Conversations in Education

From teacher book groups to conversations in the faculty lounge, Prep faculty and administrators think a lot about how we support students. Each month in 2017-18, we are featuring a piece by a Prep faculty member or administrator that gives a slice of life at Prep. If you would like to share your ideas, feel free to comment on an individual post or contact Dean of Studies Sarah Cooper.

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.

 

May Newsletter: Finding Purpose and Meaning

Grit, happiness and connection are three ideas these articles tout as a road to meaning, both in the classroom and at home.

Joe Pinsker, “Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy,” The Atlantic

Find satisfaction in the mountain you’re climbing right now and don’t catastrophize setbacks, says Raj Raghunathan, professor of marketing at UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business and author of If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?

One extreme is a kind of scarcity-minded approach, that my win is going to come at somebody else's loss, which makes you engage in social comparisons. And the other view is what I would call a more abundance-oriented approach, that there's room for everybody to grow.

Lori Desautels, “3 Things Students Desire to Hear From Teachers,” Edutopia

What students want to hear from teachers, as described by a professor of education, could also be what they want to hear from parents: Believe in me. Help me find purpose. Question me.

How do we help a student find his or her purpose? We begin with an affirmation. We listen for interests and signs. We respect the off days and the off hours, and we try again. We share stories of others who lost a bit of hope and purpose, but tried again and again. 

Judith Shulveitz, “‘Grit,’ by Angela Duckworth,” New York Times 

Here’s a thoughtful review of Angela Duckworth’s book about the concept of grit, an idea that has appeared everywhere in the past couple of years. 

Schools that prize self-regulation over self-expression may lift a number of children out of poverty, but may also train them to act constrained and overly deferential—“worker-learners,” as the ethnographer Joanne W. Golann calls them. Meanwhile, schools for more affluent children encourage intellectual curiosity, independent reasoning and creativity. 

Posted by rfeliciano on Tuesday May, 10, 2016 at 02:35PM
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