Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lessons in Diversity

This past week, our students, faculty, staff, and parents were treated to separate, thoughtful, and instructive presentations by Derrick Gay, educational consultant ( He was so good. I know we'll be seeing more and more of him in our schools.

He concluded his talk with parents by showing the profound TED Talk by Chimamanda Adichie "The Danger of a Single Story."

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Class Bias the Real Enemy Revisited

When my article "Class Bias the Real Enemy" first appeared in the 1999 Winter issue of Independent School magazine, I knew this was a societal problem that would be insurmountable. It is rampant in nearly all cultures. 

In today's NYTimes "Admitted, but Left Out" by Jenny Anderson let's us know that diversity numbers in our "private" schools have improved, but class distinctions for students and families linger. When you look at the main drivers of class—education, wealth, occupation, and salary—you can understand the rancor that engulfs this presidential election.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Happy Secret to Better Work

If you have never heard of Shawn Achor, you must see this TEDX Talk on positive thinking. He goes from a childhood experience with his little sister to the campus of Harvard.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Century of the Child

You'll want to view The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) interactive website Century of the Child Growing by Design 1900 - 2000 even if you cannot get to the exhibition itself, which runs through November 5. Here is how MoMA describes the exhibition:

"MoMA’s ambitious survey of 20th century design for children is the first large-scale overview of the modernist preoccupation with children and childhood as a paradigm for progressive design thinking. The exhibition will bring together areas underrepresented in design history and often considered separately, including school architecture, clothing, playgrounds, toys and games, children’s hospitals and safety equipment, nurseries, furniture, and books."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Feeling Sorry For Yourself?

In my previous post, I introduced you to the book Wonder. It attracted me because one of my all-time favorite books is Harold Kushner's When Bad Things Happen to Good People.

Recently, a Wall Street Journal front page story, "Study of Rare Disease Helps in Search of Clues on Aging" and the article's related video give Wonder a partner in helping adults navigate the difficult waters of childhood medical issues.

Both books and the article give you an understanding of the bigger picture in life. So, when you are feeling sorry for yourself, start with the article, then go to Kushner's book, and if you need to, read Wonder.