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Embrace Change

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

“If you do not create change, change will create you.” ~ Unknown

Change has always been an inevitable part of life. However, the speed of change and the amount of change a person can expect to see over his/her lifetime has increased substantially in the last 50 years. A recent Innosight study gives us an idea of the magnitude of the shift. In 1958, the average age of a company on the S&P 500 listing was 58 years. Now it is about 18 years. In addition, pundits suggest there are significant technological developments about every two years.

This rapid change can be overwhelming and can quickly leave those who are not actively embracing it behind. As a result, young people need practice adapting to change, so they can adjust quickly and efficiently.

In addition to helping children prepare for life on their own, change also:
• Teaches flexibility
Frequent change makes it easier to adapt to new situations, new environments, and new people. When kids have this type of exposure, it is less likely they will “shut down”          when something unexpectedly shifts.
• Encourages growth
Change forces young people to adapt in ways that are outside of what they have experienced which can help children with personal development.
• Reveals likes and strengths
It is challenging for a child to know what he/she enjoys or what comes easily to him/her unless he/she tries many things. Change is often the only way this exploration occurs.
• Creates opportunities
When the environment or activity is changed, kids can start again without any preconceived expectations.
• Fosters creativity
New environments force children to figure out how to integrate and succeed.
• Cultivates risk-management skills
With exposure, children learn to break change into small pieces so adjustment is easier.

Parents are often the biggest reason kids struggle with change. Many adults are fearful that change will make their kids socially isolated and encourage them to embrace risky or anti-social behaviors. Interestingly, many kids who embrace these undesirable behaviors attend the same high school for all four years and participate in the same activities year after year. These same kids often struggle to adapt when they are finally on their own.

Given how fast technology is changing one has to wonder if conventional wisdom still makes sense. Is it possible that 21st Century kids need a different environment to flourish – stable relationships with their parents and family members and frequent change elsewhere in their lives?

5 Things To Know About Screen Time Right Now

NPR – Anya Kamenetz

“After another round of holidays, it’s safe to assume, a lot of children have been diving into more media use than usual. Some may now have new electronic toys and gadgets, or have downloaded new apps and games. Managing all that bleeping and buzzing activity causes anxiety in many parents. Here’s a roundup of some of the latest research, combined with some of our previous reporting, to help guide your decision-making around family screen use.”(more)

How to Measure Success Without Academic Achievement

Ed Surge – Elizabeth Anthony

“The question of how to measure success in life is one typically left to philosophy classes or late nights at the bar. It is a complex, perhaps unanswerable question. In the words of the cast of Rent, how do you measure a life? So it’s really a wonder that we consider the definition of success for personalized learning programs to be so simple. Can the success of any educational initiative be measured by academic achievement alone? This June, a subset of the education world was upended when RAND released a report detailing the components of personalized-learning implementations and the effects this model has on students.”(more)

How Ending Behavior Rewards Helped One School Focus on Student Motivation and Character

KQED News Mind/Shift – Linda Flanagan

“But a substantial body of social science research going back decades has concluded that giving rewards for certain types of behavior is not only futile but harmful. In his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink identifies seven drawbacks to extrinsic rewards: they cripple intrinsic motivation, limit performance, squash creativity, stifle good conduct, promote cheating, can become habit-forming, and spur a short-term mindset. Giving prizes for routine and mindless tasks can be moderately effective, Pink writes. But offering rewards for those tasks that are “inherently interesting, creative, or noble…is a very dangerous game.” When it comes to promoting good behavior, extrinsic rewards are “the worst ineffective character education practice used by educators,” Berkowitz writes.”(more)

Children denied chance to develop ‘resilience’ by too strict health and safety rules, warns Ofsted chief

The Telegraph – Christopher Hope

“Children are being denied the chance to develop “resilience and grit” because of schools’ over-zealous health and safety policies, the chief inspector of schools says. Amanda Spielman said schools must stop trying “to wrap them in cotton wool” because it leaves them ill-prepared for the challenges of later life. Schools had to do more to “distinguish between real and imagined risk”, she said, adding that Ofsted will now train its inspectors to ensure schools are not rewarded for overbearing policies.”(more)

Teachers should foster emotional intelligence in their students but not be graded on it, report finds

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Recent research shows emotional skills like grit, sense of belonging, and growth mindset positively influence student grades, test scores, and attendance. While we know social and emotional skills are important to education achievements, which skills are most important and how much can teachers influence them? Are education systems and institutions properly equipped to hold teachers accountable for them?.”(more)