TYO Recommends: February 24, 2012

This week, TYO traces some exciting new trends in early childhood education, focusing on behavioral management and the role of youth and education in politics. Special look at images of the diversity of the Muslim world and life behind the woman’s lens in the Middle East.


Pupils and Politics: How important is early childhood education to DEMOCRACY? Essential, claims the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, pinpointing a lack of critical and inquisitive thinking in early education as the linchpin of the impending success or failure of democratic reforms in the Middle East.  “Students need to learn at a very early age what it means to be citizens who learn how to think, seek and produce knowledge, question, and innovate rather than be subjects of the state who are taught what to think and how to behave.” As we creep ahead into the spring of 2012, lingering memories of the past year bring a question to the fore: Are students truly the axis upon which democratic norms will take hold in Arab nations?

Managing the Unmanageable: Bad students? Bad teachers? Bad STRATEGIES, says Sheryl K. Pruitt, Clinical Director of Parkaire Consultants and author of Challenging Kids, Challenged Teachers. Joined by Dr. Ross W. Greene, associate clinical professor at Harvard Medical School and author of The Explosive Child and Lost at School, the pair offer “Four Strategies for Managing Unmanageable Students in the Classroom” in this informative and timely podcast as teachers look ahead to what may seem like the long road to summer and the end of the spring semester.

Incentivizing Discipline: Yet it takes two to tango and teachers alone cannot pave the way to sunnier days and smiling faces in the classroom. New York Times columnists Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang offer advice to students and parents to cultivate good strategies for maintaining SELF-CONTROL in the classroom. Embracing the Rousseauean belief in the development of the child’s moral compass and self-discipline, Aamodt and Wang review techniques for child rearing in Asia and Europe with compelling comparisons to practices in the good ole’ US of A, including Montessori school systems. In America, they posit, investing in a child’s interests and ability to be attentive to those interests is a better barometer of self-control than a rigid system of rewards, punishment, and empty praise. “Rather than force activities onto an unwilling child, take advantage of his or her individual tendencies. When children develop self-control through their own pursuit of happiness, no parental hovering is required… Play allows children to practice skills that are useful in adult life.”

Yes, we CARE!: What do 81% of Generation Y (18-34yrs), 81% of Generation X (35-46 yrs), 88% of Boomers (47-65), and a whopping 96% of Matures (66+) have in common? Last year they donated money, goods, or services to a WORTHY CAUSE. Commitment to social change, or at the very least attention to it, is prominent in America in every generation, perhaps more than the cynics would believe. For this and other interesting tidbits, check out this week’s infographic on social change in America.  Who knew that Generation Y is more likely to get down and dirty helping out via traditional means than digital media yet nearly half created or joined a group for a cause on a social networking site last year? Take that Era of Apathy!

From a Different Angle: Saudi women find a voice through the lens and share their experiences with the powerful photo exhibit “Through the Eyes of Saudi Arabian Women” in Dubai. Their arresting IMAGES collected by curator Rania Razek depict everything from daily life to internal struggle and the beauty of their nation’s landscape. Captivated by the world of the Afghan woman, American photographer Lynsey Addario is keen to capture pivotal moments in a woman’s life from picnics and prayer to the anxiety of weddings and pangs of childbirth in her EXHIBIT Veiled Rebellion at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo. Addario was inspired by the women she worked with in Badakhshan where she was sent to cover maternal health. Additionally, American photographer Derek Brown travels the globe to capture the many FACES OF ISLAM. Brown breathes new meaning into the diversity of the Muslim world with images from China to Mali to Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Tugging at the Head’s Heartstrings: Whether you’re pro-Bama or tuning into the latest and greatest of the Republican primary debates, in honor of this week’s PRESIDENT'S DAY, take a peek at an illustrated showing of what our nation’s leaders have done to advance child rights in America….

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