Category Archive:
Teaching and learning principles

The Missing Element

The Element

In his book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, Ken Robinson, Ph.D. tells us that we each need to find that place where the things we love to do intersect with the things we know how to do well. Robinson calls this place of intersecting talent and passion “the Element.” Each person needs […]


Eat, Drink, Breathe, Think

eat drink breathe think

A newspaper article written by a physician summarized a discussion on health with these words: It’s about what you eat and what you drink, What you breathe and what you think. What you eat. Putting the right food into our bodies is essential to good health, as well as physical and mental development. Today we […]


Bloom’s Taxonomy

bloom's taxonomy

As we watch our children grow and learn, how can we, as parents and teachers, help direct our children to the next step in learning? One helpful tool to help us think about the steps in learning is Bloom’s Taxonomy. Benjamin Bloom in 1956 described six levels of questioning that reflect a person’s mastery of […]


Five Hindrances to Enlightenment

Five hindrances to enlightenment

Last week’s post discussed how seven factors in Zen Buddhist teachings might be seen as road signs to happy and healthy human development. These seven factors are universal virtues that are found in most cultures of the world, in different words and contexts, but there all the same. Mindfulness. Investigation. Energy. Joy. Tranquility. Concentration. Equanimity. […]


Seven Factors of Enlightenment

7 factors of enlightenment

Zen Buddhist monks might be the last people you’d think would clown around. Laughing, though, is an expression of joy, and joy is one of the seven factors of enlightenment. Reading an article about a Zen Buddhist monk who teaches students to smile, laugh, and tell jokes made me curious about the other six factors […]


Curiosity: The Roots of Intelligence

curiosity the roots of intelligence

Reading an article in the July 2009 issue of Smithsonian called ”Birth of a Robot,” got me thinking about human intelligence versus artificial intelligence. Nicholas Butko, one of the researchers quoted in the article, said that they wanted to program their robots with curiosity, not knowledge. Giulio Sandini, an Italian bioengineer says, ”If you want […]


Slaying the Scary Green Monster

slaying the green scary monster

Green. Everything today is green. Cars are green. Food is green. Sports equipment is green. Kermit the Frog should be happy because he crooned that “it’s not easy being green.” Kermit was right, though. It isn’t easy being green, or even hearing about it, especially for our children. They are bombarded with images and advertising […]


What Teachers Wish Parents Knew

what teachers wish parents knew

At a teachers’ conference a couple of years ago we broke into groups to answer the following question: What are the most important ideas you’d like to communicate to parents of the children you teach? Here are the thoughts from over one hundred teachers and school administrators. Respect the work of your child. Children are […]


Beginning a Conversation

beginning a conversation

We were looking forward to spending the weekend with old friends and their eight- and ten-year-old sons, whom we had never met. As soon as quick introductions were made, the boys picked up their electronic game machines and headed toward the den. At dinner the boys made plates of food and sat at the coffee […]


Four Keys to Raising a Self-Disciplined Child

four keys to raising a self disciplined child

Do you dream of having a child who is self-composed, articulate and respectful of others, young or old? In our children’s pre-verbal days it seems like those attributes may be impossible, but there are some teaching tools you can use to help your child have the self-discipline to live a peaceful life as a toddler […]