Posts Tagged ‘Adults’

Adults Look Like Fools When they Take a Kids Survey Seriously

July 10, 2012

Never, ever take a kids survey on face value!

According to a recent survey millions of children are complaining that school is too easy.

My students often boast about the lesson content being very easy. Then I assess them. It often turns out it wasn’t as easy as they first thought.

Why on earth would we believe a kids survey that claims school is too easy when it isn’t backed up by assessment results?

Millions of kids simply don’t find school very challenging, a new analysis of federal survey data suggests. The report could spark a debate about whether new academic standards being piloted nationwide might make a difference.

The findings, out today from the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank that champions “progressive ideas,” analyze three years of questionnaires from the Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress, a national test given each year.

Among the findings:

•37% of fourth-graders say their math work is “often” or “always” too easy;

•57% of eighth-graders say their history work is “often” or “always” too easy;

•39% of 12th-graders say they rarely write about what they read in class.

If I was from the Center of American Progress I would be embarrassed to admit to spending so long on a survey that is clearly misleading. Talk about a waste of three years!

Rule 1: Never ask students whether class work is easy when you can get a better picture by gauging their assessment results (I’m not referring to standardised tests).

Rule 2: Never ask students whether their homework was easy. Instead, ask their parents as they are the ones that do it.

Rule 3: If you are trying to make education more “progressive”, don’t waste three years on a survey.

Click here for a more in-depth analysis of this survey.

The Most Effective Anti-Smoking Ad Ever Conceived

June 22, 2012



Pure genius! Getting children to ask smokers for a light is a brilliant way to sell the anti-smoking message:

It has been labelled “heartbreaking” and one of the most effective anti-smoking advertisements ever.

The new public service announcement from Thailand shows two small children approaching adults who are smoking and asking them for a light.

Not one of the adults shown in the ad gives the children what they ask for.

Instead the adults — who have no idea they are being set up — begin giving the children earnest lectures on why smoking is so bad for them.

“If you smoke you die faster,” one man tells a little boy.

“Don’t you want to live and play?”

“When you smoke you suffer from lung cancer, emphysema and strokes,” another says.

The children then reveal their trump card, a brochure they hand the adults which reads: “You worry about me. But why not about yourself?”

The video, produced by the agency Ogilvy Thailand on behalf of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, was uploaded to YouTube a week ago and has since gone viral, attracting more than 350,000 views.

The foundation has reported a 40 percent increase in the number of calls it has received about how to stop smoking.

Study Reveals Children Aren’t Selfish After All

June 21, 2012

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the results of a study that found that children aren’t in fact selfish:

A new study from the University of B.C. shows kids might be generous and giving because it makes them happy, contrary to the popular belief children are inherently selfish.

Adults report feeling better when spending money on other people instead of themselves and research shows the part of the brain that processes rewards is activated when donating to charity.

Three UBC researchers hypothesized very young children — under age two — experience similar emotional benefits from generosity. For adults, the happiness that results from giving could be caused by many things, like conforming with social pressure or receiving rewards.

“But looking at young kids helps us get a little closer to understanding whether this is something rooted in human nature or not,” said Lara Aknin, a PhD in social psychology. Aknin designed the study with her UBC thesis supervisor, Elizabeth Dunn, and developmental psychologist Kiley Hamlin.

This is the first study to look at the emotional benefits of giving in young children.

Aknin cited news and parenting websites that argue young kids are innately selfish and self-absorbed, and she admitted some studies have shown kids can be territorial with their possessions.

“But you also don’t have to look far to see really young kids wanting to share their soggy Cheerios,” she said. “There is this dichotomy when we look at kids, and I think most people’s assumptions are that kids are self-oriented and hoard things for themselves.”

It just goes to show how effectively adults can model good behaviour.

Click here to read my post on teaching children to be grateful.

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