Small Talks, No. 44
January 28, 2022
Dear Small Talker,
Welcome to the forty fourth 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 incredible work by The Trust of Learning details the evidence behind the nine principles of an “ideal learning environment”. An amazing thought leadership piece toward quality.
“Research on child development continues to shed light on optimal learning environments for young children. Over time, specific recommendations may change as our understanding of ideal learning environments grows from this scientific base. Today, it is abundantly clear that children thrive in discovery-based learning environments that are equitable, playful, joyful and supportive of the continual development of parents and other educators.”
Highly anticipated study by Drs. Kimberly Noble, Katherine Magnuson, Greg Duncan and Hiro Yoshikawa shows the impact of a $333 monthly cash support on infant brain activity after one year of the intervention. Poverty impacts child development.
I had the honor to present at the Head Start Winter Leadership Institute on the theme of “And how are our children” (happy to send the slides to anyone interested). In preparing for the event, I found this inspiring poem from a 2018 Head Start convening in Louisville. The words “Because We is more innovative than I” reminded me of our Small Talks community. Enjoy.
What I’m listening to -
In this podcast, Silicon Valley icon Marc Andreessen explores investing, decision making, and the art of solving unsolvable problems. Starting at min 54, he shares his views on education- a highly skeptical perspective on the existing system and its ability to reform. Worth a listen, at a minimum to provoke thoughts.
What I’m reading -
“The School for Good Mothers” is an explosive fiction book by Jessamine Chan about a working woman, who is confronted by Child Protection Services after leaving her 18-month daughter unattended. She elects to go to a school for “good mothers” to redeem herself. This fiction book is haunting about societal norms on parenting, specifically working mothers without family or close supports. Mostly dystopian. Plausible at times.
What I’m watching -
This series of Tik Tok videos on child development is both adorable and beautifully accessible. The “scale errors” one had me laugh aloud.
What I’m learning and exploring more deeply -
New study on Tennessee Pre-K confirms the initial results published in 2015: students who attended eventually performed worse than their peers in 3rd and now in 6th grades. This simply confirms what we have known for a long time: quality matters (both in pre-K and K-12). Overwhelming research shows that high-quality early childhood leads to short- and long-term benefits.
Superb feature of Dr. Jack Shonkoff at the Harvard Center on the Developing Child’s recent ECD 2.0 framework by Elliot Haspel for Early Nation.
Excellent BetterUp report about how to be a Future Minded Leader that focuses on well-being, future-readiness, and innovators’ mindset. Lots of applicability on how to prepare our children for a future we can’t predict.
“Future-Minded Leaders aren’t predicting the future. They’re preparing to create a positive outcome from multiple possible futures.”
Quote I am pondering -
“Each child is an adventure into a better life - an opportunity to change the old pattern and make it new.”
— Hubert H. Humphrey
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 of you who are sending me amazing suggestions.
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Have a wonderful week. Please stay safe and care for each other.