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 […]


Holding the Paradox

Have you ever taken two magnets and tried to put like poles together? If you put the north and the south pole of a magnet together, there is attraction and attachment. Try to put two north or two south poles together, and you feel a repulsion. Push as you might, you can’t get the two […]


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 […]


Raise a Child Who Loves the Earth

raise a child who loves the earth

Close your eyes, and think back to a happy time and place in your childhood. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel? What are you touching? What can you taste? For most of us, these memories involve nature and our families. My love of the outdoors […]


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 […]


John 15:13

john 15:13

The idea of selfless service was the theme of a story from my kindergarten days. The Sunday School lesson told of a firefighter who died saving families from a burning building. The Bible verse to memorize for the week was John 15:13, which reads, “God hath no greater love than this, that a man should […]


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 […]