Posts by birchwood1984

Thrive by Charles Debelak

The Ability To Thrive Blog Series Educational leaders across the country stress the importance of teaching our children 21st century skills. In order for our children to be competitive in a global economy they will not only need a strong, core curriculum, but also other essential skills like communication, collaboration and creativity. There is an…

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Modeling Engagement and Cognitive Functioning by Charles Debelak

Modeling Engagement and Congnitive Function blog picture

A VIEW FROM HISTORY AND RESEARCH MODELING ENGAGEMENT AND COGNITIVE FUNCTIONING Recently a parent asked me what she could do to help her children become engaged in their learning. She asked, “How can I help them care about school, and about learning and studying or even growing?” “H-m-m-m,” I thought, “you’re not going to like…

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Pinnacle of Human Evolution: The Goal-Directed Brain

Pinnacle of Human Evolution: The Goal-Directed Brain photo

A VIEW FROM HISTORY AND RESEARCH Pinnacle of Human Evolution: The Goal-Directed Brain Birchwood School of Hawken science class In their new book, “The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World,” Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen, begin their thesis with the idea that “Our ability to establish high-level goals is arguably the pinnacle…

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The Need for Engagement by Charles Debelak

The Need for Engagement by Charles Debelak

A View from History: The Need for Engagement In “Beyond the Classroom: Why School Reform Has Failed and What Parents Need to Do,” Laurence Steinberg explains the result of his 10 year study examining the factors that lead to student success in middle school and high school. He identifies student engagement as the most important…

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William James on Habit and Character by Charles Debelak

Habits blog picture Birchwood School of Hawken

A View from History and Research William James on Habit and Character The accumulation of habits plays a major part in who we are and how we approach life. Habits define our character and our character is inextricably tied to how our life unfolds. Our destiny is embedded in our character, at least to the…

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Creativity by Charles Debelak

Teaching Creativity at Birchwood School of Hawken

CREATIVITY: A Way of Life My goal in this blog series is to explore how we can teach our children to become creative. Our strategy will be to connect what is known about creativity and creative production with the educational content, experiences and training that make creative thinking skills accessible to parents, educators and children.…

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Parenting for Character 6 by Charles Debelak

Parenting for Character 6

Teaching Justice and Compassion As discussed in my last blog, teaching children about virtue has three functions. First, since children have the latent capacity and yearning to be virtuous, the teaching of virtue kindles and motivates these tendencies. Next the teaching of virtue educates their conscience through which children develop a keen sense of right…

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Parenting for Character 5 by Charles Debelak

Parenting for Character 5 Teaching Virtue

WHY TEACH VIRTUE? Before continuing our discussion about the seven moral virtues, I would like to reemphasize the importance of teaching children about virtue, especially through story. Teaching virtue through stories, including fables, myths or cultural maxims, is a powerful tool for cultivating virtue and character. This is because the capacity for virtue is latent…

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