robertogreco + adults   27

Carol Black on Twitter: "FYI: Dr. Chester M. Pierce, who coined the term "microaggression," also coined the term "childism:" https://t.co/vYyMkeWWpj HT @TobyRollo #Childism… https://t.co/2ZOH24MVIf"
"FYI:

Dr. Chester M. Pierce, who coined the term "microaggression," also coined the term "childism:"

https://www.healio.com/psychiatry/journals/psycann/1975-7-5-7/%7B289c676d-8693-4e7a-841e-2ce5d7f6d9f2%7D/childism HT @TobyRollo #Childism
"We contend that childism is the basic form of oppression in our society and underlies all alienation and violence, for it teaches everyone how to be an oppressor and makes them focus on the exercise of raw power rather than on volitional humaneness...

"Like its derivatives, sexism and racism, it is found in virtually everyone. Modification of childist practices would alter other oppressive systems that retard the development of humankind to its full potential."

—CHESTER M. PIERCE, MD GAIL B. ALLEN, MD

2. "In childism, the child-victim is put on the defensive. He is expected to accommodate himself to the adult-aggressor, and is hardly ever permitted to initiate action or control a situation."

3. "The vehicle for most adult action is microaggression; the child is not rendered a gross brutalization, but is treated in such a way as to lower his self-esteem, dignity, and worthiness by means of subtle, cumulative, and unceasing adult deprecation."

4. "As a result of this constant barrage of micro-aggression, the child remains on the defensive, mobilizing constantly to conform and perform. This incessant mobilization is not without cost, psychologically and probably physiologically."

5. "These children have not been physically assaulted. They have, however, been subjected to a number of pejorative acts; the posture, gestures, tone of voice... were an abuse that indicates their inferiority, for no other reason than their social attribute of childhood."

6. "If such abuse were an isolated occurrence, it could be ignored. Yet in all probability these youngsters receive the same gratuitously abusive behavior many times a day from "loving parents," "devoted teachers," "kindly physicians," "concerned policemen..."

7. "This places the child in circumstances that bring about serious, protracted... stress... It has a cumulative effect that may exert a powerful influence on his adult behavior, just as sexist or racist practices affect the entire future of women or members of a minority group."

8. "Children remain the most oppressed group... The more we understand the oppression of children, the more we understand oppression of any individual or group. With a more informed understanding of this process, many traditional dominance patterns could be modified."

~ Chester M. Pierce, MD, former Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Education at Harvard University, and Gail B. Allen, MD. http://www.mghglobalpsychiatry.org/chesterpierce.php "
chesterpierce  gailallen  carolblack  childism  ageism  2018  microagression  tobyrollo  authoritarianism  deschooling  schooling  unschooling  schooliness  psychology  oppression  power  control  adults  behavior  stress  sexism  racism  children  dominance 
october 2018 by robertogreco
The Culture of Childhood: We’ve Almost Destroyed It
[previously posted here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201609/biological-foundations-self-directed-education ]

"Children learn the most valuable lessons with other children, away from adults."



"I don’t want to trivialize the roles of adults in children’s lives, but, truth be told, we adults greatly exaggerate our roles in our theories and beliefs about how children develop. We have this adult-centric view that we raise, socialize, and educate children.

Certainly we are important in children’s lives. Children need us. We feed, clothes, shelter, and comfort them. We provide examples (not always so good) of what it’s like to be an adult. But we don’t raise, socialize, or educate them. They do all that for themselves, and in that process they are far more likely to look to other children than to us adults as models. If child psychologists were actually CHILD psychologists (children), theories of child development would be much less about parents and much more about peers.

Children are biologically designed to grow up in a culture of childhood.
Have you ever noticed how your child’s tastes in clothes, music, manner of speech, hobbies, and almost everything else have much more to do with what other children she or he knows are doing or like than what you are doing or like? Of course you have. Children are biologically designed to pay attention to the other children in their lives, to try to fit in with them, to be able to do what they do, to know what they know. Through most of human history, that’s how children became educated, and that’s still largely how children become educated today, despite our misguided attempts to stop it and turn the educating job over to adults.

Wherever anthropologists have observed traditional cultures and paid attention to children as well as adults, they’ve observed two cultures, the adults’ culture and the children’s culture. The two cultures, of course, are not completely independent of one another. They interact and influence one another; and children, as they grow up, gradually leave the culture of childhood and enter into the culture of adulthood. Children’s cultures can be understood, at least to some degree, as practice cultures, where children try out various ways of being and practice, modify, and build upon the skills and values of the adult culture.

I first began to think seriously about cultures of childhood when I began looking into band hunter-gatherer societies. In my reading, and in my survey of anthropologists who had lived in such societies, I learned that the children in those societies — from roughly the age of four on through their mid teen years — spent most of their waking time playing and exploring with groups of other children, away from adults (Gray, 2012, also here). They played in age-mixed groups, in which younger children emulated and learned from older ones. I found that anthropologists who had studied children in other types of traditional cultures also wrote about children’s involvement in peer groups as the primary means of their socialization and education (e.g. Lancy et al, 2010; Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1989). Judith Harris (1998), in a discussion of such research, noted that the popular phrase It takes a village to raise a child is true if interpreted differently from the usual Western interpretation. In her words (p 161): “The reason it takes a village is not because it requires a quorum of adults to nudge erring youngsters back onto the paths of righteousness. It takes a village because in a village there are always enough kids to form a play group.”

I also realized, as I thought about all this, that my own childhood, in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the 1950s, was in many ways like that of children in traditional societies. We had school (which was not the big deal it is today) and chores, and some of us had part time jobs, but, still, most of our time was spent with other children away from adults. My family moved frequently, and in each village or city neighborhood to which we moved I found a somewhat different childhood culture, with different games, different traditions, somewhat different values, different ways of making friends. Whenever we moved, my first big task was to figure out the culture of my new set of peers, so I could become part of it. I was by nature shy, which I think was an advantage because I didn’t just blunder in and make a fool of myself. I observed, studied, practiced the skills that I saw to be important to my new peers, and then began cautiously to enter in and make friends. In the mid 20th century, a number of researchers described and documented many of the childhood cultures that could be found in neighborhoods throughout Europe and the United States (e.g. Opie & Opie, 1969)."



"Children learn the most important lessons in life from other children, not from adults.
Why, in the course of natural selection, did human children evolve such a strong inclination to spend as much time as possible with other children and avoid adults? With a little reflection, it’s not hard to see the reasons. There are many valuable lessons that children can learn in interactions with other children, away from adults, that they cannot learn, or are much less likely to learn, in interactions with adults. Here are some of them.

Authentic communication. …

Independence and courage. …

Creating and understanding the purpose and modifiability of rules. …

The famous developmental psychologist Jean Piaget (1932) noted long ago that children develop a more sophisticated and useful understanding of rules when they play with other children than when they play with adults. With adults, they get the impression that rules are fixed, that they come down from some high authority and cannot be changed. But when children play with other children, because of the more equal nature of the relationship, they feel free to challenge one another’s ideas about the rules, which often leads to negotiation and change in rules. They learn in this this way that rules are not fixed by heaven, but are human contrivances to make life more fun and fair. This is an important lesson; it is a cornerstone of democracy.

Practicing and building on the skills and values of the adult culture. …

Getting along with others as equals."



"The adult battle against cultures of childhood has been going on for centuries.

Hunter-gatherer adults seemed to understand that children needed to grow up largely in a culture of childhood, with little adult interference, but that understanding seemed to decline with the rise of agriculture, land ownership, and hierarchical organizations of power among adults (Gray, 2012). Adults began to see it as their duty to suppress children’s natural willfulness, so as to promote obedience, which often involved attempts to remove them from the influences of other children and subordinate them to adult authority. The first systems of compulsory schooling, which are the forerunners of our schools today, arose quite explicitly for that purpose.

If there is a father of modern schools, it is the Pietist clergyman August Hermann Francke, who developed a system of compulsory schooling in Prussia, in the late 17th century, which was subsequently copied and elaborated upon throughout Europe and America. Francke wrote, in his instructions to schoolmasters: “Above all it is necessary to break the natural willfulness of the child. While the schoolmaster who seeks to make the child more learned is to be commended for cultivating the child’s intellect, he has not done enough. He has forgotten his most important task, namely that of making the will obedient.” Francke believed that the most effective way to break children’s wills was through constant monitoring and supervision. He wrote: “Youth do not know how to regulate their lives, and are naturally inclined toward idle and sinful behavior when left to their own devices. For this reason, it is a rule in this institution [the Prussian Pietist schools] that a pupil never be allowed out of the presence of a supervisor. The supervisor’s presence will stifle the pupil’s inclination to sinful behavior, and slowly weaken his willfulness.” [Quoted by Melton, 1988.]

We may today reject Francke’s way of stating it, but the underlying premise of much adult policy toward children is still in Francke’s tradition. In fact, social forces have conspired now to put Francke’s recommendation into practice far more effectively than occurred at Francke’s time or any other time in the past. Parents have become convinced that it is dangerous and irresponsible to allow children to play with other children, away from adults, so restrictions on such play are more severe and effective than they have ever been before. By increasing the amount of time spent in school, expanding homework, harping constantly on the importance of scoring high on school tests, banning children from public spaces unless accompanied by an adult, and replacing free play with adult-led sports and lessons, we have created a world in which children are almost always in the presence of a supervisor, who is ready to intervene, protect, and prevent them from practicing courage, independence, and all the rest that children practice best with peers, away from adults. I have argued elsewhere (Gray, 2011, and here) that this is why we see record levels of anxiety, depression, suicide, and feelings of powerlessness among adolescents and young adults today.

The Internet is the savior of children’s culture today

There is, however, one saving grace, one reason why we adults have not completely crushed the culture of childhood. That’s the Internet. We’ve created a world in which children are more or less prevented from congregating in physical space without an adult, but children have found another way. They get together in cyberspace. They play games and communicate over the Internet. They create their own rules and culture and ways of being with others over … [more]
childhood  culture  learning  children  play  rules  age  adults  parenting  schools  petergray  2016  sfsh  openstudioproject  lcproject  self-directed  self-directedlearning  games  unschooling  deschooling  society  behavior  howwelearn  democracy  change  practice  communication  autonomy  online  internet  web  authenticity  courage  hunter-gatherers  augusthermannfrancke  obedience  willfulness  youth  generations  jeanpiaget  ionaopie  peteropie  psychology  anthropology  peers 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Raising a Teenage Daughter* — The California Sunday Magazine
"by Elizabeth Weil *with comments and corrections by Hannah W Duane
photograph by Tabitha Soren"

[from the annotations]

"Parents underestimate kids’ ability to figure out what is right for them. My parents originally thought the public arts high school where I just started would be a terrible choice, and now they understand how perfect it is for me."



"I receive, on average, a dozen book titles when I ask for a recommendation from my parents. It would be impossible to read them all. Plus, I want to choose what to focus on and file the rest away. Parents seem to need immediate return on their advice and assume no ideas get recorded for later use."



"Well, I wanted to know everything, back when that seemed reasonable, and I thought adults knew and understood everything, so it made sense to ask. Back then, all of my questions had answers."



"Adults think that kids are going to break if they hear something bad has happened. However, from a fairly young age kids know that terrible things happen, and they know when someone is trying to shelter them. It’s like when I was 4 and I found a dead robin on my grandparents’ deck, and my parents told me, “The bird is done being a bird.” That was OK, but it would have been OK, too, to just say the bird was dead. If you allow a kid to believe that things live forever, it’s going to be a worse experience later because they’re going to learn they were lied to."



"I think this is a complex point. It’s old-fashioned and sexist to think clothing is a major indicator of values. People should be able to wear what they want without worrying about others’ feedback."



"Everyone is “pretty flawed.” Isn’t the whole idea that you grow up and realize nobody is perfect and learn to live with the ways you’re messed up?"



"In my daily life, I take almost no risks. I do my homework; I’m absurdly early to most things. The mountains are the one place where I can relax and take advantage of this calm. I don’t know if I want a risk manager. I want to get better at accepting risk. It’s hard to learn, especially when your parents are cautious people themselves and you have anxiety about disappointing them. And yourself."



"I know my life is going to take some trial and error. I know I need to make the mistakes, and I know I’m going to be humiliated. I’m trying to gather up my courage. People can tell you to take deep breaths, they can tell you to close your eyes, but they can’t make you calm."
teens  parenting  daughters  2017  elizabetheil  hannahduane  annotation  families  children  childhood  death  growingup  adolescence  anxiety  adults  risk  risktaking  disappointment 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Working with adults will make me more patient with children – Making Good Humans
"As PYP Coordinator, I have worked with adult learners for two years and I have loved every minute of it. The amazing conversations we’ve had about teaching and learning have blown my educational-mind and have played a huge part in my decision to go back into the classroom.

I have to admit though, when I took the job as PYP Coordinator I had no idea what to expect! (To be honest I was a little intimidated to work with adults!) Now, after two years of working with adults I look back and value the strong relationships I’ve built and the great learning experience I have had!

However, there were some things that surprised me about adult learners – the very same things that used to frustrate me as a classroom teacher. I have started to wonder if these similarities might have more to do with being a human, than being a child.

So here is my list of 10 things that I’ve noticed we do as adult-learners that will hopefully make me more patient when working with child-learners:

1. We talk while someone is talking – I can’t recall one staff meeting or professional development session where side conversations weren’t going on while someone else was speaking.

2. We forget to clean up after ourselves – After most 45-minute collaboration sessions or 3-hour unit planning sessions I find myself throwing out wrappers, left over food, empty water bottles, used tissues – not to mention putting communal pencils back in their cups and clearing away scrap papers.

3. We opt to not participate – A few months ago we did a “Sentence, Phrase, Word” Visible Thinking Routine to help our staff unpack the IB’s expectations for Three-Way Conferences. We made a chart paper for each grade and subject team where each staff member could place their post-its with their sentence, phrase and word. It was interesting that many of posters had significantly fewer sentences, phrases and words than members of their team who were present.

4. We forget to bring things – Sometimes a request is made to bring something specific to a staff meeting or collaborative planning session, for example a device, a PYP binder, day plans etc.. And sometimes people have shown up without them.

5. We need more time – Many times tasks are planned to take one hour… one session… one afternoon to complete, but often certain teams and individuals need more time.

6. We take a long time to wrap up a conversation – With our large staff of 125 adult-learners we raise our hand to re-collect everyone’s attention after a group discussion. Most times this takes at least 2 minutes of holding up my hand. It makes me think of all the times as a classroom teacher I counted down from 5 (from 5!) and expected my students to have wrapped up their conversation and re-focused their attention!

7. We take a long time to transition – We try to have a lot of movement in our professional development sessions, where staff move from place to place and activity to activity. Even if the transition is something small like go post your post-it on the chart, we are often looking at transitions of 5 minutes plus and lots of invitations (and reminders) to head back to our seats.

8. We don’t follow instructions – At the beginning of the year we did a Chalk Talk as a staff where we explained that during a Chalk Talk you communicate with others through your marker, not by using your voice… we lasted 45 seconds without talking to each other.

9. We get “off task” – I’m not sure there has been one grade or subject collaborative planning session when teams are working on their PYP planners, where random tangents of conversations have not erupted – …. travel stories, new restaurant discoveries, tales of weird childhood injuries etc.

10. We choose to work with our friends – As much as possible we try to mix and mingle our very large staff in a variety of ways – instructions to sit with people you don’t know, turn and share with someone who is not on your team, name cards on tables – and yet somehow, the majority of the time, friends end up sitting with and working with friends.

I’m not saying as adult learners we are bad or misbehaving. Quite the opposite! I’m saying that if we as grown-up, responsible, mature, professionals do all of these things… how can we possibly get upset at children for doing them? As I head back into the classroom next year, I hope that when I am faced with children who take a long time to wrap up their conversation, forget to bring their device, talk while someone is talking or don’t follow instructions that I treat them with the same level of patience, respect and dignity that I would treat a group of adults in that same situation.

Ask yourself…

Have you ever whispered to a friend during a staff meeting?

Have you ever left behind a pencil, water bottle, coffee mug?

Have you ever showed up to PD without a device or writing utensil?

Have you ever had a quick conversation with a friend on the way back to your seat?

Have you ever sat beside or worked with one of your friends?

I know I have…"
children  adults  behavior  sfsh  education  schools  schooling  preparedness  attention  participation  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  learning  instructions 
august 2016 by robertogreco
The Sixth Stage of Grief is Retro-Computing — The Message — Medium
"Imagine having, in your confused adolescence, the friendship of an older, avuncular man who is into computers, a world-traveling photographer who would occasionally head out to, like, videotape the Dalai Lama for a few weeks, then come back and and listen to every word you said while you sat on his porch. A generous, kind person who spoke openly about love and faith and treated people with respect."



"A year after the Amiga showed up—I was 13—my life started to go backwards. Not forever, just for a while. My dad left, money was tight. My clothes were the ones my dad left behind, old blouse-like Oxfords in the days of Hobie Cat surfwear. I was already big and weird, and now I was something else. I think my slide perplexed my peers; if anything they bullied me less. I heard them murmuring as I wandered down the hall.

I was a ghost and I had haunts: I vanished into the computer. I had that box of BBS floppies. One after another I’d insert them into the computer and examine every file, thousands of files all told. That was how I pieced together the world. Second-hand books and BBS disks and trips to the library. I felt very alone but I’ve since learned that it was a normal American childhood, one millions of people experienced.

Often—how often I don’t remember—I’d go over to Tom’s. I’d share my techniques for rotating text in Deluxe Paint, show him what I’d gleaned from my disks. He always had a few spare computers around for generating title sequences in videos, and later for editing, and he’d let me practice with his videocameras. And he would listen to me.

Like I said: Avuncular. He wasn’t a father figure. Or a mother figure. He was just a kind ear when I needed as many kind ears as I could find. I don’t remember what I said; I just remember being heard. That’s the secret to building a network. People want to be heard. God, life, history, science, books, computers. The regular conversations of anxious kids. His students would show up, impossibly sophisticated 19-year-old men and women, and I’d listen to them talk as the sun went down. For years. A world passed over that porch and I got to watch and participate even though I was still a boy.

I constantly apologized for being there, for being so young and probably annoying, and people would just laugh at me. But no one put me in my place. People touched me, hugged me, told me about books to read and movies to watch. I was not a ghost.

When I graduated from high school I went by to sit on the porch and Tom gave me a little brown teddy bear. You need to remember, he said, to be a kid. To stay in touch with that part of yourself.

I did not do this."



"Technology is What We Share

Technology is what we share. I don’t mean “we share the experience of technology.” I mean: By my lights, people very often share technologies with each other when they talk. Strategies. Ideas for living our lives. We do it all the time. Parenting email lists share strategies about breastfeeding and bedtime. Quotes from the Dalai Lama. We talk neckties, etiquette, and Minecraft, and tell stories that give us guidance as to how to live. A tremendous part of daily life regards the exchange of technologies. We are good at it. It’s so simple as to be invisible. Can I borrow your scissors? Do you want tickets? I know guacamole is extra. The world of technology isn’t separate from regular life. It’s made to seem that way because of, well…capitalism. Tribal dynamics. Territoriality. Because there is a need to sell technology, to package it, to recoup the terrible investment. So it becomes this thing that is separate from culture. A product.

I went looking for the teddy bear that Tom had given me, the reminder to be a child sometimes, and found it atop a bookshelf. When I pulled it down I was surprised to find that it was in a tiny diaper.

I stood there, ridiculous, a 40-year-old man with a diapered 22-year-old teddy bear in my hand. It stared back at me with root-beer eyes.

This is what I remembered right then: That before my wife got pregnant we had been trying for kids for years without success. We had considered giving up.

That was when I said to my wife: If we do not have children, we will move somewhere where there is a porch. The children who need love will find the porch. They will know how to find it. We will be as much parents as we want to be.

And when she got pregnant with twins we needed the right-sized doll to rehearse diapering. I went and found that bear in an old box.

I was handed that toy, sitting on Tom’s porch, in 1992. A person offering another person a piece of advice. Life passed through that object as well, through the teddy bear as much as through the operating systems of yore.

Now that I have children I can see how tuned they are to the world. Living crystals tuned to all manner of frequencies. And how urgently they need to be heard. They look up and they say, look at me. And I put my phone away.

And when they go to bed, protesting and screaming, I go to mess with my computers, my old weird imaginary emulated computers. System after system. I open up these time capsules and look at the thousands of old applications, millions of dollars of software, but now it can be downloaded in a few minutes and takes up a tiny portion of a hard drive. It’s all comically antiquated.

When you read histories of technology, whether of successes or failures, you sense the yearning of people who want to get back into those rooms for a minute, back to solving the old problems. How should a window open? How should the mouse look? What will people want to do, when we give them these machines? Who wouldn’t want to go back 20 years—to drive again into the office, to sit before the whiteboard in a beanbag chair, in a place of warmth and clarity, and give it another try?

Such a strange way to say goodbye. So here I am. Imaginary disks whirring and screens blinking as I visit my old haunts. Wandering through lost computer worlds for an hour or two, taking screenshots like a tourist. Shutting one virtual machine down with a sigh, then starting up another one. But while these machines run, I am a kid. A boy on a porch, back among his friends."
paulford  memory  memories  childhood  neoteny  play  wonder  sharing  obituaries  technology  history  sqeak  amiga  textcraft  plan9  smalltalk-80  smalltalk  mac  1980s  1990s  1970s  xerox  xeroxalto  texteditors  wordprocessors  software  emulators  emulations  2014  computers  computing  adolescence  listening  parenting  adults  children  mentors  macwrite  howwelearn  relationships  canon  caring  love  amigaworkbench  commodore  aegisanimator  jimkent  vic-20  commodore64  1985  andywarhol  debbieharry  1987  networks  porches  kindness  humility  lisp  windows3.1  microsoft  microsoftpaint  capitalism  next  openstep  1997  1992  stevejobs  objectivec  belllabs  xeroxparc  inria  doom  macos9  interfacebuilder 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Rookie » Super Heroine: An Interview With Lorde
[Quote curated by: http://kottke.org/14/01/tavi-interviews-lorde ]

"Tavi: On that note, you have a very unique way of looking at the suburb where you live, which I think you've called "the Bubble." When did you realize the suburbs could be a source of inspiration?

Lorde: Well...this sounds so lame, but I grew up reading your blog, man! [Laughs]

Tavi: Oh no! "Ugh, that's so LAME, shut up!"

Lorde: [Laughs] But no, I think there is something really cool about that whole Virgin Suicides vibe of making even the bad parts bearable. I hate high school so much, but there's something kind of cool about walking around on the coldest day listening to "Lindisfarne" by James Blake or something and feeling like something has happened, even though it's the worst thing ever. The album The Suburbs by Arcade Fire was influential to me in that as way well. I just think that record is really beautiful and nostalgic and so well-written. It's a super-direct way of talking about what it's like to grow up [in the suburbs], and I think that's quite lovely.

You're asking about stuff I'm not used to talking about in interviews, so I don't have a stock way of driving the question.

Tavi: OK, then: "Do you feel 17?"

Lorde: AGHHHH! What do you even say to that, honestly?

Tavi: It's kind of a trap, because if you say yes you're shitting on their question by making it seem obvious, but if you say no you seem like you think you're older and better.

Lorde: I always get these weird people being like, "Oh, she's growing up way too fast, she looks 30." Oh, god.

Tavi: People always say that. I remember -- not to be all Mother Hen --

Lorde: No, go for it!

Tavi: I remember when people started paying attention to what I was doing, and it was like, "She should be getting knocked up like all the other kids her age!" It's like, you complain when you think teenagers are stupid, and then when they try to do something, you're all, "Oh, they're growing up too fast, they don't know what's good for them."

Lorde: It seems like a double standard to me. And there's another part of it which I find really strange, which is that so many interviewers, even ones that I consider really intelligent and good writers, will do the, like, "Oh, you're not taking your clothes off like Miley Cyrus and all these girls" thing, which to me is just the weirdest thing to say to someone. But then people will say, "She's always talking about being bored, that's petulant," which I feel like is kind of taking the piss out of teenage emotions-just, like, making light of how teenagers feel. When people react that way about things that every teenager experiences, how can you expect to make anything good?"
tavigevinson  lorde  interviews  teens  adults  culture  2014  music  insecurity  clothes  tumblr  beyoncé  raymondcarver  clothing 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Working With Kids – The New Inquiry
"What it’s like when your coworkers outgrow you every year"



"In fact, what goes wrong between adults and children is usually related to the former’s bewilderment at the latter’s inability to conform to their expectations. While the family unit is probably ground zero for this tension, it exists between children and adults in the workplace too. A young person’s growth and development is molded–gently or aggressively–by the adults around them, including their caretakers and educators. I’ve been both. It was my first experiences working with children with disabilities that gave me the sinister feeling that the adult project is often about imposition rather than understanding. Their unrelenting expectations of children–regarding their learning style and ability, their behavior, their gender expression, their social skill–is more hammering than molding.

Children have to be given permission to change locations, consume or refuse food, stand up, sit down, wear certain clothes, speak. Once, a fifth grader asked me if he could get out of his chair to clean out the paper scraps in the bottom of his bookbag. I was struck by the idea of needing permission to do such a thing. When I told him he could, he got up, struck a pose, twirled his backpack over his head, and started dancing down the aisle of the classroom. When he got to the garbage can he shook out his bag, mugging like he was on a runway, flung the backpack on top of his head, and skipped all the way back to his seat. It was unremarkable to both him and the rest of the students–none of them looked up, and he went right back to work.

How many times, before this, had I emptied the annoying tiny garbage out of the bottom of my bag without realizing what a joyous experience it could be? How could the mundane be so instantaneously and completely transformed into the fun? I had almost certainly witnessed thousands of similar moments of uninhibited expression without ever noticing, without actually seeing the person in front of me. The boy was a smart-alec who frequently challenged me in class. We had a history–me saying Teacher Things like “Do I look like I think this is funny?” and him, grin plastered across his face, insisting “I’m not laughing!” Had I decided to wield my arbitrary authority to hold him in his seat that day, I never would have learned how I love the way he throws stuff away."



"A coworker of mine recently had to say goodbye to her students. She is moving forward from her time at the school, where she’s been long enough to see Kindergarteners graduate to middle school. On the last day, one of her kids–a notoriously disruptive second grader–approached her. The boy gave her a watch, and said that this way, she would always know what time it was. She always asked her co-facilitator what time it was, rather than taking out her cell phone to check. He asked her to think of him every time she looked at the watch. He told her that because of her, he knew that he could get better at school. The moment, as she described it to me, transcended the hierarchy of adult-child, teacher-student. They were just two colleagues who had learned and grown because of each other.

Along with whatever the adult recovers by working with kids, then, also comes loss. Kids graduate, move away, switch schools, and adults do basically the same thing but with jobs. There is a necessary impermanence to working with young people, who are always getting older. I’m left with all these hours of home movies of kids, most of whom are no longer in my life but all of whom I remember, and it’s the opposite of loss even though sometimes it feels terrible. In my head, I am their teacher (or caretaker or camp counselor) forever, but not really any of the titles, just a person who remembers, with a three-year-old Silly Band."
ageism  children  adults  teaching  learning  schools  hierarchy  perspective  howwelearn  howweteach  parenting  2013  mollyknefel  tcsnmy 
september 2013 by robertogreco
LDBA ART SCHOOL by Sara Moffat — Kickstarter
"I want to start a school where adults and children can take classes taught by professional artists, musicians, and innovators."

[See also: http://www.ldbabrooklyn.com/xoxo/ ]

"Although there are many components to LDBA, the concept is simple:

WE PROVIDE TOOLS, TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO EXCEL IN THEIR MEDIUM."
craft  arts  art  agesegregation  adults  children  saramoffat  2012  schools  education  learning  openstudioproject  lcproject  brooklyn  nyc  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
Dr. Dobb's | Interview with Alan Kay | July 10, 2012
"Childhood As A Prodigy

Binstock: Let me start by asking you about a famous story. It states that you'd read more than 100 books by the time you went to first grade. This reading enabled you to realize that your teachers were frequently lying to you.

Kay: Yes, that story came out in a commemorative essay I was asked to write.

Binstock: So you're sitting there in first grade, and you're realizing that teachers are lying to you. Was that transformative? Did you all of a sudden view the whole world as populated by people who were dishonest?

Kay: Unless you're completely, certifiably insane, or a special kind of narcissist, you regard yourself as normal. So I didn't really think that much of it. I was basically an introverted type, and I was already following my own nose, and it was too late. I was just stubborn when they made me go along.

Binstock: So you called them on the lying.

Kay: Yeah. But the thing that traumatized me occurred a couple years later, when I found an old copy of Life magazine that had the Margaret Bourke-White photos from Buchenwald. This was in the 1940s — no TV, living on a farm. That's when I realized that adults were dangerous. Like, really dangerous. I forgot about those pictures for a few years, but I had nightmares. But I had forgotten where the images came from. Seven or eight years later, I started getting memories back in snatches, and I went back and found the magazine. That probably was the turning point that changed my entire attitude toward life. It was responsible for getting me interested in education. My interest in education is unglamorous. I don't have an enormous desire to help children, but I have an enormous desire to create better adults."

"The best teacher I had in graduate school spent the whole semester destroying any beliefs we had about computing. He was a real iconoclast. He happened to be a genius, so we took it. At the end of the course, we were free because we didn't believe in anything. We had to learn everything, but then he destroyed it. He wanted us to understand what had been done, but he didn't want us to believe in it."

"A lot of people go into computing just because they are uncomfortable with other people. So it is no mean task to put together five different kinds of Asperger's syndrome and get them to cooperate. American business is completely fucked up because it is all about competition. Our world was built for the good from cooperation. That is what they should be teaching.

Binstock: That's one of the few redeeming things about athletics.

Kay: Absolutely! No question. Team sports. It's the closest analogy. Everyone has to play the game, but some people are better at certain aspects."
alankay  programming  childhood  learning  education  unschooling  lying  2012  adults  children  society  deschooling  unlearning  beliefs  groupwork  competition  coding 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Diversity Lecture: Ta-Nehisi Coates - YouTube
"As part of our Bob and Aliecia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center Diversity Lecture Series, Grand Rapids Community College presents Ta-Nehisi Coates speaking on "A Deeper Black: The Meaning of Race in the Age of Obama.""
ta-nehisicoates  civilwar  2011  martinlutherkingjr  race  barackobama  identity  dropouts  learning  education  observation  obsession  blackhistory  us  abrahamlincoln  slavery  history  africanamerican  truth  hemingway  huckleberryfinn  marktwain  malcolmx  acceptance  understanding  safety  incarceration  society  bodyscanners  airports  convenience  inconvenience  comfort  self-esteem  justice  challenge  segregation  success  progress  policy  politics  desegregation  parenting  books  homeenvironment  reading  curiosity  exposure  youth  adolescence  teens  adults  moralauthority  wisdom  mlk 
november 2011 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: The Age of Reason
"at 11, is considered…to be adult because he is alleged to have acted badly…how good must  [he] be to be considered an adult?…

…imagine now that you are btwn age 10 & 25. If you are you're in a bizarre never-never land where your age will always be used against you, but rarely get you anything…

Let's start by correcting juvenile justice laws…while we're doing that, let's make sure that we are moving kids toward freedom, that Middle School looks more open, more chaotic, than elementary school. That High School looks, & is, more open still. That, like adults, kids aren't badgered for being 5 minutes late, or for forgetting something. That, like adults, kids have the freedom to sit, stand, or walk around - freedom to use the toilet, freedom to eat & drink in most places. That, like adults, kids have the freedom to control their own learning.

If we are training our kids to be adults, lets first not make them adults for wrong reasons…then, lets show them what it actually means."
youth  teens  adolescence  adulthood  adults  criminalization  juveniles  juvenilejustice  justice  education  middleschool  highschool  law  legal  irasocol  democracy  democratic  learning  behavior  control  agediscrimination  inconsistency  2011  murder  reason  change  reform  lcproject  tcsnmy  classideas  unschooling  deschooling  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
I'm Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write.: Unschooling Grows Up: A Collection of Interviews
"A collection of interviews with grown unschoolers, both on this blog and on other sites.  If you're a grown unschooler who'd like to answer a few questions about your unschooling journey, please find out more about how to do so here.  I'd love to hear about your experiences!"
unschooling  adults  interviews  adultyunschoolers  deschooling  education  autodidacts  learning  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
On Conformity | Brain Pickings
"Groupthink is one of the most troublesome downfalls of organized society. Today, it manifests itself on a sliding scale of severity, ranging from genocide to bullying to superstition to fashion fads to the “Digg mentality” of news reporting. Still, most of us refuse to believe that our opinions, perception and worldview are being in any way shaped by those of others. And yet they are. Even subcultures, the very essence of which is to stand out, are founded on group conformity — or, as James Thurber famously puts it, “why do you have to be a nonconformist like everyone else?”…<br />
<br />
For more on the subject, we highly recommend Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology — an anthology of 37 articles that examine the role of conformity in complex societies, a timely read the insights from which help glean a deeper understanding of everything from the recent Wikileaks scandal to Bieber Fever."
psychology  groupthink  culture  anthropology  conformity  wikileaks  conflict  nonconformism  teens  youth  adults  itgetsbetter  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Expanding « Playground
"Curiosity might be pictured as being made up of chains of small questions extending outwards, sometimes over huge distances, from a central hub composed of a few blunt, large questions. In childhood we ask, “why is there good and evil?”, “how does nature work?”, “why am I me?” If circumstances and temperament allow, we then build on these questions during adulthood, our curiosity encompassing more and more of the world until at some point we may reach that elusive stage where we are bored by nothing. The blunt large questions become connected to smaller, apparently esoteric ones. We end up wondering about flies on the sides of mountains or about a particular fresco on the wall of a sixteenth-century plate. We start to care about a foreign policy of a long-dead Iberian monarch or about the role of peat in the Thirty Years’ War." — Alain de Botton “The art of travel”, 2002
alaindebotton  travel  curiosity  questions  learning  boredom  adulthood  adults  childhood  children  education  unschooling  deschooling  existentialism  2002  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Children at Play - The Run of Play [Goes on to discuss soccer players, pointing out the 'adults' and 'children' in professional ranks.]
"Sometimes I find myself walking home from work around the time the local elementary school dismisses its charges for the day. When this happens my daily journey becomes a little more interesting and a little more complicated, because children don’t walk the way adults do. Children will run past you, then stop and squat to look at a slug on the sidewalk, then run past you. Even when no stimulus, sluggish or otherwise, presents itself, they’ll slow down and dawdle for a while before hoofing it again. Also, for any given weather they might be wildly over- or under-dressed. The other day the temperature was in the high forties when I saw ahead of me two girls, ten years old or so… They were walking home from school and so had accoutered themselves, but neither seemed to notice the differences. They dawdled, and ran, and dawdled. I dodged them when necessary, which was often.

Adults aren’t like this. Adults dress appropriately and move steadily towards their goals."
children  adults  play  walking  goals  situationist  serendipity  curiosity  surprise  soccer  futbol  sports  football  xavi  zlatanibrohimavić  dirkkuyt  dawdling  purpose  slow  meandering  alanjacobs  tcsnmy  entertainment  discovery  differences  concentration  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
introduction to [365 days of childhood] project - [forever young].
"(365) days of childhood.  Do something childish everyday.  Do something bold.  Do something wonderful.  Do something that evokes emotion and color back into your life.  Children have this brilliant ability to perceive luminance amid noise and darkness.  There’s something healthy about that mindset—I am going to live life as a story to be written, something unbridled and free.

There are good things about adulthood.  But oftentimes “adulthood” can blind us from the beauty in life.  This project is to help people remember what it is like to be a child.  What it is like to be human.  What it is like to experience life.

I’m going to post a challenge daily for one whole year and blog about my experiences here.  It’s not going to be something challenging or expensive.  It’s going to be simple, bold moves—things we’ve forgotten and need to be reminded of. Like, “make up your own recipe with what you have in your fridge. “ Or “fingerpaint.” Or “play dress-up.” Fun and beautiful things."
blogs  childhood  life  curiosity  inhibition  experience  wonder  adulthood  adults  daily  via:lukeneff  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Innovative Educator: 20 Characteristics I’ve Discovered about Unschoolers and Why Innovative Educators Should Care
"They are driven by passion…have a love of learning…want you to know school isn’t best place to learn lessons on socialization…are happy…have interesting careers they enjoy…are artistic…creative…have a concern for environment…consider learning in the world far more authentic & valuable then learning in school world…deeply consider whether college is right choice for them rather than it being a given…have no problem getting in to college…appreciate some aspects of formalized schooling in college if they’ve decided to attend…advocate for themselves & their right to meaningful curriculum in college…don’t believe they are an exception because they are especially self motivated, driven, or smart…shrug off the criticism that they won’t be able to function in the real world…don’t expect learning to come just from a parent, adult, authority or teacher…are often defending the fact that they were unschooled…are adventurous…are grateful they were unschooled"
unschooling  education  schooling  learning  homeschool  glvo  via:rushtheiceberg  teaching  tcsnmy  lcproject  srg  edg  adults  colleges  universities  creativity  adventure  exploration  lifelonglearning  comments  anseladams  dorislessing  dropouts  richardbranson  deschooling  lisanielsen  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
I'm Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write.: A list of blogs by teenage and grown unschoolers
"I've been asked fairly frequently for links to other teenage and grown unschoolers blogs, so I decided to put a bunch of links together in one post!  I try to keep this list updated with current blogs, so I add new ones as I discover them and remove blogs that are no longer active."
unschooling  adults  blogs  lists  blogging  education  deschooling  writing  homeschool  glvo  srg  edg  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Eide Neurolearning Blog: Risk-Taking and the Entrepreneur Brain
"Young and the impulsive. When young people are given the Cambridge Gamble Task, teens to early twenty-somethings were the most likely to be impulsive and take risks. As the ages go up, impulsivity and risk-taking go down...at least if you're not an entrepreneur. If you're an entrepreneur, your performance on the gambling task is more like a young person's.

Risk-taking and impulsivity usually conjures up talk of ADHD, substance abuse or deliquency, but higher levels of risk-taking and impulsivity also correlated with higher likelihood of being an entrepreneur rather than a manager."
risk  risktaking  impulsivity  entrepreneurship  management  adhd  children  adults  behavior  gambling  creativity  cognitiveflexibility  teaching  learning  tcsnmy  lcproject  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
What happens next?: Visiting Google: the digital city-state
"Google's home is a campus, and being there is a "total" experience: if you work there, you can enjoy a gymnasium, sunny courtyards, beach volleyball, endless tech toys, laundry facilities and three excellent meals a day on site. As one employee explained it, workers are treated "like adults"—trusted to work and play hard, pursuing their projects in their own time. In another sense, of course, this also means they are treated like schoolchildren, or at least like members of a politely paternal institution—liberated from mundane concerns the better to learn and perform. … there's more than hint of the Renaissance city state to both Google and its great Californian colleague, Apple. Each is a place of extraordinary cultural fertility, complete with its own aesthetic and attitude … The most brilliant minds of a generation flock to enter these citadels"
via:preoccupations  google  work  tcsnmy  adults  googlecampus  play  well-being  responsibility  lcproject  leaning  doing  culture  education  motivation  2010  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Abby Sunderland: Is she an adult or is she a child? | Education Innovating
"Robert Epstein has developed a test of adultness...found many young people demonstrate more adult attributes than those 2-3 times their age...argues whole notion of ‘adolescence’ is out of touch w/ human nature, & instead an over-restrictive institution created by convergence of labor laws, compulsory schooling, & risk-avoidance culture. We forget how many extraordinary people—Bach, Michelangelo, Napoleon, Franklin, etc—began doing extraordinary things long before they were “adults.” In our world today this spirit still shows itself: Teenagers are the adults in many families...start companies...play professional sports & fight in wars. & often they do it well. We could be getting a lot more from our young people, if we only treated them as adults. The capacity of young people to do great things is a major source of potential growth for this country’s education system. To what extent does traditional school restrict, delay, or squander their capacity & motivation to achieve?"
robertepstein  tcsnmy  adults  adultness  children  teens  youth  society  risk  risktaking  riskaversion  compulsory  education  laborlaws  michelangelo  benjaminfranklin  do  unschooling  deschooling  glvo  trust  responsibility  capacity  motivation  napoleon 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Twitter / Martin Varsavsky: In USA kids are especially ...
"In USA kids are especially told not to talk to strangers. But as adults they love to :)"
strangers  rules  society  martinvarsavsky  children  adults  learning  donttalktostrangers  fear  safety  parenting 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Adult Learning - Neuroscience - How to Train the Aging Brain - NYTimes.com
"Teaching new facts should not be the focus of adult education, she says. Instead, continued brain development and a richer form of learning may require that you “bump up against people and ideas” that are different. In a history class, that might mean reading multiple viewpoints, and then prying open brain networks by reflecting on how what was learned has changed your view of the world...“There’s a place for information,” Dr. Taylor says. “We need to know stuff. But we need to move beyond that and challenge our perception of the world. If you always hang around with those you agree with and read things that agree with what you already know, you’re not going to wrestle with your established brain connections.”"

[via: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/4636 ]
education  learning  brain  memory  adults  neuroscience  teaching  science  history  books  psychology  health  cognition  aging 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Null And Void - "Adults, in their dealing with children, are insane. And children know it, too"
"Adults, in their dealing with children, are insane. And children know it, too. Adults lay down rules they would not think of following, speak truths they do not believe. And yet they expect children to obey the rules, believe the truths, and admire and respect their parents for this nonsense. Children must be very wise and secret to tolerate adults at all. And the greatest nonsense of all that adults expect children to believe is that people learn by experience. No greater lie was ever revered. And its falseness is immediately discerned by children since their parents obviously have not learned anything by experience. Far from learning, adults simply become set in a maze of prejudices and dreams and sets of rules whose origins they do not know and would not dare inspect for fear the whole structure might topple over on them. I think children instinctively know this. Intelligent children learn to conceal their knowledge and keep free of this howling mania."
johnsteinbeck  quotes  children  childhood  adults  rules  hypocrisy  teaching  learning  society  dreams  culture  unschooling  deschooling  trust  authority  hierarchy  myths  obedience  wisdom  prejudice  change  mania  sickness  knowledge 
may 2009 by robertogreco
apophenia: is Facebook for old people?
"Regardless of whether or not this factor explains the differences between these teens, I can't help but wonder the significance of teens' willingness to interact with known adults on social network sites. There's nothing worse than demanding that teens accept adults in their peer space, but there's a lot to be said for teens who embrace adults there, especially non-custodial adults like youth pastors and "cool" teachers. I strongly believe that the healthiest environment we can create online is one where teens and trusted adults interact seamlessly. To the degree that this is not modeled elsewhere in society, I worry."
socialnetworks  socialnetworking  danahboyd  myspace  facebook  sociology  socialmedia  social  unschooling  generations  parenting  teaching  society  homeschool  deschooling  adults  teens  youth 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Digital Natives » Digital Natives Definitions Redux, Episode n+x
"term Digital Natives was “relying too much on age as determining factor of Internet & technology savviness”...DNs are “not a generation but a population"..."As long as we divide the world into digital natives & immigrants, we won’t be able to talk meaningfully about the kinds of sharing that occurs between adults & children & we won’t be able to imagine other ways adults can interact with youth outside of these cultural divides."..."Technology does not have a moral component: it is the people who use it. Technology does not do the work: it is the people who use it. Today or yesterday or tomorrow, everything is mediated through technologies - it’s different technologies, but the same humans mediating."
digitalnatives  howardrheingold  communication  digital  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  children  generations  adults  youth  teens  genx  generationx  generationy  morality  technology  online  internet  web 
august 2008 by robertogreco

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