Small Talks, No. 33
October 22, 2021
Dear Small Talker,
Welcome to the thirty-third edition of Small Talks. Every Friday, I highlight 6 areas of weekly joys and reflections in early childhood and the whole family. Small Talks leverages my experience at the intersection of education, philanthropy and impact investing. Enjoy!
What I’m celebrating -
This new survey by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health quantifies the child care problem: 34% of families with young children are facing serious problems finding child care when adults need to work.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children's Hospital Association call child mental health a “national emergency”. I am hoping this call will drive action. I have written on this critical topic here and here.
Thank you to my friend Dr. David Willis for his continued leadership in elevating the concept of “relational health”. This week, I had the pleasure of joining David and Joe Waters at Capita, in envisioning a relational future within a multicultural society. Joe provokingly asked “who are we?”, while I called for the future of learning to be relational.
America’s first early childhood National Teacher of the Year, Tabatha Rosproy, visited the White House this week, wearing a white cape decorated by her students. Early educators = superheroes with capes, who should always be received on a “red carpet”.
What I’m listening to -
This TED Talk by Chris Bennett, CEO of Wonderschool, speaks about the importance of early childhood and his vision in home-based childcare. My favorite piece is the conclusion where Chis Bennett reflects that the skills and competencies he leverages as CEO can be traced back to his first 5 years of life.
What I’m reading -
“Why Play Works” is a terrific book by Jill Vialet, who founded the nonprofit “Playworks” 25 years ago. The book covers science and play theory, and includes 20 small steps that lead to big change.
What I’m watching -
Raising America is a 2017 five-part series that illustrates how a strong start for all our kids can lead to better individual outcomes AND a healthier, safer, more prosperous and equitable America. My favorite section is “DNA is not destiny”…
What I’m learning and exploring more deeply -
This week, I did a deeper dive on “active play”.
Two concerning developments that may be related to lesser active play:
On a more positive note:
This recent research connects physical activity to greater IQ.
A teacher reports on the “education miracle in South Carolina”, a no-cost "silver bullet" for better grades, better behavior, child happiness in school: unstructured, child-driven play.
This piece highlights the inspiring work led by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Golinkoff in “Playful Learning Landscapes” across 10 cities, integrating play within urban environments.
Interesting forecasts in edtech by HolonIQ - predicting that demand for digital tools in schools will double by 2025 globally.
Quote I am pondering -
Feedback is a gift. Which part above is your favorite? What did I miss? What do you want more or less of? Other recommendations? Please kindly let me know. Thank to all all of you who are sending me amazing suggestions.
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Have a wonderful week. Please stay safe and care for each other.