL DESIGN MODEL
21ST CENTURY EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS
Teaching for Intellectual and Emotional Learning (TIEL) is a model for guiding curriculum development and instructional planning needed to meet new educational standards. In addition to reading, writing, math, social studies, and science, schools in the 21st century must prepare students with new basic skills. These include the ability to sort and sift through information, plan and evaluate, think creatively and flexibly, appreciate diversity, cooperate, and make ethical decisions.
Standards for K-12 students and standards for teacher preparation programs include many of these new basic skills that require a more complex approach to teaching and learning. Complex teaching and learning involve teaching thinking social emotional processes essential to the new basic skills. At the same time, complex teaching prepares students in the traditional basic skills of reading, writing, math and the content areas of social studies and science.
TIEL is a visual framework that helps educators, students, and their parents understand the new basic skills. TIEL supports teachers and administrators in implementing complex teaching that leads to complex learning.
TIEL, however, is not a layer to be added onto an already over-burdened school day. Instead, it is a foundation that supports and extends meaningful work already taking place in the classrooms. TIEL represents essential threads that can be woven into daily curriculum.
TIEL helps teachers become conscious of invisible thinking and emotional processes that are important to teaching and learning, but rarely made explicit. When teachers become conscious of these processes they are able to purposefully integrate them into curriculum and instruction. When students become conscious of these processes, they become more responsible learners.
TIEL brings balance to curriculum design. Using TIEL as a framework to plan lessons and helps teachers balance content and process. Instruction then is focused on the learning of thinking and emotional processes as well as content. The TIEL model helps teachers design project-based curriculum that purposefully teaches self-management skills of decision making, planning, and self-evaluation. TIEL helps teachers create learning experiences that span several basic thinking operations and include opportunities to develop positive character traits. When teachers plan curriculum using the TIEL framework, they create a classroom environment that encourages intellectual, emotional, and character development.
TIEL facilitates communication about teaching and learning. It helps students understand and discuss their learning by giving teachers a language with which to communicate about thinking and qualities of character. When students are consciously aware of and can name the thinking processes they are asked to use, they have a way to link those processes to other subject areas or to experiences in their lives outside of school. Students, who clearly understand how to make decisions, plan, and self-evaluate as they create projects, have ownership in their learning. Using TIEL, students become empowered, motivated, and self-directed. Teachers gain control over their teaching that they may not have previously experienced.