“This is the generation of kids that grew up being told that the nation was basically over race,” Renee Romano, a professor of history at Oberlin, says. When they were eleven or twelve, Barack Obama was elected President, and people hailed this as a national-historic moment that changed everything. “That’s the bill of goods they’ve been sold,” Romano explains. “And, as they get older, they go, ‘This is crap! It’s not true!’ ” They saw the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice. And, at schools like Oberlin, they noticed that the warm abstractions of liberalism weren’t connecting with the way things operated on the ground.”
What does it take to be an optimal human being? For Aristotle, the highest human good was eudaimonia. For Carl Rogers, it was the fully functioning person. For Abraham Maslow, it was self-actualization. For Erik Erickson, it was wisdom and integrity. For Erich Fromm, it was about having a being orientation (in which you value personal growth and love) instead of a doing orientation ( in which you value material possessions and status). But are these theories right? Over the past 30 years or so, a number of contemporary psychologists have experimentally tested various aspects of these theories, and we are starting to get a clearer picture of those who seem to be well-integrated, thriving human beings.”
Every week I send out articles I encounter from around the web. Subject matter ranges from hard knowledge about teaching to research about creativity and cognitive science to stories from other industries that, by analogy, inform what we do as educators. This breadth helps us see our work in new ways.
Readers include teachers, school leaders, university overseers, conference organizers, think tank workers, startup founders, nonprofit leaders, and people who are simply interested in what’s happening in education. They say it helps them keep tabs on what matters most in the conversation surrounding schools, teaching, learning, and more.
– Peter Nilsson