Teaching Civility in an F-Word Society

Teaching Civility in an F-Word Society

In upstate New York this week, a 68-year old bus monitor was called fat and ugly. Laced with profanity and cruel insults, four middle-school boys brought the woman to tears in one of the worst child-adult bullying incidents ever caught on videotape. How do children learn positive social behaviors?

The Commencement Address that Went Viral

Lily Tomlin once said, “I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” That’s exactly what David McCullough Jr. accomplished last week when he delivered his now famous “You’re not special” high school commencement speech. What is the psychology behind his message?
Study Drugs: The Next Teen Addiction?

Study Drugs: The Next Teen Addiction?

The drug, Adderall, prescribed for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is being taken by kids without ADHD to give them the edge on good grades and standardized tests scores. Known as study drugs, is this any different from athletes taking steroids to increase performance?
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The Art of Positive Skepticism

While most of our ideas and accomplishments will never be compared to the greatest minds in history, we can help ourselves and our children develop the same habits of thinking that helped Galileo and Jobs discover truth and create innovation. Welcome to the world of the skeptic!
No Joking: Our Kids Are Failing Democracy 101

No Joking: Our Kids Are Failing Democracy 101

A study by the Educational Testing Service paints a dismal picture of our children’s knowledge of the principles of democracy. The study links weak civics knowledge to a decline in voting and volunteering among youth. How do we reverse this trend?
What's Summer? Hands-On Learning Time for Teens!

What's Summer? Hands-On Learning Time for Teens!

Summer is just around the corner. While it’s a great time for kids to take a break from the pressures of homework and grades, it’s an even better time to bring on a different kind of learning—learning that connects hands, head, and heart. Parents play a key role!
Helping Children Thrive With LD/ADHD

Helping Children Thrive With LD/ADHD

Beyond the logistics of helping children with learning differences do well in school, all adults —parents, teachers, and counselors—have a responsibility to foster a positive mindset that helps kids overcome the many obstacles they face.

The Grade Debate: Can We Meet in the Middle?

What is your philosophy on the grade and testing debate in education? How can we do our best for the most children today? The answer lies in our ability to understand that both sides of the grade debate are flawed, that unless we come to a middle ground understanding of what kids need to succeed, our schools will continue on their path to mediocrity.

How to Change a Teenager's Life

Have you ever wondered how you could personally change an adolescent’s life, perhaps inspire a career or fuel a young person’s desire to make a difference in the world? While parents are a huge part of kid’s lives, research shows that other adults play equally significant roles.
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The Psychology of Youth Sports

There’s a good deal of hype about the value of children’s sports. If families understand the benefits and pitfalls, children are more likely to be winners for life.
Shift Your Parenting Mindset this New Year's

Shift Your Parenting Mindset this New Year's

Want to improve your child’s chances for success and happiness? Resolve to shift your mindset — turning beliefs into actions that build resiliency and help kids believe in themselves.
Mindful Gift Giving for Families

Mindful Gift Giving for Families

Bombarded with myriad holiday activities and added stress, why would families want to pause—to help children be mindful about giving? Because human acts of kindness reap big psychological rewards for the giver. And learning to give shapes children's lives!

How Society Grades Teachers

Politicians and corporate leaders want to grade teachers on student test scores. But how will society grade them? A good deal of their effectiveness may be assessed by how future generations become engaged in democracy and social change.
Smart Kids Face Challenges Too

Smart Kids Face Challenges Too

Do you have a smart child? Then you probably know that raising intelligent children is not as easy as it might look.

Are We Raising Good Citizens?

Raising children to become good citizens doesn't happen by chance. It happens because we develop good citizens! And frankly, we need to do a better job!

Will Small-Part Fixes Save Public Schools?

Behind Bill Gates’ high-profile pursuit to improve American classrooms lays puzzling questions. What criteria accurately measure teacher and student success? Does current thinking in education reform shift our focus from what really matters – the complex process of child development?
Mistakes Improve Children's Learning

Mistakes Improve Children's Learning

Most adults understand that making mistakes is part of life. Yet we pressure our kids to get it right! If they make errors or experience setbacks, parents envision a successful future slipping from grasp. Actually, the opposite is true. Making and learning from mistakes improves young people’s positive outcomes in life.
Family-School Partnerships for the 21st Century

Family-School Partnerships for the 21st Century

While education reformers argue about teacher accountability and test scores, many parents and teachers are not waiting for mandates from above. They know that successful educational partnerships begin at the grassroots, where parents, teachers, and students learn and problem-solve together.
The Fallacy of Good Grades

The Fallacy of Good Grades

We live in an age obsessed with numbers. But that doesn't mean we have to teach children to measure their self-worth by grades or test scores.

Beyond the Classroom

Wondering how to help teens build leadership skills, nurture friendships, and develop an optimistic outlook? Help them choose meaningful after-school programs.
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How Teenagers Become Passionate About Giving

Have you ever wondered why some teenagers find purpose through community service while others find it difficult to stay engaged? Learn the common ways young people traverse the route from volunteering to true engagement.
Oh, Say, Can You See?

Oh, Say, Can You See?

The most memorable rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" I've ever witnessed, one teenage girl demonstrated that it's not always about being your best. It's about the process of becoming your best that counts.
Applause: Children, Music & Social Change

Applause: Children, Music & Social Change

At a time when music and arts programs are being slashed from school budgets, research acknowledges its significant benefits to children. Some communities are stepping up to help all youth succeed.
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What Teens Learn by Overcoming Challenges

Watching adolescents grapple with age-related and societal challenges is not an easy task. Yet research shows that teens become successful by overcoming obstacles. In fact, learning to face and overcome challenges during adolescence is critical to developing life-long success and well-being.

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