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Fairy Tales Could Be Older Than You Ever Imagined | smithsonianmag.com | Smithsonian
It turns out that it’s pretty hard to figure out how old fairy tales are using simple historical data. Since the tales were passed down orally, they can be almost impossible to unwind using a historian or anthropologist’s traditional toolbox. So the team borrowed from biology, instead, using a technique called phylogenetic analysis. Usually, phylogenetic analysis is used to show how organisms evolved. In this case, researchers used strategies created by evolutionary biologists to trace the roots of 275 fairy tales through complex trees of language, population and culture.

As they tracked, they found evidence that some tales were actually based in other stories. More than a quarter of the stories turned out to have ancient roots—Jack and the Beanstalk was traced back to the split between Western and Eastern Indo-European languages more than 5,000 years ago and a tale called The Smith and the Devil appears to be more than 6,000 years old.

The findings might confirm the long-disregarded theory of fairy tale writer Wilhelm Grimm, who thought that all Indo-European cultures shared common tales.
linguist  children  tale  history  story 
april 2019 by aries1988
The Parable of the Hanukkah Scolds (With a Lesson for Non-Jews, Too)
Gift giving is thought to be a holdover from Roman winter festivals. Santa Claus is a Greek saint who got garbled into something very different by medieval Dutch and English folk culture. The reindeer are from Finland. Jesus and his early followers would probably find the traditional Christmas ham to be just as shocking and un-Christian as the elves in the North Pole.

It’s one of the most persistent myths about how identity works: that there is some true core version — of Hanukkah, of Jewishness, of Americanness — constantly at risk of foreign contamination. But there is no pure core. It’s foreign contamination all the way through.

But just because identity is made up -- a more formal phrase is "socially constructed" -- doesn't make it meaningless.
jewish  identity  usa  conflict  opinion  christmas  children  tradition 
january 2019 by aries1988
Twitter
看了迪斯尼 - 皮克斯出的 7 分钟短片 Bao,挺赞的。原来这短片出来有段时间了,只是现在才免费在 YouTube 上发布。查了一下导演,原来石之矛是一位女华裔,也难怪中国元素应用的这么到位。…
chinese  parents  children  food 
december 2018 by aries1988
How to Control Your Citizens: Opportunity. Nationalism. Fear. - The New York Times
“Today you have the largest bureaucracy in history, with a capacity to intrude in anything,” said William C. Kirby, a professor of China studies at Harvard. “It isn’t just ideology. There are now enormous numbers of interest groups that don’t like competition.”

For guidance, Mr. Ni often looks to Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Alibaba, who is China’s richest man and a cultlike figure among many businessmen. Mr. Ni is currently enrolled in a business school program that Mr. Ma established to cultivate China’s next generation of entrepreneurs.

Over the years, Mr. Ma has spoken publicly about the push-pull relationship between private companies and the government, though there is one piece of his advice for entrepreneurs that Mr. Ni seems to have especially taken to heart: “Fall in love. But don’t marry.”

part of it was something deeper: a desire to help the country catch up with the West and to reconnect with her Chinese roots.

Exposed to liberal democracy, Ms. Hua’s generation was supposed to be the one that demanded it at home. Middle-class Chinese students poured into universities in the United States and Europe — then seen as the most promising path to wealth and prestige — and some Western analysts predicted that they would return to China as a force for political change.

Like many other middle-class parents, Ms. Hua worries about repression and rampant materialism in Chinese society. Yet many of these parents say they want their children to see themselves as Chinese above all else — to understand China’s roots as an agrarian society and to have a sense of pride in the perseverance of the Chinese people through decades of poverty and strife.

Even as some analysts argue that China’s success has more to do with the resilience of its people than the Communist Party and its policies, leaders have been adept at shaping a politicized nationalism that reinforces the primacy of the party — and defends the authoritarian model as the best bulwark against chaos.

“Chinese nationalism binds the people with the state, not to each other,” said Minxin Pei, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.
entrepreneurial  china  jiangsu  portrait  rich  conflict  state  parents  children  education  identity  chinese 
november 2018 by aries1988
COMMODITY CITY on Vimeo
Commodity City is an observational documentary exploring the daily lives of vendors who work in the largest wholesale consumer market in the world: the Yiwu Markets in China. The film explores moments of tension between commerce and individuality, between the goods for sale and the humans who sell them.
documentary  daily  zhejiang  children 
november 2018 by aries1988
“First Man,” Reviewed: Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong Bio-Pic Is an Accidental Right-Wing Fetish Object | The New Yorker

First Man is worthy of enduring as a right-wing fetish object. It is a film of deluded, cultish longing for an earlier era of American life, one defined not by conservative politics but, rather, by a narrow and regressive emotional perspective that shapes and distorts the substance of the film.

the movie doesn’t stint on the distinctive Americanism of the action onscreen (including, in a scene of Armstrong ascending from the ground to the capsule of Apollo 11 in an elevator, a point-of-view shot that reveals, majestically, the words United States painted, vertically, on the side of the very tall rocket).

In its explicit content, and by artful omission, First Man subscribes to the misbegotten political premise that America used to be greater—and that the liberating and equalizing activism of the sixties ignored, dismissed, and even undermined that greatness.
critic  movie  rightwing  astronaut  nasa  society  usa  american  hollywood  hero  family  personality  children  death  moon  opinion  1960s 
october 2018 by aries1988
Faut-il revoir l'enseignement de la guerre d'Algérie ?
Qu'est-ce qui justifie cet enseignement facultative ?
Pourquoi la crainte des enseignements
https://overcast.fm/+BDarWHBc/13:05
https://overcast.fm/+BDarWHBc/16:13

Traiter de la Guerre d'Algerie en classe
https://overcast.fm/+BDarWHBc/32:30
education  france  français  algerie  war  children  teaching 
october 2018 by aries1988
Is the Algorithmification of the Human Experience a Good Thing?
Skeptics will point out that those algorithms are designed by corporations to serve their interests, not yours. Social media companies, for instance, want to keep you on their services as long as possible, which makes them prone to pushing emotionally charged content that might not be super healthy for you or for society. And even a benevolent algorithm can produce negative or unwanted results.

The video wasn’t directly crafted by a machine. But it wasn’t totally a human creation, either. Rather, it was optimized to appeal to YouTube’s content algorithm, which automatically plays related videos one after the other. “Johny Johny Yes Papa” copies enough elements of popular kid’s videos — a certain length, musical beat, color palette and visual style, along with key words and lyrics — that YouTube’s algorithm will line it up after more popular songs.

At least on a symbolic level, there is something unsettling about a global, faceless content empire that hoovers up human culture and processes it into homogenized nothingness to be fed to kids via tireless social media algorithms that seek, above all else, to maximize time spent on site.
society  engineering  crisis  question  future  children  video  ai  algorithm 
september 2018 by aries1988
In Denmark, Harsh New Laws for Immigrant ‘Ghettos’ - The New York Times
Starting at the age of 1, “ghetto children” must be separated from their families for at least 25 hours a week, not including nap time, for mandatory instruction in “Danish values,” including the traditions of Christmas and Easter, and Danish language. Noncompliance could result in a stoppage of welfare payments. Other Danish citizens are free to choose whether to enroll children in preschool up to the age of six.

In his annual New Year’s speech, Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen warned that ghettos could “reach out their tentacles onto the streets” by spreading violence, and that because of ghettos, “cracks have appeared on the map of Denmark.” Politicians who once used the word “integration” now call frankly for “assimilation.”

People who know a little about history, our European not-so-nice period, we know what the word ‘ghetto’ is associated with.

Her client, Anni Larsen, told a story about being invited by a Turkish immigrant to their child’s wedding and being scandalized to discover that the guests were separated by gender and seated in different rooms. “I think there were only 10 people from Denmark,” she said, appalled. “If you ask me, I think they shouldn’t have invited us.”

Anette Jacobsen, 64, a retired pharmacist’s assistant, said she so treasured Denmark’s welfare system, which had provided her four children with free education and health care, that she felt a surge of gratitude every time she paid her taxes, more than 50 percent of her yearly income. As for immigrants using the system, she said, “There is always a cat door for someone to sneak in.”

Nearly 87 percent of Denmark’s 5.7 million people are of Danish descent, with immigrants and their descendants accounting for the rest. Two-thirds of the immigrants, around half a million, are from Muslim backgrounds, a group that swelled with the waves of Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian refugees crossing Europe.

“If you create new kinds of laws that apply to only one part of society, then you can keep adding to them,” she said. “It will turn into the parallel society they’re so afraid of. They will create it themselves.”
dane  denmark  numbers  immigration  immigrant  children  education  2018 
july 2018 by aries1988
黄章晋: 在隔壁的中国,那些孩子已经长大了
2001年国务院颁布《国务院关于基础教育改革与发展的决定》,提出「农村地区学校布局调整」的改革计划,通俗的话讲,就是撤销村里的幼儿园、小学,将之合并到大的乡镇,有些地方,则是撤销乡镇教学点,集中到县城,这就是所谓的「撤点并校」。

我们同事邓飞采访时有个颠覆认知的意外发现,造成2万余学生伤亡的质量低劣校舍,几乎都是1990年代「普九」验收期间突击建造。「普九」即1986年颁布的教育法提出20世纪末普及九年义务教育。它有一套从校舍到图书室在内的验收标准。

当时国家财力不济,任务全部压在最基层的乡镇一级:资金自行筹募,自行设计、自行建设、自行验收。为满足必须一次验收通过、无楼不成校等硬性任务,各地普遍采取采取一次建校、逐年集资的办法应付建筑商。

也就是说,校车事故大幅减少,很大程度是越来越多的孩子在学校寄宿而不是乘坐校车。
today  china  countryside  children  school  transport  crisis  opinion 
july 2018 by aries1988
Why I Taught My Son to Speak Russian | The New Yorker
As the psycholinguist François Grosjean stresses, language is the product of necessity. If a child discusses, say, hockey only with his Russian-speaking father, he may not learn until later how to say “puck” in English. But he’ll learn when he has to.

I see friends who came over at the same time as I did but didn’t keep up their Russian raising their kids entirely in English. Sometimes I feel sorry for them and all they’re missing; at other times, envious. They have finally liberated themselves from Russia’s yoke, just as their parents wanted them to. They are free to be themselves around their children, to express themselves with ease. They always know the words for scooter and goat and sheep.

Most of us were more comfortable in English than in Russian, and none of us had any wish to repatriate. Why, then, were we doing this? What did we want to pass on to our children, exactly? Certainly nothing about Russia as it is currently constituted. Perhaps it was fitting that we were listening to children’s songs.
english  russia  language  children  learn  story  song  memory  parents  angst 
june 2018 by aries1988
我不完美,也不想做圣母
2. 直接讲出自己的情绪。

许多家长发火是在忍无可忍的情况下突然爆发,往往使孩子无法接受,更加对立,结果导致父母的火气更大。有人据此提出了“发脾气三级法”,也就是,当你感觉自己的愤怒情绪在膨胀时,可分三个等级向孩子讲出自己内心的情绪状况:

第一级:“我对你这样的做法很不高兴”

第二级:“我气极了! ”

第三级:“我马上就要发火了! ”

这比莫名其妙地突然爆发效果,可以使孩子更好地在分级警告面前及时改变自己的行为。
parenting  children  anger  emotion  management 
june 2018 by aries1988
Twitter
RT : 'Labor shortage and low productivity were threatening the future of the Kato farm, on the Japanese island of Hokkai…
ai  video  japan  farming  population  crisis  youth  workforce  research  reportage  fromage  milk  robot  children  family 
may 2018 by aries1988
In China and India, men outnumber women on a massive scale. The consequences are far-reaching. - Washington Post

A combination of cultural preferences, government decree and modern medical technology in the world’s two largest countries has created a gender imbalance on a continental scale. Men outnumber women by 70 million in China and India.

China’s official one-child policy, in effect from 1979 to 2015

Another unintended result — urban housing prices are rising fast.

Around $10,000, Li reckons, will have to be paid to his future bride’s family, just to gain their approval for the engagement. A centuries-old tradition, the bride price in China is similar to a dowry elsewhere in the world, but paid from groom’s family to the bride’s parents — rather than the other way around.
india  china  children  female  crisis  culture  numbers  future 
april 2018 by aries1988
邢福增:下一代靈魂之爭──中國未成年人還可否信教?|端傳媒 Initium Media
中共正以保護未成年人的心身健康成長為名,藉強化社會主義核心價值觀,企圖進一步禁止未成年人參加宗教活動。
religion  china  policy  law  children  catholicism 
february 2018 by aries1988
Kazuo Ishiguro - Nobel Lecture: My Twentieth Century Evening – and Other Small Breakthroughs
As the only foreign boy in the neighbourhood, a kind of local fame followed me around. Other children knew who I was before I met them. Adults who were total strangers to me sometimes addressed me by name in the street or in the local store.

When I look back to this period, and remember it was less than twenty years from the end of a world war in which the Japanese had been their bitter enemies, I'm amazed by the openness and instinctive generosity with which our family was accepted by this ordinary English community. The affection, respect and curiosity I retain to this day for that generation of Britons who came through the Second World War, and built a remarkable new welfare state in its aftermath, derive significantly from my personal experiences from those years.
japan  immigration  gaijin  story  childhood  children  uk  literature  writer  memory  politics  today  world  human  future  manifesto 
february 2018 by aries1988
来福:肆无忌惮的删帖时代,“谣言”才是抵达真相的途径?|一周精选|深度|端传媒 Initium Media
一天之内,发布消息的微信公众号遭到轮番删帖,微博热搜榜也被删去了与此事件相关的关键词。但屏蔽机制这次并没有太奏效,事件的热度接连暴涨,人们既为北京在寒冬里驱逐的外来“低端人口”鸣不平,又为京城里连城市中产的孩子都无法逃离魔掌而感到绝望(编注:该幼儿园的学费为5500元人民币/月)。

“底层”与“中产”,此刻才强烈意识到彼此是休戚与共的命运共同体。

问题在于,我们处在一个正常的社会吗?

在一个正常的社会,当家长发现了自己的孩子身上有针孔,从她的话里得知其在学校可能被陌生人脱光衣服后,一定会报警,警方会迅速介入,控制嫌疑人,启动侦查程序;之后检察院会介入,对案件进行审查起诉,再由法院进行公平裁决,无论嫌疑人有多大背景,司法程序都可以流畅运转;媒体当然也会介入全程,发布详实可信的调查报导;待到事件落幕,整个教育系统会有针对性地启动结构性改革,同时社会组织会推动未成年性教育,使其成为重要的社会议题。

文章在标题把红黄蓝幼儿园虐童事件(以下简称“红黄蓝”事件)和江歌案相提并论,但却不提为什么江歌案事件里几乎没有媒体和自媒体被删帖,而“红黄蓝”事件中,一开始发消息的媒体报导和公众号文章,几乎全都被屏蔽了。不把删帖这个因素考虑进去,单纯地将教科书里的传播学理论拿出来套用在事件上,才是真正的“失焦”。

江歌案可以被随意讨论,那是“人民内部矛盾”,你们怎么撕都无所谓;而这次的事件之所以要“全覆盖、无死角”地删帖,那是因为这已是人民与高墙间的“敌我矛盾”——我们只能这么解读,删帖的规则在“黑盒”里,无法被看到,只能从现象反推回去分析。

此类呼声,无论初心如何,实质上都模糊了问题的真正所在,也是删帖的源头之处。不讨论不受制约的权力,转而以“疑罪从无”的司法原则去谴责沸腾的民意,并以此为接近真相的方式,大概算是中国当代一大奇观。
opinion  essay  2017  beijing  scandal  children  kid  media  communication  academia 
november 2017 by aries1988
A Stranger at the Family Table | The New Yorker

fundamentally, we are a traditional Chinese family, and this is no more clearly seen than in the way we interact with one another, in the things we reveal about ourselves. We do not admit weakness or sadness. Romantic heartbreak, depression, existential doubts—those are topics of conversation that belong to different cultures and younger generations, educated people who know about Freud and psychotherapy and organic vegetables. Vulnerability is shameful, even taboo; and in the spectrum of human shortcomings, poverty is the greatest frailty. All that is broken must remain in the past.

With my cousins in rural Perak and Kelantan, I spoke a pidgin of Malay, Mandarin, English, and Cantonese. I became quite skilled quite young at modulating my speech to suit whomever I was speaking to. I knew what proportion of Malay or Mandarin or colloquial English to use, and in what situation, knew when to swear in Cantonese, knew when to be correct, when to be urban-cool, when to be country-direct.
banyan  family  story  children  hardship  immigrant  mentality  grandparent  parents  malaysia 
november 2017 by aries1988
I'm Finally Ready To Talk About How My Parents Died
Icky’s death was real. From his passing, I learned that death involves recognition of the life that has passed. It brings people together. It follows a logical process. My parents’ deaths did not follow these rules. Rather, it was unexpected, chaotic, and horrifying. It was an explosion that tore through my life and left a film of dusty, smoky particulate in its wake. Immediately after, you are choking and sputtering and gasping for lack of clean air. Eventually, time lets you breathe easier. You think you may have escaped unscathed, but the poison you inhaled settles in any chasm it can find. Let it simmer a good 10 years and it may just become a cancer. Eating you alive all the while without you even knowing it.
killing  crime  murder  death  children  growup  story  memory  parents  loss  love  couple 
october 2017 by aries1988
颱風夜裡的「機器人」守護神 - 那瑪夏的圖書館|端傳媒 Initium Media
土石流沖進學校,淹沒童年的痕跡,也讓蔡劭儀的小學時光在不斷遷徙中度過。
children  kid  school  taiwan  architecture  library 
october 2017 by aries1988
Joe DiMaggio Babysat My Daughter at the Airport | Reader's Digest
She was very, very upset. She said, “I can’t believe you’ve let this family come apart. I can’t believe this child will grow up without a father.” (Which was never true and has never been true since.)
story  luck  destiny  airport  parents  children  career  research  university  couple  marriage 
october 2017 by aries1988
Judith Kerr on refugees, Hitler and ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’

We loved the change, the interest of different places, and learning a language. I think the language is a huge thing because something that appears impossible, suddenly you find you’ve done it. I loved the brevity of French after the endless sentences in German. In 1935, two years after arriving in Paris speaking no French, she and her brother finished top in French in the final exams, she writes.
children  book  writing  writer  uk  ww2  nazi  kid  memory  refugee  france 
october 2017 by aries1988
The school beneath the wave: the unimaginable tragedy of Japan’s tsunami
The trick is to preserve compassion without bearing each individual tragedy as your own;

In ancient times, this region of Japan, known as Tōhoku, was a notorious frontier realm of barbarians, goblins and bitter cold. Even today, it remains a remote, marginal, faintly melancholy place, the symbol of a rural tradition that, for city-dwellers, is no more than a folk memory.

Then darkness overcame him. Everyone who experienced the tsunami saw, heard and smelled something subtly different. Much depended upon where you were, and the obstacles that the water had to overcome to reach you. Some described a waterfall, cascading over sea wall and embankment. For others, it was a fast-rising flood between houses, deceptively slight at first, tugging trippingly at the feet and ankles, but quickly sucking and battering at legs and chests and shoulders. In colour, it was described as brown, grey, black, white.

A clock in a second-floor classroom at Okawa elementary school, which stopped at 3.36pm, about 50 minutes after the earthquake.
japan  earthquake  tsunami  school  human  error  children  death  japanese  2011  instapaper_favs  management  fail  2011/3/11 
october 2017 by aries1988
Lucy Kellaway: why we went back to school
The person who came closest to how I felt was Lara Agnew, a documentary film-maker. “I’ve spent my life commenting on the fabric of society,” she said. “I want to be in the fabric of society, not outside looking on.”

Many of the applicants had not set foot in a school since they attended one themselves 30 or 40 years earlier, and so were sent off for a week’s immersion. This weeded out all those who had a fond vision of themselves as Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society. It also got rid of those unsuited to the rigidity of school life. One man was told to leave after his first day — he had sat at the back of class checking his emails and then proceeded to go to sleep.

If nothing else, we will bring diversity to the staff room, where most teachers are youngish and female. By contrast, we are mostly oldish and two-thirds male — and stick out so much that various trainees were mistaken for Ofsted inspectors at the schools they visited. There is a delicious irony here: these corporate men have been used to being the ruling class all their professional life but now are going to be the persecuted minority.

Watching them, I realised what I am giving up to train to be a teacher, as well as income, time and autonomy: a life-long tendency towards cynicism. This has served me well for 32 years as a journalist, but now I fear that it is going to get in the way.
teaching  teacher  career  50s  life  choice  society  children  school 
october 2017 by aries1988
感伤的旅程(下) | 最好金龟换酒

有一天晚上读绘本的时候,她习惯性地想从书页上拿一个巧克力甜甜圈假装吃,但手指忽然在下一秒僵在半空——

我今天尿裤子了,她的表情羞涩中带着遗憾,不能吃巧克力甜甜圈……

真想把那毫无自觉的天真装进什么容器里保存下来啊!在这样的时刻我还是很喜欢她的,就好像一只母鸡带着困惑的好奇发现自己孵出了一只不同的品种。

自从她迈入terrible two,开启了人生第一个叛逆期,几乎每天都有大大小小的战役在家中打响——无论想不想要都先说不要,后悔了又鬼哭狼嚎;什么事情都想要自己做,能力配不上野心又气得跳脚;情绪堪称瞬息万变,毫无征兆就可以随时翻脸;脾气坏起来简直像个出租车司机,被批评时打岔找借口的本领又堪比法律界人士……

育儿书里常强调父母需要温柔而坚定
children  fun  book  parents 
september 2017 by aries1988
梁文道:和朱元璋學國學

尤其大陸正在流行所謂的「國學教育」,傳聞連習近平也很欣賞近年大熱的《弟子規》,要孩子們多多誦讀這類「經典」,簡直就是蔣介石昔年在台灣發動「中華文化復興運動」的翻版。香港若是也來這套,我們的學生乖乖地跟着學嗎?他們多半是要把「國學」等同於洗腦的吧。

如果國學教育教的就是《弟子規》,我會很同情那些受苦的學生的。因為這本清朝一個秀才寫給販夫走卒看的識字讀本,不只不能代表國學,甚至連符不符合儒家精神都很難講。

要知道在傳統秩序的框架底下,忠往往是孝的延展,所以要人無條件地孝,也就相當於要人無條件地忠。如果說這就是中國文化的精粹,是儒家的真精神,那就真是太過冤枉列代聖賢了。

真正的儒家不接受無條件的忠順,正所謂「君君、臣臣、父父、子子」,當國君的要有當國君的樣子,做臣子的也才能有做臣子的表現。這一切倫常政治關係皆是相互規約,要求雙方各盡本份的。

儒門弟子真正值得獻身景從的對象,不是一個人甚至一個政權,而是充盈於宇宙之間,萬古恒健的天地正道。

不過,要是這麼教儒家,這麼教國學,學生又會不會變得容易激進,破壞了社會的繁榮安定呢?所以除了鼓勵他們好好背完《弟子規》算數,不妨也參考一下明太祖朱元璋的辦法。
2017  china  education  children  confucianism  state 
september 2017 by aries1988
Aux Etats-Unis, la révolution éducative des charter schools

J'ai visité de nombreux établissements scolaires aux États-Unis. Je le fais dans tous les pays où je passe, dès que je le peux. Les écoles me semblent être les marqueurs tangibles de la situation véritable d'une nation. Il y a toujours un lien entre l'investissement des États dans les systèmes éducatifs et leur niveau de développement.

C'est la volonté délibérée des «élites locales», qui investissent leurs ressources nationales dans des armées et des forces de police, c'est-à-dire dans les moyens de faire perdurer leur domination féodale.
education  usa  leader  idea  reform  school  comparison  français  children  learn 
september 2017 by aries1988
Opinion | Still No Dignity for Chinese Women

The birth control regime reaches beyond family life. The government forbids single women from using “assisted reproductive technology,” which includes the freezing of eggs and in vitro fertilization. This year the prominent Chinese actress Xu Jinglei said that she had gone to the United States to freeze her eggs. The particular discrimination faced by single women will not change under the two-child policy.

The web is now awash with promotional materials encouraging couples to have a second child, which in light of the recent exhortations to have only one child seems like a cruel joke.
china  policy  children  population  female 
august 2017 by aries1988
Growing Up As An Untouchable
What I was told was that we were Christians. Christians, untouchables—it came to the same thing. All Christians in India were untouchable, as far as I knew (though only a small minority of all untouchables are Christian).

Christians, untouchables—it came to the same thing. All Christians in India were untouchable, as far as I knew (though only a small minority of all untouchables are Christian).

I knew no Christian who did not turn servile in the presence of a Hindu. I knew no Hindu who did not look right through a Christian man standing in front of him as if he did not exist.

Excerpted from Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India by Sujatha Gidla. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Copyright © 2017 by Sujatha Gidla. All rights reserved.
india  book  story  family  caste  revolution  religion  children  teenager 
august 2017 by aries1988
Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?
More comfortable in their bedrooms than in a car or at a party, today’s teens are physically safer than teens have ever been. They’re markedly less likely to get into a car accident and, having less of a taste for alcohol than their predecessors, are less susceptible to drinking’s attendant ills.

Gen X managed to stretch adolescence beyond all previous limits: Its members started becoming adults earlier and finished becoming adults later. Beginning with Millennials and continuing with iGen, adolescence is contracting again—but only because its onset is being delayed. Across a range of behaviors—drinking, dating, spending time unsupervised— 18-year-olds now act more like 15-year-olds used to, and 15-year-olds more like 13-year-olds. Childhood now stretches well into high school.
essay  teenager  generation  crisis  device  iphone  parenting  children  health  technology  2010s  moi  sociology  psychology 
august 2017 by aries1988
FT correspondent’s warm memories of difficult days in Madrid

There was anger, to be sure, but it was directed at people you saw on television, not in the street. Spaniards cursed the corrupt politicians and the reckless bankers who had created this mess, and those merciless austerians in Brussels and Berlin who were telling them how to get out of it. But I never saw a bad word directed at the young west African migrant selling pirate DVDs outside my house, or the foreign lady begging outside my local supermarket. Neighbours would greet them every morning, like people who belonged to the barrio. Madrid, and the country at large, came through the crisis with reserves of solidarity and grace that were at times hard to fathom, and harder still to forget.

Of all the big capitals in Europe, it is probably the most relaxed and un­hurried. It is a city of long lunches and long nights, a city where people walk slowly and stop frequently, with none of the stand-right-walk-left efficiency that has been bred into the denizens of London or New York.

Madrid is a place where people know you — and make you know them. The fishmonger remembers your partner had a knee operation and wants to know about her recovery. The waiter remembers how you like to drink your coffee. The office receptionist knows which football team you support, and how far he can tease you after a weekend defeat. The garage attendant knows your son’s favourite cartoon character and has saved some stickers as a gift. Everyone advises, argues and talks. Everything is everyone’s business, for good and for bad. Mostly for good, I think.

I will miss many things about the Spanish capital: the food, the Prado museum, the elegant Retiro park in the centre and the snow-capped mountains to the north. I will miss the little restaurant near my office, with its white-and-green tablecloths and menu for less than €10. I will miss speeding through the Madrid dawn towards the splendid Atocha railway station, the starting point for so many reporting trips. I will miss the fact that beer is served ice cold and in tiny glasses, and that ham is not a food to eat but a universe to discover.
expat  espagna  madrid  story  life  quartier  children 
august 2017 by aries1988
How castles became monuments to myth and whimsy

Here’s the romance: this church was dedicated to St Mary, then a patroness of militant types because her womb was deemed impregnable, except to God. Shown in medieval paintings and tapestries in a paradise garden, her symbolic hortus conclusus is very conclusive indeed, bound and defended by locked gates and crenellations. So whole castles like Santa Maria da Feira in Portugal took her name, along with chapels serving castles from Prague to Dover.

The psychologist Bruno Bettelheim suggests we all hold a psychological disposition toward castles, and as children conjure them to process our understanding of the world. He wrote: “ ‘Once in an old castle in the midst of a large and dense forest’ — such beginnings suggest that what follows does not pertain to the here and now that we know . . . The old castles, dark caves, locked rooms one is forbidden to enter . . . all suggest that something normally hidden will be revealed.”

Ryman went on to design the Cinderella Castle in Orlando, completed in 1971 at 183ft. This concrete and fibreglass construction looks more French, specifically the 15th-century Château de Saumur. There are now six Disney centrepiece castles, designed as variants of a theme, the latest in Shanghai completed in 2016, which Disney describes as “seven towers, two of which embody the guiding creative principle of Shanghai Disneyland”. And yes, it also has a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
romantic  caste  children  architecture  design  disney  disneyland  west  tale  history 
august 2017 by aries1988
Plus que cinq dodos sans les enfants !
Toute l’année, on attend les vacances pour souffler un peu et prendre du temps pour soi. Mais le moment de la séparation est redouté tant par les parents que par leur progéniture.
parents  children  education  self  family  couple  vacation 
august 2017 by aries1988
Want To Teach Your Kids Self-Control? Ask A Cameroonian Farmer
The "marshmallow test" is a famous experiment for studying kids' self-control. For the first time, a psychologist gave the test to kids outside Western culture. And they crushed it.
moi  children  comparison  psychology  germany  africa  cameroon 
july 2017 by aries1988
Thomas Pesquet : « Quand on aperçoit l’ISS, c’est “Star Wars” ! »

la pollution atmosphérique – je n’ai jamais pu prendre une photo de Pékin, par exemple. Voir tout cela, non plus seulement l’intellectualiser, ça change quelque chose.

L’aviation, l’espace, étaient-ils vos rêves de gamin ?

Quand j’avais 4 ans, c’est un de mes premiers souvenirs, mon père m’avait fabriqué un vaisseau spatial avec des cartons. Il avait placé des coussins dedans, un manche et un cadran sur le rabat. J’y ai passé du temps, dans ma navette spatiale en carton, jusqu’à ce qu’elle parte à la poubelle parce que je ne voulais pas venir manger…

Plus tard, avec mon frère, on allait à la maison de la presse acheter des magazines d’aviation. J’adorais les posters avec des « écorchés » d’avion, on détaillait leur structure, on avait tous les éléments, ça faisait un peu comme les Lego Technic. Toute mon adolescence, j’ai continué à lire, à regarder des films sur l’aviation, mais je n’ai jamais pris l’avion et je ne connaissais personne dans ce milieu.
story  astronaut  français  children  science  family  school  education 
june 2017 by aries1988
The truth about children and social media

Young people are tech insiders, but in a very different sense from those I am used to interviewing. They are social-media critics, digital-content connoisseurs, mobile natives. They aren’t loyal to the big technology giants such as Facebook or Microsoft. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of YouTube’s catalogue and Snapchat shortcuts, and are the harshest critics and earliest adopters of new consumer apps.

Instead, the children I spent time with were heavy users of Snapchat and Instagram but not necessarily just to reach out to friends. For them, it is a way to find, crystallise and assert the most intimate parts of their identity — including sexuality, ancestry or body image.

We noticed a gender split, especially with Instagram — girls expressed a massively more negative perception of how it affected their body image than boys did.

Perhaps what adults need to understand is that for today’s children, online spaces are not a distraction but a place where they enact real-world relationships and experiment with who they are.
children  device 
june 2017 by aries1988
How to make cities more child-friendly
Raising children in the city is stressful. However, most parents now do it. For the first time ever, a majority of humans (including children) live in urban areas. Even dense metropoles such as New York and London are filling with kids. These cities were designed by men who didn’t do childcare, and it shows.

Throw into this mix another lethal piece of tech: the iPad, the robot babysitter. Instead of spending your afternoon chivvying your kids, you can now just let them zone out to the video game Clash Royale. This is especially attractive when air pollution (largely car-induced) makes it, at times, officially unsafe for them to go outside. That’s a common event in London, and standard in the children’s dystopia (and therefore failed city) Beijing.

Cities also need to use their spaces more. Civic buildings could house play centres on evenings and weekends. When offices and supermarkets are closed, their car parks should be used for football or skateboarding. School playgrounds should stay open at weekends, and floodlit parks after dark. Already, schemes such as London Play allow residents to request that their streets be briefly pedestrianised, typically on Sundays, letting locals go outside and meet each other. “We invite the elderly neighbours, and make sure there is tea and cake out,” says Sam Williams, a landscape architect at Arup who studies child-friendly cities.
parents  children  play  city  opinion  future  kid 
may 2017 by aries1988
At Waldorf School in Silicon Valley, Technology Can Wait - The New York Times
While other schools in the region brag about their wired classrooms, the Waldorf school embraces a simple, retro look — blackboards with colorful chalk, bookshelves with encyclopedias, wooden desks filled with workbooks and No. 2 pencils.

On a recent Tuesday, Andie Eagle and her fifth-grade classmates refreshed their knitting skills, crisscrossing wooden needles around balls of yarn, making fabric swatches. It’s an activity the school says helps develop problem-solving, patterning, math skills and coordination. The long-term goal: make socks.

Down the hall, a teacher drilled third-graders on multiplication by asking them to pretend to turn their bodies into lightning bolts. She asked them a math problem — four times five — and, in unison, they shouted “20” and zapped their fingers at the number on the blackboard. A roomful of human calculators.

In second grade, students standing in a circle learned language skills by repeating verses after the teacher, while simultaneously playing catch with bean bags. It’s an exercise aimed at synchronizing body and brain. Here, as in other classes, the day can start with a recitation or verse about God that reflects a nondenominational emphasis on the divine.

parents of students at the Los Altos school say it attracts great teachers who go through extensive training in the Waldorf approach, creating a strong sense of mission that can be lacking in other schools.
education  technology  debate  children  learn  philosophy 
april 2017 by aries1988
Qui apporte les œufs de Pâques ?

Le lièvre et le lapin de Pâques, eux, ne prolifèrent pas. Leur emprise géographique a des limites, qui dessinent peu ou prou la carte du protestantisme. La légende serait née en Allemagne, avant de s’étendre aux Etats-Unis, au Royaume-Uni, ainsi que dans toute l’Europe centrale, jusqu’en Alsace et Moselle.

Pourquoi des mammifères ont-ils été choisis pour apporter des œufs aux enfants, au risque de semer la confusion dans leurs jeunes esprits ? Parce que le lapin, qui se reproduit au printemps, est le symbole de la fécondité, et donc de la vie – les croyances païennes ne sont jamais loin.
folklore  france  children 
april 2017 by aries1988
Et vous, voterez-vous comme vos parents ?

Qu’il soit accepté ou rejeté, l’héritage parental est très présent au moment de choisir son candidat. Cette élection si surprenante favorise aussi des échanges riches en famille, même en cas de désaccords.

Des aïeux héroïques continuent parfois d’inspirer des choix politiques : résistants chez des gaullistes, républicains espagnols chez des communistes… Et plus généralement des bribes de conversations, des habitudes prises par imprégnation.

Cette dernière crée plutôt un lien, même en cas de désaccord. « C’est le sujet qui nous permet de communiquer, de nous engueuler, de s’opposer de façon légitime, et aussi sans doute de faire passer de l’émotion sans être dans l’intime », relate Nancy, 47 ans. « Mon père m’appelle tous les jours pour me convaincre de voter Macron, raconte Julien, 21 ans, qui prévoit de voter Hamon. Ce sont les conversations les plus substantielles que j’ai eues avec lui. »
family  français  politics  heritage  children  parents 
april 2017 by aries1988
The bilingual brain: why one size doesn’t fit all

Studying white matter – which is primarily composed of axons, the long, slender projectiles shunting signals across a nerve cell – is a way to measure connectivity between brain regions. If we think of the human brain as water in a cup (the cup being our skull), then white matter is like a straw in that cup: it constricts water flow in the direction that the axons are travelling. One common DTI measure, fractional anisotropy (FA), maps the overall shape of water flow in the brain. Another more specific measure, radial diffusivity (RD), helps researchers to pinpoint weak spots in the side of the straw, places where water might ‘leak’ out. In the healthy brain, researchers have long held, white matter will show high FA (flow in a single direction) and low RD (leaking of water in other directions).

Specifically, more time spent listening to the second language was associated with lower RD in regions associated with language production (the anterior portion of the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus). More time spent speaking the second language was associated with higher FA in regions of the brain associated with language comprehension.
brain  research  language  debate  children 
march 2017 by aries1988
High-pressure parenting
the habits of the British upper classes in much of the 20th century: the business of child-rearing was largely outsourced to nannies and boarding schools.

As the West industrialised and grew richer and medicine and sanitation improved, death rates fell. Maturing economies had less need of child labour, and more need of the labour of adult women – work which took them out of the home and reduced their ability to care for large broods. What’s more, as both survival rates and the returns on education rose, the imperative when having children shifted from quantity to quality. Investing more in children’s socialisation and education served the interests of both parents and offspring.

The right specialisation, it seemed, was for skilled parents to work outside the home, where they could earn lots of money, and then use some of that lucre to hire child-care professionals to rear the little ones.

Instead of increasingly outsourcing child-rearing, parents are devoting more of the scarce time left outside working hours to their children. Over the last two decades, time spent by parents on child-rearing has jumped.
Mothers without university degrees now spend about 16 hours per week on child care, while those with degrees spend nearly 22 hours per week. For fathers the figures are seven and ten, respectively. This pattern is repeated across the rich world.

High-income parents are instead spending less time on other personal activities, including sleep.

//

Getting ready for university was a big deal. But there was no urgency to get into the best school possible, whatever the cost. Rather, school was a practical step on the path toward a sturdy, dependable career. You went to university to learn, first and foremost: to pick up the skills needed to find a trade. And while it might be nice to go to an elite institution, state schools provided great value for money.

I didn’t have one, other than pride, and I wasn’t proud enough at the time to go to the trouble of applying to Ivy League schools. I wasn’t certain what I wanted to do when I grew up, and it seemed to me that to justify going someplace fancy one needed to want to do something that really required one to go to that someplace, whatever that something might be. My parents are accountants. I knew I didn’t want to do that, but not much else. I was good at maths, so I thought I would be an engineer. The state school nearby was strong in engineering, cheap and willing to offer me a scholarship. Job done.

//

the more wrenching and decisive those years immediately before matriculation seemed to become, the earlier and the more aggressively parents and children prepared their case for the admissions officers.

By the age of 17, children were expected to have lived a full and complete life, developed their whole selves and undergone one or more personal epiphanies.

The marathon ends with a sprint: a burst of intense preparation for placement tests and demanding university applications and interviews, at the end of which, if all goes right, the young ones are launched into the nurturing confines of a top university, which themselves are a waiting room for an adult life of consequence, a distinguished dotage and an obituary the envy of all the other strivers.

activities outside the realm of scholarship: the enriching spheres of athletics, personal interests and community service. The marathon ends with a sprint: a burst of intense preparation for placement tests and demanding university applications and interviews, at the end of which, if all goes right, the young ones are launched into the nurturing confines of a top university, which themselves are a waiting room for an adult life of consequence, a distinguished dotage and an obituary the envy of all the other strivers.

We can lament the problems with the system, but when the other parents bring out the flashcards, we feel bound to as well.

Efforts to pick apart the value added by the universities themselves find that there is some, but that elite schools are not, as a rule, the ones that do the best job improving students’ earning potential.

Parents are investing massive amounts of time preparing their children to win a race that cannot be won.

Like her father, she is disorganised and struggles to find the motivation to do tasks that don’t interest her. (My three-year-old son, on the other hand, is a determined perfectionist, like his mother.) I want to help teach them how to follow their passions, and how to strive for the things they want, rather than for empty markers of success. But I am discovering that I don’t know how to channel their personalities and interests towards a good, happy, fulfilled life any more than I knew what to do with myself, scared in that freshman dorm room. But I am discovering that I don’t know how to channel their personalities and interests towards a good, happy, fulfilled life any more than I knew what to do with myself, scared in that freshman dorm room.
university  history  trend  story  kid  moi  youth  future  success  education  parenting  children  comparison  today  usa 
march 2017 by aries1988
壁下观 #39: 「观二代」是怎么养成的

育儿兹事体大,如今各类育儿经验和教学文章越来越多,而中国教育体系里一向疲弱的美育,也越来越受到新一代父母的重视。以「壁下观」为宗旨的主播们,是如何培养自己的「观二代」的?超人夫妇的女儿在四个月大时就已经踏足壁下,四处观赏壁画、雕像、古建筑。本期我们就来听听她们的育儿观。
children  travel  driving  family  fun  art  history  china  kid 
february 2017 by aries1988
Killing Animals at the Zoo

The modern defense of zoos tends to refer to four achievements: education, conservation, scientific research, and the societal benefit of getting people out of the house. Much of this is often packed into a single claim, which may be true even if it is unsupported by good evidence: zoos are said to cause people to value wild animals more than they otherwise would, thereby improving the survival prospects of threatened species.

His manner, like that of Richard Dawkins, combines reserve and certainty in a way that can suggest adolescence: sometimes, when countering one of his critics, he reddens slightly, and half smiles.

An animal can be a city’s shared pet, or it can be a quasi-agricultural team member whose work is to be seen and to breed and, perhaps, to die young. The Copenhagen Zoo, more than most others, aims to include virtually every animal in the second category, and to avoid what Holst likes to call the Disneyfication of nature.

the Copenhagen Zoo adheres to a practice known as breed and cull. The case for this policy, which is followed by many other zoos in Europe, if with less gusto, is this: because contraception carries medical risks, and because animals can become infertile if they don’t breed, and because zoos must deprive animals of many natural behaviors, it’s important to allow them to mate and raise infants. Why take that away? Holst asked me.

The global giraffe population has declined by nearly forty per cent in the past thirty years

a strand of Danish animal exceptionalism. Danes aren’t unusually careless about animal welfare, but there’s a tradition of pragmatism—or, a critic could say, an insular and self-congratulatory moral laxity—about animal death.

a school of Danish thought, in the early twentieth century, that stressed a greater openness around sex and death and gross bodily functions. He noted that Denmark was the first country in the world to legalize pornography, in the late sixties.

I mean, when you’re dead you’re dead, Holst said to me at one point. And animals don’t have any expectations of what happens after death, or that they could have had a longer life.
zoo  children  education  debate  ethic  culture  dane  denmark  animal  life  instapaper_favs 
january 2017 by aries1988
FT correspondent James Crabtree on bringing up a baby in Mumbai

For the next two years I wrote happily about Indian business for the FT while we travelled avidly at weekends, from skiing in the Himalayas to tiger safaris in Madhya Pradesh.

Walking through an Indian airport with my son is perhaps the closest I will come to celebrity, as heads turned to watch the baby, and strangers approached, embarrassed and smiling, asking for selfies.

Back at home, we learnt the benefits of being parents in India, not least the plentiful childcare. There was even the unheard of option of night nurses, women who stay through the night to help look after the baby, allowing parents to rest. We turned that down, thinking we should learn the hard way, perplexing Indian friends. Others seemed confused that we put Alexander to bed at the primly European hour of 7pm, while many Indian babies head off to sleep rather closer to midnight.

It is often said that India is a land of contrasts, but few are more jarring than that between the grim conditions in which many children live and the profoundly child-loving culture in the country as a whole.

I hope Alexander comes to enjoy his secret Indian middle name. And even if he does not, I will remember fondly how he came to have it, and even more so the country that welcomed him into the world.

Charming colonial architecture
story  children  parenting  india  expat  uk  travel  name  tradition  culture 
november 2016 by aries1988
The Spanish Lesson I Never Got at School

With Spanish’s endearments and ample use of the subjunctive tense and the diminutive, I have learned that to know a language is to enter into another way of being.

My father, for example, is a charming man in English, a language he has spoken fluently for a half-century. In Spanish, however, his full talents as a sardonic raconteur are on display; he’s even prone to the occasional philosophical soliloquy. My mother is a fluent English speaker, but in Spanish she’s a storyteller with a deeply romantic bent and a flair for the ironic.

For Latino immigrant children, Spanish is the key that unlocks the untranslatable wisdom of their elders, and that reveals the subtle truths in their family histories. It’s a source of self-knowledge, a form of cultural capital. They are smarter, in fact, for each bit of Spanish they keep alive in their bilingual brains. And they are more likely to see the absurdity in the rants of xenophobes and racists.
children  language  education  school  bilingual  opinion  politics  usa  espagna  family  literature  personality  brain 
november 2016 by aries1988
为什么会有《十万个为什么》|大象公会
真正有《十万个为什么》色彩的“问答体”书面作品,是 16 世纪宗教改革运动以来的基督教要理(Catechism),即用来教导学生学习基本教义和圣礼的纲要性文件。1529 年,马丁·路德发表《大要理》和《小要理》,前者是针对牧师、教师和成人信众的教学手册,后者则面向被他们教导的群众,用问答形式宣传教义。

▍受国内学界时况影响,“工农兵版”《十万》收录了问题“为什么说‘宇宙膨胀’论是错误的”,正文首句即下结论称宇宙膨胀论是“唯心论和形而上学宇宙观的一个代表”,并批评了六十年代以来在国际学界颇具影响力的“大爆炸理论”
history  china  book  children  encyclopedia  kid  1960s  mao  chinese  science  education  moi 
october 2016 by aries1988
Aberfan - 50 years on

It was a normal October day for a small mining village, where it had been raining for what seemed like forever
story  disaster  children  school  wales  death  comparison  coal  mining  accident  closure  ptsd  family  tragedy 
october 2016 by aries1988
Teaching Your Child Emotional Agility
“We see expressions like ‘boys don’t cry’ and ‘we don’t do anger here,’ or ‘brush it off,’” she said. “We do it with very good intentions, but we are teaching that emotions are to be feared.”

Feel It. While it may seem obvious to feel emotions, many families focus on pushing away negative emotions. “When we’re saying ‘don’t be sad, don’t be angry, don’t be jealous, don’t be selfish,’ we’re not coming to the child in the reality of her emotion,” she said. “Validate and see your child as a sentient person who has her own emotional world.”
children  emotion  learn  kid 
october 2016 by aries1988
Sing to me in Vietnamese: A daughter learns the language of her refugee parents through song
A Vietnamese-American woman stays in touch with her cultural roots through language and song. But which languages will she pass on to her own children?
podcast  vietnam  heritage  language  children  parents  gaijin  usa 
september 2016 by aries1988
Back to School, in a New Country

No, I insisted. I wasn’t going to ask anyone. I didn’t want some American sales clerk knowing I couldn’t understand simple, elementary-school English. We’d look for that Ziploc bag in another store. I wasn’t about to let anyone think we were Middle Eastern immigrants coming here to steal jobs from honest Americans. I would not be responsible for a surge in Islamophobia over a Ziploc bag.
story  gaijin  usa  children  shopping  school 
september 2016 by aries1988
Pitt ocha - Ces petits riens - YouTube
Une poupée qui pleure, ou un tamagoshi,
un pistolet laser, le même que sur Gulli,
jeux vidéo, Luigi et Mario :
tous ces cadeaux, j'en ai déjà bien trop !

Le paradis des dessins animés,
moins vingt pour cent sur le dernier coffret Disney,
nouveau robot, nouveau "made in China" :
ces cadeaux-là, j'en ai plein les bras !

Papa, Maman, je suis en pleine croissance.
Pour mes dix ans, écoutez-moi bien :
apprenez-moi un peu la décroissance,
ces petits riens, je n'en ai pas besoin.

Un ordinateur, une télé 3D :
tous ces écrans m'assomment de publicité.
Manger, bouger, c'est pour votre santé,
et on finit avec les yeux carrés.

Think different, enjoy Coca-Cola,
je dois secouer sinon la pulpe elle reste en bas !
Quand H&M me tape sur le système,
on va fluncher : je vais bientôt craquer !

Papa, Maman, vous avez de la chance,
car, aujourd'hui, parce que je le vaux bien,
apprenez-moi plutôt la décroissance,
ces petits riens, je n'en ai pas besoin.

Ecoute ça !
Digimon Pokemon Ipod Ipad Iphone
Petshop Charlotte bracelets en plastoc
Polly Pocket Barbie Spiderman Gormiti
Beyblade Transformers Skylanders Hello Kitty
Picapicapicachou, il est pas mignon du tout
Mc Queen et Martin ne sont pas des vrais copains
Et toi, t'as mis ton Freegun ?

Quand on est déprimé, aller à l'UGC,
manger des hamburgers trop gras et trop salés.
Au paradis du centre commercial,
même à crédit, j'y mettrai plus les pieds.

Emmenez-moi dans une caravane,
paraît qu'il y a des gens qui vivent dans la Taïga.
Apprenez-moi la cuisine occitane,
le mystérieux langage des Incas.

Papa, Maman, puisque la terre est ronde,
pour mes dix ans, écoutez-moi bien :
allons ensemble découvrir le monde,
c'est plus malin que faire les magasins.

Papa, Maman, puisque la vie est belle,
ouvrons nos yeux et ouvrons nos bras,
larguons le reste et faisons-nous la belle :
je crois vraiment que le bonheur est là !
français  children  song  lyric 
september 2016 by aries1988
Why Singapore’s kids are so good at maths

Aiming to move away from simple rote-learning and to focus instead on teaching children how to problem solve, the textbooks the group produced were influenced by educational psychologists such as the American Jerome Bruner, who posited that people learn in three stages: by using real objects, then pictures, and then through symbols. That theory contributed to Singapore’s strong emphasis on modelling mathematical problems with visual aids; using coloured blocks to represent fractions or ratios, for example.

A switch from an ability-based model of individualised learning, to a model [which says that] all children are capable of anything, depending on how it is presented to them and the effort which they put into learning it.

unlike Singapore’s office buildings, which are so deeply chilled by air conditioning that workers regularly wrap themselves in sweaters, the classrooms are open to the tropical humidity. Ceiling fans stir the air and the chatter of other children sometimes drifts through the open windows.

Meritocracy is an element of the glue that binds Singapore together. Alongside the promise of shared prosperity and security, the idea that the brightest can rise to the top is a component of the political bargain that the city-state has struck with its citizens, under which some political freedoms are restricted in exchange for significant material benefits.

Singaporeans frequently use the Hokkien Chinese word kiasu to describe themselves. The term translates as being afraid to lose out
investigation  interview  singapore  asia  education  children  learn  methodology  comparison  uk  crisis  world  future  creativity  debate  society  history  reportage 
july 2016 by aries1988
From Pokémon Red to Pokémon Go, How Nintendo's Video Game Franchise Captured the Experience of Leaving Home - The Atlantic
The original Pokémon (first released for the Game Boy in 1996) is a bildungsroman, or coming-of-age-story, disguised as a bug-collecting challenge.

It works because it captures the original game’s spirit of exploration, even if its players said goodbye to their childhood home years ago.

The way Tajiri describes his childhood in that interview alludes to the game’s bildungsroman quality, that of a child learning about the world around him by physically grappling with it. “If I put my hand in the river, I would get a crayfish. If there was a stick over a hole, it would create an air bubble and I'd find insects there,” he said. “In Japan, a lot of kids like to go out and catch beetles by putting honey on a piece of tree bark. My idea was to put a stone under a tree, because they slept during the day and like sleeping under stones. So in the morning I'd go pick up the stone and find them. Tiny discoveries like that made me excited.”

it’s still managed to turn its fans into a nation of Dr. Bugs, even if we aren’t turning over stones or baiting trees with honey. At its best, it can evoke a little wonder in the mundane world around us—or force us to realize the world we live in was never mundane in the first place.
game  children  iOS  animal  insect  discovery  nature  nostalgia  city  essay  neighborhood 
july 2016 by aries1988
The American Promise in a Free Refill - The New Yorker

I returned to the booth with a fresh Fanta and delivered the news. It was the first time since arriving in Illinois that we smiled as a family. Refill was the first word my toddler son spoke in English, and when I heard him say it I felt some small new hope about our prospects in America.
gaijin  usa  culture  children  food  fun  instapaper_favs 
july 2016 by aries1988
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