Deconstructing Blackness

Sacred Heart Greenwich Middle School Faculty Blog

Edutopia

By Nicol Howard

MARCH 25, 2015

Recess was over, and my students rushed back to class in hopes of being the first to tell me what happened over their break. As we entered the room, I heard their rumblings and murmurs with the word “black” dispersed throughout. As an African American woman, I was more than curious to know what all the excitement was about. All I was ever taught growing up was that “black is beautiful.” And while that was my truth, I was about to be introduced to what being called “black” meant to my Latino/Latina students. They took me on a history lesson that I had not learned from my elementary textbook about the differences between white and black Latinos/Latinas.

Fifteen minutes passed and the board was covered with a circle map of every word that came to mind when my students heard the word “black.”…

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Playtime Isn’t Just for Preschoolers—Teenagers Need It, Too

Sacred Heart Greenwich Middle School Faculty Blog

Time.com

Teenagers School
Getty Images

Hilary G. Conklin, Ph.D., is a fellow with the OpEd Project and an associate professor in the College of Education at DePaul University in Chicago.

Helicopter parents and teachers, stand down. Kids of all ages need time to learn through play in school.

In classrooms across the country, the countdown to summer vacation has begun. The winter doldrums have always taken a toll, but in the era of test-dominated schooling and the controversial Common Core, it seems increasingly that it’s not until summer that teenagers have any prospect for having fun any more.

One of the casualties of current education reform efforts has been the erosion of play, creativity, and joy from teenagers’ classrooms and lives, with devastating effects. Researchers have documented a rise in mental health problems—such as anxiety and depression—among young people that has paralleled a decline in children’s…

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Nurturing Resilience: Reminding Ourselves What Kids Need

Sacred Heart Greenwich Middle School Faculty Blog

The Independent School Magazine Blog

We all agree resilience is a good thing. Essentially a synonym for pluck, grit, stick-to-itiveness, the ability to dust off one’s knees and get back on the horse or the bike or whatever threw you, resilience suggests positive adaptation, coming through a tough time, coping.

There are communities we point to as being particularly resilient — Sandy Hook, Connecticut, for example — and that’s the rub. To be resilient means a child has endured something horrific or, to a lesser degree, difficult. But there are opportunities that do not require suffering or loss or exquisite pain, and practicing the habit of resilience helps children learn to weather the storms that are an inevitable part of growing up.
The path can’t always be smooth; bumps and boulders help us remember that we are stronger than we know, more capable than we imagined. It’s hard…

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Overindulgent Parents May Breed Narcissistic Children

Sacred Heart Greenwich Middle School Faculty Blog

HealthDay

Kids who were told they were better than others came to believe it, researchers report

Overindulgent Parents May Breed Narcissistic Children

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Kids who think too highly of themselves likely developed their narcissism because their parents put them on a pedestal and doled out unearned praise, a new study claims.

Parents who “overvalue” their children — believing they are “God’s gift to man” — tend to raise youngsters with an overblown sense of their own superiority, researchers report in the March 9 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“It comes pretty naturally,” said senior study author Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University. “Most parents think their children are special, and deserve better treatment. But when our children receive special treatment, they become narcissistic and come to believe they deserve more and are…

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Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts

Sacred Heart Greenwich Middle School Faculty Blog

Photo
George Washington, depicted here taking the oath of office in 1789, was the first president of the United States. Fact, opinion or both?
George Washington, depicted here taking the oath of office in 1789, was the first president of the United States. Fact, opinion or both?Credit via Associated Press

What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised?

I was. As a philosopher, I already knew that many college-aged students don’t believe in moral facts. While there are no national surveys quantifying this phenomenon, philosophy professors with whom I have spoken suggest that the overwhelming majority of college freshman in their classrooms view moral claims as mere opinions that are not true or are true only relative to a culture.

A misleading distinction between fact and opinion is embedded…

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