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Nurtureshock Presentation

February 18, 2011

Last week, my school held Back to School Night, which is an opportunity for alumni and parents to return to campus and take classes on a range of topics from Beer Tasting to the latest developments in Afghanistan. I’ve always wanted to try to put together a course, but never really had the idea or courage to try something alone. This year, my work on our Mindset Research project got me thinking that maybe a discussion about parenting would be a good topic for a course, and my colleague A, and I decided to try to put something together. We also discovered the book “Nurtureshock” which is an excellent summary of much of the latest scientific research into parenting. Our goal was to describe 5 areas where current scientific research is reshaping thoughts about parenting: How praise affects learning, teaching self control, lying, teenage rebellion and sleep.

So A and I decided to put together a proposal on a whim back in November, which was later accepted, and it wasn’t until about two weeks ago that it occurred to me that we’d be doing this in February, a notoriously difficult and busy month in the life of a teacher. So, with all this busyness, Anna and I had to put most of this together at the last minute, overcome some huge technology hurdles like having half the computers we wanted to use go into deep freeze 5 minutes before the start of our presentation, and didn’t get finish our first walkthrough until about 30 minutes before showtime.

Here’s the video, in case you want to see how it turned out:

Incidentally, this conversation got me thinking that schools can do a lot more to educate parents, and technology makes it possible for us to do this in non-traditional ways that accommodate parent’s busy schedules. Why not put together an online reading group? Or a webinar featuring a local psychologist an and expert in adolescent psychology? With a clearly developed mission and a coherent curriculum, I think this could be a very powerful way to engage parents as allies and help extend the culture of our schools beyond the confines of our classrooms. As a new parent myself, I know that this is something I would welcome.

So here’s a small effort I made to try this. As a follow up to our presentation, I put together this posterous groups site with follow up material and an offer to continue the discussion online. I’m not sure if anyone will take us up on the offer, but it should be a fun exeperiment.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2011 9:48 pm

    I found your blog post and video interesting. In class we are always discussing using technology to help teach students. This is the first time I have thought about using technology to educate parents. Young inexperienced parents as well as more experienced parents could possibly learn a lot of information through the use of technology. I look forward to reading your blog in the future.
    Michael Oakwood

    • Anna Moore permalink
      February 19, 2011 11:23 pm

      Michael, I have to say that another observation I enjoyed making during this presentation was that the parents were excited/ intrigued/ (some of them scared) to be attempting to use the same technology they know their children are using. Suddenly there was this serendipity in a kind of second layer to the education happening that night; we had a fun discussion around Nurtureshock, but also a few people in the room were exposed, for the first time, to technologies their own children use every day. Because it happened in a forum targeted to other issues, it seemed that the use of the technology felt perhaps a little less threatening to some of these parents.

      • February 20, 2011 9:16 am

        You know, one other aspect of parent education that might really be interesting is for schools to find ways to expose parents to the technology their kids are using. Not “here’s how facebook is ruining your kid’s life,” but instead, we’ll teach you to create a FB page, and explore both the pros and cons so that you can make better decisions about it as a parent.

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