The Parent Trap

A parent’s job is often unenviable. Thankless. Tiring. Trying. Tireless. Especially when the child is a teenager. Parents’ reasons for making decisions can vary from encouraging their children to “live their own lives, do what makes you happy” and worries that what makes their children happy won’t pay their bills, let alone save for retirement, nor eventually be able to…

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The Work of Innovation

“…the core skill of an innovator is error recovery not failure avoidance.” – Pixar University’s Randy Nelson Innovators simply tweak a relatively ordinary experience to seem new. Think: Howard Shultz, Starbucks CEO, repackaging coffee (a substance humans have been drinking for thousands of years) building a whole new market. Think: Steve Jobs of Apple, building on the transistor radio, and…

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Part 2: Learning May Not Be Simple–The Student’s Perspective

In Part One of our “Learning May Not Be Simple” series, we discussed the complexities of presenting new information in an average classroom, as well as how a teacher’s management of the class can influence the learning process.  The following highlights the student’s perspective and the complications of understanding new information, particularly for high school students, who are subject to…

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“Summer Reading” Is Not An Oxymoron

As summer vacation begins, so too does the back and forth negotiation to complete summer reading assignments.  Even for avid readers, summer reading assignments can sap the pleasure derived from reading. Both parents and teens know all the logical, rational reasons TO complete summer reading sooner rather than later, but there’s that part of the mind (everyone’s got one) that…

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The Complexities of Learning, Part 1

Learning at school can seem like a simple equation: teacher presents material + students listen (including taking notes) + students complete the homework assignments and tests = learning.  Yet, in practice, learning can be more complex.  The following is the first in an on-going series of posts that will discuss the intricacies of learning in contemporary classrooms.