TYO Recommends: Friday, March 30, 2012


This week, TYO goes back to the basics looking at perspectives on enhancing early childhood education with creative and innovative lessons that inspire youth and stimulate intellectual and personal development. With a special glance at some upcoming documentaries and iphone apps tracing the women of the world!

Now (not) Hiring. The International Labour Organization is at it again with a video contest calling on young people, ages 18 to 29 to demonstrate in two minutes or less how the global jobs crisis is affecting their lives. Have a story? Tell it now! Winners are sent on an all-expenses paid trip to the ILO Youth Employment Forum in Geneva!

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Lessons for Learning. The World Bank chimes in on the unsettling DICHOTOMY of high expenditures and low returns on public education in the Middle East and North Africa. Lamentably, notes The World Bank’s Mourad Ezzine, “despite these achievements there is now the uneasy realization that for too many students in the Arab world, schooling has not been synonymous with learning.” What will it take to turn lessons into learning for the children of the MENA region?

Stop Kidding Around. American television is teeming with programming geared toward the youth demographic. From Sesame Street to DragonBallZ, children are constantly force-fed fun, entertainment, and where producers can squeeze it in, perhaps a bit of education. What children are not shown, claims childhood education expert Lisa Guernsey, is positively reinforcing examples of their PEERS succeeding, un-coached by parents, unsupported by puppets, and un-manipulated by adult agendas for what they should and should not be doing. For example, slicing sushi as a five-year old girl does in the video “Reika makes sushi.” Creative exploration and self-sufficiency, claims Guernsey, is the key to allowing kids to grow.

Five Step Program. Every student who has entered a high school classroom in the US and lived to tell the tale has encountered the dreaded five-paragraph ESSAY of doom. Neatly whittled to perfection, students are taught to parade these five-pronged masterpieces in many a classroom throughout their academic careers. The Huffington Post challenges that notion and the constrictive, prescriptive standards behind it. After all, coloring between the lines certainly never got Van Gogh anywhere.

Class Ladders in Learning. The Brookings Institute dissects the ever-widening GULF between poor and middle to upper-income students and evaluates three strategies for improvement.  According to the report, less than 50% of poor students are prepared for school as compared to 75% of their middle and high income peers. One surefire key to success? Preschool!

Try, Try Again. A French study finds that the implied correlation between failure and incompetency in Western schools is significantly impacting stress levels and achievement potentials for children in these systems. Thus, “experiencing difficulty or failure may then constitute a potential psychological threat to self-image because it may be interpreted as revealing intellectual incompetency.” To remove this STIGMA and associated stress and the cyclical nature of a fulfilling prophecy of failure, researchers claim schools must incorporate “failure” as part of the learning process and a necessary step for success.

If you haven’t already, check out this terrific trailer for Half the Sky, the incredible multi-part PBS documentary series based on the bestselling book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. And take a moment to download this terrific FREE iphone APP Fotopedia, a regular photo tribute to the diversity and strength of women around the world.

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