Archive Posts

Ex-Stream Entertainment

By Fred Kardos | May 22, 2017

Netflix exploits and distorts serious issues to create binge-worthy shows. For a large percentage of students, exam procrastination takes the form of Netflix. I love Netflix. But it’s a love-hate relationship. While I appreciate the instant access to a wide variety of easy procrastination, recently released Netflix shows like 13 Reasons Why have capitalized on the addictive…

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Embrace failure

By Sarah Gathro | May 16, 2017

Steven Spielberg was a repeated failure. He received unimpressive grades in high school, and was rejected three times — yes, three — from the University of Southern California. Yet Spielberg went on to direct 51 films, win 3 Oscars and amass a wealth upward of $3 billion. It is no coincidence that before succeeding, Spielberg…

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The Era of Not Knowing

By Gabrielle Leung | May 6, 2017

I know enough about myself, and what I tend to write, that this final, end-of-the-semester piece will be reminiscent of this school year. I’m no longer the freshman who can write about the conflicting feelings of dorm life and the realization that everyone struggles, but never wants to leave Cornell. And I’m not a senior,…

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Peer Influences on Adolescent Risk Behavior

By Dustin Albert, Jason Chein, and Laurence Steinberg | April 16, 2017

Evidence overwhelmingly points to adolescence as a period of heightened risk-taking in multiple domains, including experimentation with alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, unprotected sexual activity, and reckless driving (Reyna & Farley, 2006).  Although risk-taking behavior declines as youth transition into mature adult roles, the public health consequences of the adolescent spike in risky decision-making are severe. …

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The Costs of Paying Attention, The Value of Reflection

By Alden S Blodget | April 3, 2017

Recent studies done by neuroscientist Mary Helen Immordino-Yang (University of Southern California) and her colleague Joanna Christodoulou (Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT) suggest that educators need to consider much more carefully the role of reflection in learning.1 They cite new theories of two brain systems that control our attention. One is activated when we engage with…

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Stop telling kids you’re bad at math. You are spreading math anxiety ‘like a virus.’

By Petra Bonfert-Taylor | March 25, 2017

“How was skiing?” I asked my 14-year old daughter as she hauled her boot bag into the car. “Well, the ratio of snow to ground was definitely low,” she replied, adding that she had tried to figure the ratio of snow-to-ground during practice but had received only mystified looks. “Stop the math!” demanded a coach. “You…

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Smartphone Addiction Tips for Breaking Free of Compulsive Smartphone Use

By Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D | March 11, 2017

While a Smartphone, tablet, or computer can be a hugely productive tool, compulsive use of these devices can interfere with your daily life, work, and relationships. When you spend more time on social media or playing games than you do interacting with real people, or you can’t stop yourself from repeatedly checking texts, emails, news…

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Learning Disabled or School Disabled?

By Alden S Blodget | March 4, 2017

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, my grandson is one of about 6.4 million children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. The symptoms of ADHD include inattentiveness in school, distractibility, inability to sustain attention, difficulty finishing school work, difficulty shifting from task to task, procrastination, and fidgeting when seated. In other words, if you…

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Parent’s Guide to Teen Depression

By Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D | February 26, 2017

Recognizing the Signs of Depression in Teens and How You Can Help Teenagers face a host of pressures, from the changes of puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. With all this turmoil and uncertainty, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between depression and normal teenage growing pains. But teen…

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How Iceland Got Teens to Say No to Drugs

By Emma Young | February 5, 2017

Curfews, sports, and understanding kids’ brain chemistry have all helped dramatically curb substance abuse in the country. It’s a little before 3 p.m. on a sunny Friday afternoon and Laugardalur Park, near central Reykjavik, looks practically deserted. There’s an occasional adult with a stroller, but the park’s surrounded by apartment blocks and houses, and school’s…

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Your Mind Is Not Like a Computer; It Is Like An Ecosystem: Minding Your Metaphors About the Mind

By Zachary Stein | January 16, 2017

I am what is often referred to as a “high-achieving dyslectic.” From a very early age, I was made aware that my mind simply worked differently than other people’s. Fortunately, while in elementary school, I was surrounded by caring special educators (including my mother) who taught me to embrace my uniqueness. But it was not…

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Assessments That Provide Real Insight into Learning

By Alden S Blodget | January 16, 2017

A math teacher described a problem he was having with his 2nd graders: “One of the goals of our math curriculum is to enable the students to articulate their mathematical reasoning. We would like them to explain, ‘The problem said two more came, so I knew I needed to add,’ but instead we get, ‘I…

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Adolescents Struggle to Identify Fake News

By Alden S Blodget | January 2, 2017

Given the multitude of phony news stories spawned during the 2016 election, culminating in the shooting at a D.C. pizza restaurant, the Stanford History Education Group’s study of adolescents’ ability to judge the credibility of all the information vying for their attention in cyberspace is amazingly timely. The study focused on over 7,800 middle school,…

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Protecting Children on the Ice: Referees and Responsibility

By Thomas Babson with David Greenstein and Alden S. Blodget | January 2, 2017

I love ice hockey.  It killed me, is killing me.  My brain, like the surface of the moon, cratered from years of collisions with the boards, sticks, elbows, ice.  Isolated, distant, circling the inhabited world, still trying to communicate with it.  Pills for ungovernable rage, pills for depression, pills for migraines.  Chunks of me gone,…

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My School, My Self

By Alden S Blodget | December 12, 2016

“I just needed a place where I could be myself.” That was Teri’s assessment of what was missing from her life in school, and my experience suggests that she speaks for hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of students. School is not typically a place for the self, at least not the self of students. A…

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“If For No Other Reason But That I Said So”

By Alden S Blodget | December 12, 2016

(This speech was addressed to students, their parents and teachers at an academic awards ceremony.) Ceremonies like this one are a way for one generation to pass the ideals and values of a society to the next generation.  On this day, your teachers sit up here as a visual reminder of the responsibility adults have…

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What Happens to Empathy Deferred?

By Leon "Kip" Bordelon | November 28, 2016

As an alumnus of an independent school, I have enjoyed reading about the increasing emphasis on teaching cooperation, teamwork, mindfulness, and empathy. As independent schools become more globally and racially diverse, the need for greater reflection, for awareness of one’s own thinking and biases, and for curiosity about the perspectives of others also grows.  The…

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The Teenage Brain: ADOLESCENTS AND ALCOHOL

By Linda Spear | November 28, 2016

The high levels of alcohol consumption characteristic of adolescence may be in part biologically based, given that elevated consumption levels are also evident during this developmental transition in other mammalian species as well. Studies conducted using a simple animal model of adolescence in the rat has shown adolescents to be more sensitive than adults to…

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Civics in Uncivil Times

By Leah Shafer | November 12, 2016

Facing down the challenges of teaching the 2016 election, with resources for preparing engaged citizens     In a chaotic and hostile election season — rupturing political parties, incessant name-calling, and growing dissension along racial and class lines — it may be tempting for educators to discourage political talk at school. But as the school…

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The Honor Code Vote – One Student Senator’s View

By Alyssa Vangelli | November 5, 2016

Should an honor code place one student against another? Is it the best way to ensure an honest and trusting atmosphere at a high school? Will it ensure moral action and thinking? In the Final faculty-Student Senate meeting of the winter term, we voted to adopt an honor code for Lawrence Academy. I left with…

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Arab American Students in Public Schools

By Wendy Schwartz | September 18, 2016

Arab Americans in U.S. schools represent more than 20 countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. They share many similarities with other immigrant groups seeking to establish an ethnic identity in a heterogeneous country, but they also face additional challenges. These result especially from negative stereotyping; racism and discrimination; widespread misinformation about their history…

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The Public Purpose of Private Schools

By Albert M Adams | September 18, 2016

Independent schools are uniquely positioned to make a difference in the public domain. Given the societal turf independent schools occupy, the considerable resources they command, and the powerful network of caring and influential people they attract, independent schools have the opportunity – and, I believe, the obligation – to do more than educate 1.5 percent…

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two fists

What Should Parents and Teachers Know About Bullying

By Staff of Access ERIC | September 18, 2016

Bullying in schools is a worldwide problem that can have negative effects on the general school climate and on the right of students to learn in a safe environment without fear. Bullying can also have negative lifelong consequences—both for students who bully and for their victims. This brochure characterizes bullies and their victims, offers advice…

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The Trouble with the Standards Movement

By Peter D Relic | September 18, 2016

With the best of intentions, President George Bush and the nation’s governors met in 1989 in Charlottesville, Virginia, to make the schools of the United States into world-class institutions, competitive with the best schools among industrialized countries. By calling for the creation of high standards with tests to measure student achievement and to hold teachers…

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COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

By Bill Jennings | September 18, 2016

INTRODUCTION The Groton/Dunstable School district’s Community Service Learning and Development (CSLD) initiative has been evolving over the past years through the initial efforts of Ms. Donna Kwajewski, director of Curriculum and Staff Development and Mr. Joseph Dillon, Principal, Groton/Dunstable Regional High School. It was at the high school that the first CSLD efforts began. Now,…

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Discipline Project Tests Group Participation

By Nancy Ames and Bill Jennings | September 18, 2016

New Justice Department research helps validate the need for all members of the “school community” to work together to improve campus climates. Although many aspects of the bullying problem remain controversial, one finding has received general support: The real culprit is the “growing-up environment” of the bully. Adults in the bully’s environment are often unaware…

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The Challenges of Parent Involvement Research

By Amy Baker and Laura Soden | September 18, 2016

Despite the validity of some studies, much parent involvement research to date contains serious methodological flaws. But it is possible that more effective parent involvement will generate cost savings by lessening the need for remedial and other special programs. National Council of Jewish Women Center for the Child Amy J. L. Baker and Laura M.…

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School Strategies for Increasing Safety

By Patrick H. Tolan | September 18, 2016

The recent incidents of horrible violence at presumably safe schools in protected communities has caused great concern and disillusionment as teachers, parents, and students face the fact that even these schools are vulnerable to violent acts. Numerous reports show schools organizing to manage such a potential crisis. But are public schools really dangerous places? Should…

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A Symbiosis of Sorts School Violence and the Media

By Gene I. Maeroff | September 18, 2016

The schools and the media sometimes seem locked in a symbiotic dance of death, making it difficult to think about school violence without taking note of its connection to the ever-present media. Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media Teachers College, Columbia University by Gene I. Maeroff The names roll off the tongue like a…

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Preparing Middle School Students for a Career

By Wendy Schwartz | September 18, 2016

  How can middle schools promote the development and education of adolescents? How can they focus students’ attention on career opportunities and training? This article offers families some ideas about how they can encourage their children’s career awareness. Information in this guide was drawn from Digest No. 155 published by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult,…

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New Information on Youth Who Drop Out: Why They Leave and What Happens to Them

By Wendy Schwartz | September 18, 2016

from ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education by Wendy Schwartz It has been known for many years that young people who don’t complete high school face many more problems in later life than do people who graduate. But, while national leaders have demanded that schools, communities, and families make a major effort to retain students, the…

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Career Development for African American and Latina Females

By Jeanne Weiler | September 18, 2016

African American and Latina adolescent females need extensive support for developing and implementing career plans. There is a need to provide female adolescents of color with a career education that will enable both economic self-sufficiency and personal fulfillment. ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education by Jeanne Weiler Low-income African American and Latina adolescent females need extensive…

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Developing Social Competence in Children

By Wendy Schwartz | September 18, 2016

  Changes in the way families are organized and function have resulted in less, and possibly lower quality, adult-child closeness. At the same time, children have been bombarded with increasing amounts of violence in the media. This brief presents an overview of effective strategies for use with children in elementary school to improve their growth.…

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Parents and School Reform
How Parents Can Make a Difference

By Alden S Blodget | September 18, 2016

Of all the stakeholders in the debates about how to improve our schools, parents may be the most powerful and the least aware of their power. Nothing terrifies administrators or teachers quite as much as an angry or demanding parent. Parents are, after all, the customers, and money follows their children–in both public and independent…

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The Athletic Experiences of Ethnically Diverse Girls

By Jeanne Weiler | September 11, 2016

Today, girls make up about 37 percent of all high school athletes, and one girl in three participates in sports. Despite these gains, girls’ sports programs still receive a disproportionately smaller share of resources than boys’. Girls’ involvement in school- and community-based athletic programs has grown since the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of…

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college football girls

Do Female Athletes Prefer Male Coaches

By Staff at Womens Sport Foundation | September 11, 2016

The Women’s Sports Foundation Position It is often heard from male and female athletes that he or she prefers a male coach. Eighty percent of all coaches at the high school and college level are male. Only two percent of the coaches of men’s teams and less than half of the coaches of women’s teams…

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Recruiting Retention and Advancement of Women in Athletics

By Donna Lopiano, Ph.D. | September 11, 2016

Women’s Sports Foundation This is a very different time with a very different feeling. There is a tension between men and women in the workplace that has never existed before. There is, according to Susan Faludi in her book, a “backlash” against the invasion of women into the workplace and women who seek equal rights…

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The Challenges of Parent Involvement Research

By Amy Baker and Laura Soden | September 11, 2016

Despite the validity of some studies, much parent involvement research to date contains serious methodological flaws. But it is possible that more effective parent involvement will generate cost savings by lessening the need for remedial and other special programs. National Council of Jewish Women Center for the Child Amy J. L. Baker and Laura M.…

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Raising Cain – Book Review

By Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson | September 11, 2016

– March 2000 What Pipher accomplished for girls in her book, Reviving Ophelia, psychotherapists Kindlon and Thompson are trying to do for boys. Their book is an eloquent discussion of the struggles boys face as they learn to be men in our culture. From Literary Cavalcade, property of Scholastic Inc. by Dan Kindlon and Michael…

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Important People

The Most Important People

By Dane Peters | September 11, 2016

At a press conference last year, President Clinton, addressing the flap about the First Lady in her interview with Talk magazine, said, “But I can tell you this, as I think about other children in the world and in our country that have difficulties growing up, I am convinced from my own life and from…

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Company or College — Corporate Connections – Mutual benefit or Moral Corruption

By Elaine Shen | September 11, 2016

Students are questioning universities’ practices and their relationships with corporations. In a Nov. 1 New York Times article that became a popular topic of discussion on campus, reporter Karen Arenson described Columbia’s ascendancy in the following words: “As much a business as an ivory tower…” A business? In the most traditional sense, schools are not…

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College Admission – Failed Rite of Passage

By Michael Thompson | September 11, 2016

What are the psychological implications of college admission for both parent and child? The college admission process is seen as a testing ground of fears about incomplete or inadequate child rearing, and its impact on parents of separation from their children. Of all the normal separations in life in our culture, departure from home is…

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College Central

By Michael Thompson | September 11, 2016

FENCED IN BY DELUSIONS: Parents & College Admissions – Fall, 1996   Parents can be confounded by playing the college admissions game. Common pleas made by parents are explored, and alternate roles for parents are discussed. How much impact can a parent have on the future of a senior high school student? Independent School, Vol.…

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no smoking sign

A Guide to Youth Smoking Prevention Policies and Programs

By Wendy Schwartz | September 9, 2016

Social problems in many urban areas often lead to smoking by teenagers. They believe — wrongly — that tobacco will help reduce their stress and make them look “cool” instead of insecure. Many pressures for smoking are discussed, as well as countermeasures. The number of young people who smoke is decreasing, but one third of…

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cigarette put out

Smoking Prevention Strategies for Urban and Minority Youth

By Wendy Schwartz | September 9, 2016

Smoking is declining among many teenagers,but one-third of high schoolers still use tobacco. This article explores the risks of smoking and campaigns to prevent it. Overall, the number of adolescents who smoke and use smokeless tobacco is decreasing, and the decrease is sharpest among minority youth. Still, about one-third of high school students use tobacco…

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Supporting Students With Asthma

By Wendy Schwartz | September 9, 2016

What are asthma symptoms and “triggers?” Here are some suggestions for maintaining a school environment conducive to the attendance of children with asthma and for developing a curriculum conducive to their academic achievement. Five million children in the U.S. are living with asthma and the number is steadily increasing. Most live in cities, are poor,…

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Cooperation Conflict Resolution And School Violence

By Peter T. Coleman Morton Deutsche | September 9, 2016

It is a mistake to assume that causes of school violence reside only or primarily in the school. Child abuse and neglect, a culture of violence, economic and social injustice, and the easy availability of weapons, for example, contribute to the occurrence of violence but are largely not under school control. Nevertheless, there is much…

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Reducing Injury and Death in Teen Drivers

By Gary Direnfeld | September 9, 2016

  Given that automobile crashes are the leading cause of injury and death in teens, you can pretty much say that teens drive themselves to trauma centers. And, they do this in record numbers. Car crashes account for approximately 6,000 deaths annually of American teens. While 15 to 20 year olds only account for 6.7%…

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An injury loss prevention program targeted to new teen drivers – Article

By Gary Direnfeld | September 9, 2016

An injury/loss prevention program targeted to new teen drivers gains support of CIAA! How do you make the roads safer for your teen driver? United States statistics for 1999 show teen automobile crashes accounted for some 8,175 deaths for people ages 15 to 20 years old at a societal cost estimated in excess of $32…

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Getting Along with Others – Article

By Erin Donahue | September 9, 2016

As students we should learn to live with one another right now, because we’re going to have to do it the rest of our lives. By learning to live and accept that others are and will always be different, we take a step away from ignorance, and a step towards knowledge. Address to New Students…

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Supporting What We Don’t Believe

By Joel Rosne | September 9, 2016

– November 1999     Freedom of speech is not absolute, as Supreme Court decisions have told us. Yet what rights do we have about seeing our funds being used as we want them? The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that will affect colleges and universities across the nation, including Columbia. In…

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Public School Reform: Innovation Not Renovation

By Michael Ricci Sophmore | September 9, 2016

– November 19, 1999       Public schools are in serious trouble: Standardized test scores have not increased while dropout rates, teacher turnover rates, and school violence rates have all increased. Students are more belligerent, curricula are less modern, and teachers are less skilled than ever before. Is there a cure? From Columbia Spectator,…

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gun

The Rise of Gun Violence – Who Shoots Whom

By Ethan Perlstein | September 9, 2016

– November 16, 1999     What can be done to end the senseless mass killings? Are the Media to blame? Can the Media paint a more accurate picture? It was by chance last week that I caught wind of a breaking story of another shooting, this time in my hometown in South Florida. The…

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students in class

The Most Productive Third of Your Life

By Igor Rybinnik | September 9, 2016

– November 12, 1999    Sleep is needed to rejuvenate the body and mind. What is the most important part of sleep? Too little sleep can be very detrimental to your health. People spend one third of their lives in an altered state of consciousness. This is required for normal growth and development, and it…

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people drinking

BINGE-DRINKING PLAGUES EVEN THE IVY LEAGUE

By Suzanne Dressler | September 7, 2016

Is boredom a factor in binge drinking? Is it a pressure relief, or a way to fit in? Ms. Dressler examines these and other possible causes of this dilemma. Many people are under the impression that Columbia University does not have a problem with campus drinking, at least not as much as the Big Ten,…

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I Promise Program

By Gary Direnfeld | September 6, 2016

Teen car crashes the single greatest cause of teen deaths and permanent injuries in North America. How do you make the roads safer for your teen driver? Until recently there was little a parent could do to reduce the risk of their teen being involved in a car crash. Now there is the “I PromiseProgram”.…

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