Small Talks, No. 49
March 4, 2022
Dear Small Talker,
Welcome to the forty ninth 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 -
Mind in the Making’s Executive Director & Bezos Family Foundation’s Chief Science Officer (and mentor) Ellen Galinksy distills the three major trends in the science of learning she is following:
Prenatal brain development (baby & parent): yes, learning starts with life (note: 50% parents think learning starts after 6 months)
Early learning: holistic intervention
Adolescence: civic science
Two new pools of funds announced in global education:
I recently became an education contributor for Forbes, and published a first piece this week on 7 areas of innovation in child care. (Bonus: My middle schooler child rated the piece 8/10, so I felt like a cool mama…at least for a few minutes).
What I’m listening to -
The Best Kindergarten You’ve Ever Seen by Takaharu Tezuka is an incredible 9min watch - I laughed, I dreamt, it sparked reflections on space and control.
What I’m reading -
Wonder by Frank Keil explores the joy of discovery in young children, from facts to underlying causal patterns at the heart of science. Children’s glorious sense of wonder is often stifled in adulthood. Keil explores the habits of the mind we can continue fostering to keep wonders fresh.
What I’m watching -
I was so inspired by each one of the 9 presenters at the latest “Show & Tell” from the Promise Venture Studio cohort. Bravo and onward!
What I’m learning and exploring more deeply -
Half a million families are stranded due to the shortage of child care workers, according to a new new report by Wells Fargo economists. This piece by Karen D’Souza for EdSource is also excellent on the same theme of child care worker shortages.
In Minnesota, the state has hired recruiters to hire and train new child care professionals. It is also giving scholarships for educators to gain an AA or BA, and bonuses to those have degrees.
Great piece by K.C. Compton in Early Learning Nation about new research from the University of Washington that analyzes the impact of chronic stress in young children and mitigating factors through responsive parenting.
"What struck me was finding that our 3-year-olds were already showing income- and stress-related differences in their executive function & cortisol regulation." — Dr. Liliana J. Lengua, child clinical psychologist and University of Washington professor of psychology
Three takeaways from the emerging field of early relational health:
1 - Relational health is biological, physiological, and interpersonal.
2 - We can measure relational health in less than a minute by observing a parent and child interacting with each other face-to-face.
3 - Emotional connection is a state not a trait, so there is always opportunity at any age for improvement.
Poem 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 of you who are sending me amazing suggestions.
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Have a wonderful week. Please stay safe and care for each other.