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Archive for the ‘education methods/programs’ Category

Drip, drip, drip

Who do you subscribe to?

And who subscribes to you?

Those simple questions determine what you know and what you learn. And they influence whether a business or a charity will succeed, and whether or not lives will be changed.

Newspapers are discovering that without subscribers, they can’t do their work.

Online voices that were seduced by the promise of a mass audience are coming back to the realization that the ability to deliver their message to people who want to get it is actually the core of their model.

Big hits are thrilling. Launch days, deadlines, the big win… That’s easy to sign up for as a creator or marketer. But subscriptions are what work.

Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime… subscriptions. This blog wouldn’t exist without the people who trust me enough to read it every day.

Consider the case of charities. If they raise money from consumers, they get almost their entire budget in the last month of the year, or related to some sort of external event. And most people who donate never do so again. Out of sight, out of mind.

Who do you subscribe to?

Who subscribes to you?

Seven years ago, I dedicated my annual birthday post to raising money for charity:water. 665 generous readers like you ended up contributing more than $39,000. Enough water to impact the lives of 3,000 people. On their behalf, thank you.

Five years after that, we did it again, but this time I encouraged my readers (people like you) to donate their birthdays to charity:water. 204 of you raised more than $50,000 and saved even more lives. And again, thank you.

This year, I’m hoping 1,000 people will subscribe to charity:water today. A monthly drip, the best possible pun, drip, drip, drip in a way that not only becomes a habit but gives the organization a chance to plan, because thirst doesn’t have a season.

Every month becomes your birthday, because you’re giving a magical present, paying it forward.

I just subscribed for $4,000 a month. If more than 500 of you subscribe at any amount (even $6), I’ll double my monthly commitment.

Scott and his team made a film and built a site. You can skip the film if you’re busy, but don’t skip the box at the bottom of the page.

This is how we change the world.

Literally with a drip, drip, drip.

The two fears of voluntary education

Voluntary education is different from compulsory, the kind we grew up with.

When you’re the victim/beneficiary of compulsory education, it happens to you. You have little choice.

Perhaps you choose to open your mind and do the work, but either way, here it is.

Now that we’re adults, though, we have choice. Endless choice. (Too big a claim)

Most people choose to learn as little as possible, while a few dive in and find more insight, wisdom and opportunity than they could ever expect.

Why do so many people hold back?

  1. “This might not work”The truth is that you don’t need a license, experience or skill to run a course online. You can post videos, write blog posts and generally just show up and announce you’re teaching something.As a result, there’s a lot of reason for the buyer to beware. The student who spends time and money on a course that doesn’t work feels stupid, even stupider than they did before they began. Hopes aren’t realized and the disappointment in being ripped off is real.

    The second reason is a bit more surprising…

  2. “This might work”This is real, it’s disappointing, and it’s also the biggest reason people hesitate. We hesitate precisely because the course might deliver what it promises. Because a new experience, a workshop, an event might show you something you can’t unsee. It might lead to forward motion, to new opportunities and to change.But change brings risk and risk brings fear. Those new horizons, those new opportunities, those new skills–they might not be as comfortable as what you’ve got going on right now.

And so the challenge. We choose not to learn because it’s either going to fail (embarrassing and expensive) or it’s going to work (frightening). We get ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place of inaction.

The door is open to be heroic.

To go on the journey from a place of fear. Not to wait for the fear to go away before you begin, but instead to begin precisely because there is fear.

Those that have successfully come before us have figured out how to make this leap.

To feel (and embrace) these fears, not to deny them, and to dig in because and despite.

The biggest hesitation is the fear of an open door.

The biggest challenge is the question we ask ourselves: Then what will I do?

That’s why we’re so eager to tweak the little things. Because the little things give us a little more of the same thing that we’re already used to.

This Zero Waste Plan Might Solve The Trash Crisis In Lebanon!

The garbage is engulfing Lebanon and is starting to pollute the Mediterranean Sea. (Greece and Spain are officially harassing our government)

Politicians are making this crisis seem hard to solve.

However, the Lebanese environmental and industrial engineer Ziad Abichaker shows, through this video, how easy it is to put an end to this national mess.

The importance of this plan is that it offers a sustainable solution. In fact, what government officials need to do is to find a permanent solution to make sure Lebanon stays clean.

Actually, this zero waste plan is all about recycling and involving all Lebanese people in the process.

It all starts in our houses where we have to divide the trash into two bags. One should contain food leftovers, napkins, and dirty papers. The other one should contain cans, aluminum, plastic, glass, iron, and other products that can be recycled.

In fact, the plan is decentralized which means that municipalities and private sectors have important roles.

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Transportation

First of all, each region should sort its own waste meaning that municipalities should not send the trash to Beirut to sort them. That way, the traffic jam will be significantly lowered.

Step 2: Waste sorting

The goal in this step is to encourage people to recycle.

When the trash arrives at the factory where it has to be sorted, it will be weighed. Depending on the amount of the trash the municipality has to pay money. So if people in that region recycle less, they will pay more.

Zero Waste Plan

That way, municipalities will encourage people to recycle in order not to generate a lot of trash and to avoid paying a lot. Then, unrecyclable trash will be transformed to fertilizers.

Step 3: Recycling

Thanks to recycling, we can make a lot of products from waste, which are the following:

Bottle of water and soda: polyester

Colored plastic: flower pots, plastic containers for fruits and vegetables, and water hoses.

Cardboard: toilet paper

Iron: re-bars

Glass: bottles and jars

Plastic bags: eco-boards

The benefits of this plan are cost-effective and eco-friendly.

it offers a lot of job opportunities which will reduce unemployment. In addition to that, this plan makes sure that our health will not be affected in a negative way, so people will pay less for healthcare.

(The stench and the fumes everywhere you travel along the sea coast. People in many villages are experiencing high levels of sickness and cancers)

Promoting waste management through eco-friendly planters

This is not the first time Abichaker finds an eco-friendly way to make Lebanon clean again. He recently showed us how we can use rubbish to produce food.

In fact, Abichaker built eco-friendly vertical planters that are made of discarded plastic bags and other plastics that cannot be recycled.

Zero Waste Plan
FB | Ziad Abichaker

Also, by using these planters that should be placed on roofs, one can use household waste, industrial waste, and 1 square meter to produce 200 lettuces every 45 days.

The learning myth: Why I’ll never tell my son he’s smart

By Sal Khan

My 5-year-­old son has just started reading. Every night, we lie on his bed and he reads a short book to me.

Inevitably, he’ll hit a word that he has trouble with: last night the word was “gratefully.” He eventually got it after a fairly painful minute. He then said, “Dad, aren’t you glad how I struggled with that word? I think I could feel my brain growing.”

I smiled: my son was now verbalizing the tell­-tale signs of a “growth­ mindset.”

But this wasn’t by accident. Recently, I put into practice research I had been reading about for the past few years: I decided to praise my son not when he succeeded at things he was already good at, but when he persevered with things that he found difficult.

I stressed to him that by struggling, your brain grows.

Between the deep body of research on the field of learning mindsets and this personal experience with my son, I am more convinced than ever that mindsets toward learning could matter more than anything else we teach.

Researchers have known for some time that the brain is like a muscle; that the more you use it, the more it grows. They’ve found that neural connections form and deepen most when we make mistakes doing difficult tasks rather than repeatedly having success with easy ones.

What this means is that our intelligence is not fixed, and the best way that we can grow our intelligence is to embrace tasks where we might struggle and fail.
However, not everyone realizes this. Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University has been studying people’s mindsets towards learning for decades. She has found that most people adhere to one of two mindsets: fixed or growth.
Fixed mindsets mistakenly believe that people are either smart or not, that intelligence is fixed by genes.
People with growth mindsets correctly believe that capability and intelligence can be grown through effort, struggle and failure.
Dweck found that those with a fixed mindset tended to focus their effort on tasks where they had a high likelihood of success and avoided tasks where they may have had to struggle, which limited their learning.
People with a growth mindset, however, embraced challenges, and understood that tenacity and effort could change their learning outcomes. As you can imagine, this correlated with the latter group more actively pushing themselves and growing intellectually.
The good news is that mindsets can be taught; they’re malleable.
What’s really fascinating is that Dweck and others have developed techniques that they call “growth mindset interventions,” which have shown that even small changes in communication or seemingly innocuous comments can have fairly long­-lasting implications for a person’s mindset.
For instance, praising someone’s process (“I really like how you struggled with that problem”) versus praising an innate trait or talent (“You’re so clever!”) is one way to reinforce a growth ­mindset with someone.
Process­ praise acknowledges the effort; talent­ praise reinforces the notion that one only succeeds (or doesn’t) based on a fixed trait.
And we’ve seen this on Khan Academy as well: students are spending more time learning on Khan Academy after being exposed to messages that praise their tenacity and grit and that underscore that the brain is like a muscle.
The Internet is a dream for someone with a growth mindset. Between Khan Academy, MOOCs, and others, there is unprecedented access to endless content to help you grow your mind.
However, society isn’t going to fully take advantage of this without growth mindsets being more prevalent. So what if we actively tried to change that? What if we began using whatever means are at our disposal to start performing growth mindset interventions on everyone we cared about?
This is much bigger than Khan Academy or algebra – it applies to how you communicate with your children, how you manage your team at work, how you learn a new language or instrument.
If society as a whole begins to embrace the struggle of learning, there is no end to what that could mean for global human potential.
And now here’s a surprise for you. By reading this article itself, you’ve just undergone the first half of a growth­-mindset intervention.
The research shows that just being exposed to the research itself (­­for example, knowing that the brain grows most by getting questions wrong, not right­­) can begin to change a person’s mindset.
The second half of the intervention is for you to communicate the research with others. We’ve made a video (above) that celebrates the struggle of learning that will help you do this.
After all, when my son, or for that matter, anyone else asks me about learning, I only want them to know one thing. As long as they embrace struggle and mistakes, they can learn anything

 

How to Raise a Feminist Son

We raise our girls to fight stereotypes and pursue their dreams, but we don’t do the same for our boys.

We’re now more likely to tell our daughters they can be anything they want to be — an astronaut and a mother, a tomboy and a girlie girl. But we don’t do the same for our sons.

Even as we’ve given girls more choices for the roles they play, boys’ worlds are still confined, social scientists say. They’re discouraged from having interests that are considered feminine. They’re told to be tough at all costs, or else to tamp down their so-called boy energy.

If we want to create an equitable society, one in which everyone can thrive, we need to also give boys more choices.

As Gloria Steinem says, “I’m glad we’ve begun to raise our daughters more like our sons, but it will never work until we raise our sons more like our daughters.”

That’s because women’s roles can’t expand if men’s don’t, too. But it’s not just about women. Men are falling behind in school and work because we are not raising boys to succeed in the new, pink economy.

Skills like cooperation, empathy and diligence — often considered to be feminine — are increasingly valued in modern-day work and school, and jobs that require these skills are the fastest-growing.

In her new book, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Nigerian-born author, gives instructions for raising a feminist daughter. But how can we raise feminist sons?

I asked neuroscientists, economists, psychologists and others to answer that question, based on the latest research and data we have about gender. I defined feminist simply, as someone who believes in the full equality of men and women. Their advice applied broadly: to anyone who wants to raise children who are kind, confident and free to pursue their dreams.


Let him cry

Boys and girls cry the same amount when they’re babies and toddlers, research shows. It’s around age 5 that boys get the message that anger is acceptable but that they’re not supposed to show other feelings, like vulnerability, said Tony Porter, co-founder of A Call to Men, an education and advocacy group.

“Our daughters are allowed to be human beings, and our sons are taught to be robotic,” he said. “Teach him that he has a full range of emotions, to stop and say, ‘I’m not angry; I’m scared, or my feelings are hurt, or I need help.’”


Give him role models

Boys are particularly responsive to spending time with role models, even more than girls, research shows. There is growing evidence that boys raised in households without a father figure fare worse in behavior, academics and earnings.

One reason, according to the economists David Autor and Melanie Wasserman, is they do not see men taking on life’s responsibilities. “Put good men in the space of your son,” Mr. Porter said.

Give them strong female role models, too. Talk about the achievements of women you know, and well-known women in sports, politics or media. Sons of single mothers usually have a lot of respect for their accomplishments, said Tim King, founder of Urban Prep Academies for low-income, African-American boys. He encourages them to see other women that way.


Let him be himself

Even as adult gender roles have merged, children’s products have become more divided by gender than they were 50 years ago, research has found: pink princesses and blue trucks, not just in the toy aisle but on cups and toothbrushes. It’s no wonder that children’s interests end up aligning that way.  

But neuroscientists say children aren’t born with those preferences. Until the mid-20th century, pink was the boy color and blue was for girls. In studies, infants have not been shown to have strong toy preferences.

The difference, according to researchers, emerges at the same time that children become aware of their gender, around age 2 or 3, at which point societal expectations can override innate interests.

Yet longitudinal studies suggest that toy segregation has long-term effects on gender gaps in academics, spatial skills and social skills, according to Campbell Leaper, chairman of the psychology department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

For children to reach their full potential, they need to follow their interests, traditional or not. So let them. The idea is not to assume that all children want to do the same things, but to make sure they’re not limited.

Offer open-ended activities, like playing with blocks or clay, and encourage boys to try activities like dress-up or art class, even if they don’t seek them out, social scientists say. Call out stereotypes.

(“It’s too bad that toy box shows all girls because I know boys also like to play with dollhouses.”)

It could also improve the status of women. Researchers say the reason parents encourage daughters to play soccer or become doctors, but not sons to take ballet or become nurses, is that “feminine” equals lower status.

Teach him to take care of himself (Like doing maintenance work?)

“Some mothers raise their daughters but love their sons,” said Jawanza Kunjufu, an author and lecturer on educating black boys. They make their daughters study, do chores and go to church, he said — but not their sons.

The difference shows up in the data: American girls ages 10 to 17 spend two more hours on chores each week than boys do, and boys are 15% more likely to be paid for doing chores, according to a University of Michigan study.

“Teach our sons to cook, clean and look after themselves — to be equally competent in the home as we would expect our daughters to be in the office,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, chief executive of New America, a think tank.


Teach him to take care of others

Women still do more of the caregiving — for children and for older people — and the housework, even when both parents work full time, data show. And caregiving jobs are the fastest-growing. So teach boys to care for others.  

Talk about how men balance work and family, and how sons and not just daughters are expected to care for parents and relatives when they’re old, Ms. Slaughter said. Enlist boys’ help making soup for a sick friend or visiting a relative in the hospital.

Give them responsibilities caring for pets and younger siblings. Encourage them to babysit, coach or tutor. One program brings babies into elementary classrooms, which has been found to increase empathy and decrease aggression.


Share the work

When possible, resist gender roles in housework and child care among parents. Actions speak louder than words, said Dan Clawson, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst: “If the mother cooks the food and cleans the house and the father mows the lawn and is often gone from home, lessons are learned.”

Also share some of the breadwinning. Men raised by mothers who worked for at least a year around the time their sons were teenagers were more likely to marry women who work, one study showed. Another found that sons of women who work for any amount of time before age 14 spend more time on housework and child care as adults. “Men who were raised by employed moms are significantly more egalitarian in their gender attitudes,” said Kathleen McGinn, a professor at Harvard Business School.


Encourage friendships with girls

Research at Arizona State University found that by the end of preschool, children start segregating by sex, and this reinforces gender stereotypes. But children who are encouraged to play with friends of the opposite sex learn better problem-solving and communication.

“The more obvious it is that gender is being used to categorize groups or activities, the more likely it is that gender stereotypes and bias are reinforced,” said Richard Fabes, director of the university’s Sanford School, which studies gender and education.

Organize coed birthday parties and sports teams for young children, so children don’t come to believe it’s acceptable to exclude a group on the basis of sex, said Christia Brown, a developmental psychologist at the University of Kentucky.

Try not to differentiate in language, either: One study found that when preschool teachers said “boys and girls” instead of “children,” the students held more stereotypical beliefs about men’s and women’s roles and spent less time playing with one another.

Boys who have friendships with girls are also less likely to think of women as sexual conquests, Mr. Porter said.


Teach ‘no means no’  (And what to do with Yes? Any additional rules?)

Other ways to teach respect and consent: Require children to ask before they touch one another’s bodies as early as preschool. Also, teach them the power of the word no — stop tickling them or wrestling with them when they say it. 

Model healthy problem-solving at home. Children’s exposure to divorce or abuse has been linked to poor conflict resolution in future romantic relationships, said W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist and director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia.


Speak up when others are intolerant

Say something when you see teasing or harassment, and role-play with boys so they can intervene when they see it, Ms. Brown said.  

Speak up when they’re inappropriate, too. “Boys will be boys” is not an excuse for bad behavior. Expect more of them. “Be vigilant in redirecting conduct which is demeaning, intolerant, disrespectful, offensive,” Mr. King said.


Never use ‘girl’ as an insult

Don’t say — and don’t let your son say — that someone throws or runs like a girl, or use “sissy” or any of its more offensive synonyms. Same for sexist jokes.

Be careful with subtler language, too. The research of Emily Kane, a sociologist at Bates College, shows that parents enforce traditional gender roles for sons mostly because they fear those sons will be teased.

“We can all help by avoiding judgment, and avoiding small, everyday assumptions about what a kid will enjoy or be good at based on their gender,” she said. Boys who get teased could say, “No, anyone can play with beads,” or “I am not a girl, but do you think they’re worse than boys?” said Lise Eliot, a neuroscientist at Rosalind Franklin University.


Read a lot, including about girls and women

You’ve probably heard that boys excel at science and math, and girls at language and reading. Stereotypes can become self-fulfilling. Mothers talk more with daughters than sons, according to a meta-analysis by Mr. Leaper. Fight the stereotype by talking to boys, reading to them and encouraging them to read.

Read about a wide variety of people, and stories that break the mold, not just those about boys saving the world and girls needing to be saved. When a book or a news item fits that mold, talk about it: Why does the mother in the “Berenstain Bears” always wear a housecoat and rarely leave the house? Why does a news photograph show all white men?

“That should start at 3, when they really pick up stereotypes and notice them,” Ms. Brown said. “If you don’t help them label them as stereotypes, they assume this is the way it is.”

Celebrate boyhood

Raising a son this way isn’t just about telling boys what not to do, or about erasing gender differences altogether. For instance, all male mammals engage in rough-and-tumble play, Ms. Eliot said.

So roughhouse, crack jokes, watch sports, climb trees, build campfires.

Teach boys to show strength — the strength to acknowledge their emotions. Teach them to provide for their families — by caring for them. Show them how to be tough — tough enough to stand up to intolerance.

Give them confidence — to pursue whatever they’re passionate about

Make two lists

On one list identify the grievances, disrespects and bad breaks:

  • People who don’t like you.
  • Deals that went wrong.
  • Unfair expectations.
  • Bad situations.
  • Unfortunate outcomes.
  • Unfairness.

It’s all legitimate, it’s all real. Don’t hold back.

On the other list, write down the privileges, advantages and opportunities you have:

  • The places where you get the benefit of the doubt.
  • Your leverage and momentum.
  • The things you see that others don’t.
  • What’s working and what has worked.
  • The resources you can tap.
  • The things you know.
  • People who trust you.

Now, take one list and put it in a drawer.

Take the other list and tape it up on your bathroom mirror.

Read the list in the drawer once a month or once a year, just to remind you that it’s safe and sound. Read the other list every day.

The daily list will determine what you notice, how you interpret what you see and the story you tell yourself about what’s happening and what will happen.

You get to pick which list goes where.

Picking your list is possibly the most important thing you’ll do all day.

 

Key to success? Grit

  • Transcript of “The key to success? Grit”
    Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.
     Mar 9, 2014

When I was 27 years old, I left a very demanding job in management consulting for a job that was even more demanding: teaching.

I went to teach 7th graders math in the New York City public schools. And like any teacher, I made quizzes and tests. I gave out homework assignments. When the work came back, I calculated grades.

0:35 What struck me was that IQ was not the only difference between my best and my worst students. Some of my strongest performers did not have stratospheric IQ scores. Some of my smartest kids weren’t doing so well.

that got me thinking. The kinds of things you need to learn in seventh grade math, sure, they’re hard: ratios, decimals, the area of a parallelogram. But these concepts are not impossible, and I was firmly convinced that every one of my students could learn the material if they worked hard and long enough.

After several more years of teaching, I came to the conclusion that what we need in education is a much better understanding of students and learning from a motivational perspective, from a psychological perspective.

In education, the one thing we know how to measure best is IQ. But what if doing well in school and in life depends on much more than your ability to learn quickly and easily?

I left the classroom, and I went to graduate school to become a psychologist.

I started studying kids and adults in all kinds of super challenging settings, and in every study my question was, who is successful here and why? My research team and I went to West Point Military Academy.

We tried to predict which cadets would stay in military training and which would drop out. We went to the National Spelling Bee and tried to predict which children would advance farthest in competition. We studied rookie teachers working in really tough neighborhoods, asking which teachers are still going to be here in teaching by the end of the school year, and of those, who will be the most effective at improving learning outcomes for their students?

We partnered with private companies, asking, which of these salespeople is going to keep their jobs? And who’s going to earn the most money?

In all those very different contexts, one characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success. And it wasn’t social intelligence. It wasn’t good looks, physical health, and it wasn’t IQ. It was grit.

Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.

Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality.

Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

A few years ago, I started studying grit in the Chicago public schools. I asked thousands of high school juniors to take grit questionnaires, and then waited around more than a year to see who would graduate.

Turns out that grittier kids were significantly more likely to graduate, even when I matched them on every characteristic I could measure, things like family income, standardized achievement test scores, even how safe kids felt when they were at school.

it’s not just at West Point or the National Spelling Bee that grit matters. It’s also in school, especially for kids at risk for dropping out.

To me, the most shocking thing about grit is how little we know, how little science knows, about building it.

Every day, parents and teachers ask me, “How do I build grit in kids? What do I do to teach kids a solid work ethic? How do I keep them motivated for the long run?”

The honest answer is, I don’t know. (Laughter) What I do know is that talent doesn’t make you gritty.

Our data show very clearly that there are many talented individuals who simply do not follow through on their commitments. In fact, in our data, grit is usually unrelated or even inversely related to measures of talent. (Yet, we don’t acquire talent without perseverance)

So far, the best idea I’ve heard about building grit in kids is something called “growth mindset.”

This is an idea developed at Stanford University by Carol Dweck, and it is the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed, that it can change with your effort. Dr. Dweck has shown that when kids read and learn about the brain and how it changes and grows in response to challenge, they’re much more likely to persevere when they fail, because they don’t believe that failure is a permanent condition.

So growth mindset is a great idea for building grit. But we need more. And that’s where I’m going to end my remarks, because that’s where we are. That’s the work that stands before us.

We need to take our best ideas, our strongest intuitions, and we need to test them.

We need to measure whether we’ve been successful, and we have to be willing to fail, to be wrong, to start over again with lessons learned.

5:55 In other words, we need to be gritty about getting our kids grittier.


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