Conversations in Education
From teacher book groups to conversations in the faculty lounge, Prep faculty and administrators think all the time about how we support our students. In this space each month we’ll provide links, resources and inspiration about teaching at Prep and education in general.
From teacher book groups to conversations in the faculty lounge, Prep faculty read and talk a lot about education. Each month we highlight a few memorable pieces or videos. Our goal is to make the process of parenting, learning and living a little saner, to put things a little more in perspective. These articles will be chosen by Prep teachers and administrators. If you want to share your ideas, feel free to comment on an individual post or contact Dean of Studies Sarah Cooper.
January Newsletter: Meet the Speaker: Dr. Peter Gray on Resilience and Play
Coming up on Tuesday, March 7, psychologist Peter Gray will be the featured speaker in the second annual Parents Association speaker series. Gray, also a research professor at Boston College, will be speaking on The Decline of Emotional Resilience Among Adolescents and Young Adults: Causes and Potential Solutions. In Gray’s words, he will be focusing on "the changes in society over the last decade that have greatly reduced young people's opportunities to play and explore on their own and have increased the weight and stressfulness of schooling, the consequences of those changes for mental well-being, and how we might reverse this depressing trend." At Prep, we always appreciate hearing healthy perspectives such as Gray’s on the external and internal pressures students face, and we believe his speech will give parents food for thought. Gray is the author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life.
To RSVP for the March 7 event, to be held at the La Cañada Presbyterian Church, please click here. This event is free, but seating is limited.
For more background on Gray’s important topic of students’ psychological well-being, take a look at the following articles:
“Declining Student Resilience: A Serious Problem for Colleges,” Psychology Today
Faculty and administrators at colleges around the country are noticing many students’ inability to deal with stressors such as a low grade or a roommate quarrel, Gray reports.
Students are increasingly seeking help for, and apparently having emotional crises over, problems of everyday life.
“The Play Deficit,” Aeon
In this thoughtful piece, Gray argues for the importance of giving young people time to develop social skills, not simply academic skills.
A decline of empathy and a rise in narcissism are exactly what we would expect to see in children who have little opportunity to play socially. Children can’t learn these social skills and values in school, because school is an authoritarian, not a democratic setting. School fosters competition, not co-operation; and children there are not free to quit when others fail to respect their needs and wishes.
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