Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Found this great website via the ASLA. A resource for "gardens and landscapes that promote health and well-being".
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Over at the Times, Lenore Skenazy (the lady who let her 9 year old son go on the New York subway on his own as she believes in "common sense parenting in uncommonly overprotective times") has had a live chat with interesting comments. Also, her blog Free Range Kids has some really mindblowing stories.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Great article on Salon, via Common Good, about when adults make kid's spaces safe and risk-free maybe we take the fun out of them.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
"The Seven Generations Charter School is one in which students from every grade level engage in activities focused on sustainable living, environmental stewardship, and respect for our planet and all living things. We believe that a school with excellent academic standards can also be a place where students learn citizenship and develop the skills to succeed as they improve the overall quality of life in their communities."
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Who wouldn't like a park, shops, schools, transit within walking/cycling distance of their home? Here's an interesting article over at Miller-McCune about this, found via Good. It's about time these things were addressed and public policy needs to lead the way.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
At the University of Essex in the UK, Dr Jo Barton has been carrying out research for the Green Exercise program, analysing the health benefits of participating in physical activities whilst being exposed to nature and greenspace.
- Improvement of psychological well-being (by enhancing mood and self-esteem, whilst reducing feelings of anger, confusion, depression and tension);
- Generation of physical health benefits (by reducing blood pressure and burning calories);
- Facilitation of social networking and connectivity (by enhancing social capital).
Friday, April 23, 2010
Inspiring to hear.... teenagers are leading a movement called Teens Turning Green, to educate and advocate environmentally and socially responsible choices for individuals, schools and communities.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The Royal Society for the Arts (RSA) in the UK hosted a talk by Tim Gill, author of the book "No Fear: Growing up in a Risk Averse Society", called Risk and Childhood.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
We all want our children to be happy. Francois Lelord, a leading French psychiatrist is now the foremost happiness guru, thanks to the success of his book "Hector and the Search for Happiness". I haven't read the book yet but there's an interesting interview over at the Times where he talks about happiness and how to achieve it. Here's an excerpt where he mentions children:
“Some people are gifted for happiness, you can see it even in babies. But your upbringing, life events and education are influences, too. It is like being good at maths, music or sport — you are born with happiness abilities but after that your family has to encourage it; you need to practise it.”
So it’s all your parents’ fault if you don’t reach your happiness potential? “It’s not about trying to do everything to ensure that your child is happy. It’s much more important to teach your child how to be happy even in adverse circumstances. This isn’t about buying children computers, clothes or holidays but about showing them how to make the best of it, how to manage to be happy.”
But in the West parents are convinced that their children will be happy only if they are at the top of their class. “It’s not just the West. In Asia, too, parents push their children very hard. After 40 years of seeing clients I must stress that you shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations of your child — think of their positive psychology, not yours. It’s more important for them to learn how to adapt to situations, how to relate to people and take responsibility for their lives, than how to pass their maths exam."
Monday, April 19, 2010
Learning through Landscapes are hosting an international conference called "The World Outside the Classroom" on the 29th, 30th June and 1st of July, offering a unique opportunity to visit schools that encourage lessons outdoors, gain hands-on practical experiences and share best practice with school grounds professionals from around the world.
Nina Planck, author of Real Food: What to Eat and Why, talks about why traditional food versus industrial food is so much better for you.
Read this article. I insist. Wonderful, funny and true.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Here's a really thought provoking interview with Howard Gardner, Professor from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, from the Big Think website. He is best known in educational circles for his theory of multiple intelligences.
Monday, April 12, 2010
And by that I mean there is change afoot down under. In a good way. Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods", has posted on the Children and Nature Network about the movement to connect children and nature in Australia. He states:
"That sense of aloneness, without kinship in the natural world, is central to the argument that many of us are making these days; that is, if we deny children direct experience with nature, we deny them access to a fundamental part of their humanity.
In Last Child in the Woods, I coined the term nature-deficit disorder to serve as a descriptor of the human costs of alienation from nature, not as a medical diagnosis."
(The kangaroo's a cheap shot I know, but cute...)
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Good posted a video about this fantastic arts program in an inner city area of Los Angeles called Inner City Arts.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
The ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) has a professional practice network for Children's Outdoor Environments and their latest newsletter contains two articles I wrote. They focus on projects in the children, nature, play theme.
Here's a great article and video on the BBC website about why the schools in Finland have the best results and yet the kids spend the least amount of time at school than any other developed nation.
Why is it so hard for other countries to learn from this and make changes?
Friday, April 2, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
That's the heading for an article on the Times website, where it states that children are arriving at school lonelier, less able to share, to respect and to wait; due to being over indulged by their parents.
What is her best piece of advice for parents? “As a parent you are not your child’s best friend. They will grow up and make their own best friends. As a parent your job is much more serious than that. Your job is to show by example and through the exercise of proper authority how to grow up.”
“Parents are under tremendous pressure to provide for their children. Resisting that can be very wearing, I know myself. I understand, I’m guilty of it myself. The sulks, the rages, the tantrums; it is very hard.
“But we have gone too far in the belief that if a child asks for something they must need it, and if they demand something they must have it. That all rules are negotiable and that children know what’s best for themselves in the long run.
“Some children arrive at school unable to realise that they may sometimes have to do things they don’t want to do. One of the most important skills parents can teach children is the deferral of gratification.”
Check out the article, it's fascinating.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Via Swissmiss, I found a post on Scott Berkun's blog about the cult of busy, here's an excerpt:
"The phrase “I don’t have time for” should never be said. We all get the same amount of time every day. If you can’t do something it’s not about the quantity of time. It’s really about how important the task is to you. I’m sure if you were having a heart attack, you’d magically find time to go to the hospital. That time would come from something else you’d planned to do, but now seems less important. This is how time works all the time. What people really mean when they say “I don’t have time” is this thing is not important enough to earn my time. It’s a polite way to tell people they’re not worth your time."
It reminded me of how children never say they are too busy to do something, they either don't want to do it and say so or they go ahead and do it..... There's a lot we can learn from watching our kids.
Friday, March 26, 2010
So, I haven't been to many museums with my kids recently, and the last time we went the younger one pointed at a Rodin sculpture and said, "look at his penis...." very loudly. But, after watching this video I will ride through my embarrassment and take them more often.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
This commercial seems to be creating quite a stir. Britain's independent watchdog agency, the Advertising Standards Association, thinks it is too scary for TV.
Not to be a drama queen about it, but the organization Natural England have published findings of their first audit of all of England's lost and declining native species.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Michelle Obama is on a mission and I wholeheartedly applaud her. Let's Move is her campaign to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Found this over at Good. Bruce Dixon is an Australian educator, director of Ideaslab and founder of Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
And I don't mean the Jacques Tati movie, but really.... time to play. Play England, Skills Active and LGA (Local Government Association) hosted a four nations symposium on the 4th March (the four nations being England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) called "Playing the long game."
My kids school is co-sponsoring a talk next month by Alfie Kohn. Having read one of his books a while ago, Unconditional Parenting, I am keen to go.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families in the UK have derived data from a survey of children with the following subjects:
Saturday, March 6, 2010
I saw this on the Children & Nature Network website. A symposium on March 5th called Growing IN Place, presented by the Natural Learning Initiative, discussing how planners and designers can meet the challenge of enhancing the wellbeing of urban families everywhere.
I've been very patient, waiting for his new talk on TED to appear on their website..... with on avail. Must be saving the best until last. So in the meantime, check out his newly designed website with lots of new stuff, radio and TV interviews.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Is this completely off topic? My kids absolutely love it (children), it's about mice (nature) and creativity and play go hand in hand...... Plus, it is fantastic. Hats off to John Nolan.
I started reading "The Power of Play" and do mean to finish it but other things intervened. So far it is a wonderful, thought-provoking book. To get a quick fix I checked out David Elkind's blog on the Just Ask Baby website.
Many people have used rubber mulch in playgrounds with the best of intentions, thinking that it is the safest option, but today I read "The Myth of Rubberized Landscapes" by Linda Chalker-Scott of Washington State Univeristy and want you all to get rid of it NOW and trade it in for wood chips.
The Fairplay for Children charity in the UK write that Berlin have amended their city's noise pollution law so that it is "fundamentally and socially tolerable" for members of the younger generation to make noise.
Free Play Network have posted about an International play study tour of parks, adventure playgrounds, schools and kindergartens in Sweden, Denmark and Berlin this summer. And all travel between sites will be by bike. (Berlin is a separate tour, I don't think they are expecting you to cycle from Berlin to Copenhagen.)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I haven't posted about Tom Hodgkinson from the The Idler for a while but here's the link to his latest column for The Daily Telegraph UK.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Play England are having their national conference: Playable communities:priorities for a new decade, next month at the British Museum in London. If I lived in the UK I'd be there in a heartbeat.
The day will include high profile speakers on key themes for the future of all aspects of playable communities, including sustainability and partnership working, schools, and aspects of play provision including adventure and nature play."
This is where I need my tardis.
Monday, February 22, 2010
This particular 16 year old, Pritesh Raichura from North London, wrote an excellent column over at the Times, on the state of education in the UK. Here's the link.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Here's another article about children not getting out in nature enough. The Telegraph UK mentions a study done by the good people at The Hertfordshire University showing that children were open to the idea of rambling but it was their mothers that were not confident in the great outdoors.......
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The Sutton Trust in the UK have found, after extensive research, that "children growing up today in the poorest fifth of families are already nearly a year behind those children from middle income families in vocabulary tests by the time they are five...."
I watched this speech by David Cameron on TED and was struck by the final quote he read out, from a Robert Kennedy speech, here it is......
Monday, February 15, 2010
Headline: Outlook grim for cash-strapped schools..... article from The Boston Globe.