How Teens Benefit From Reading About the Struggles of Scientists

Originally published on NPR’s MindShift on May 10, 2016. What kind of people can become scientists?  When a group of researchers posed that question to ninth- and 10th-graders, almost every student gave empowering responses, such as “People who work hard” or “Anyone who seems interested in the field of science.” But despite these generalized beliefs,…

“Let’s Find Out!”: Three Tips for Raising Curious Kids

Young children are naturally curious. They have an itch to explore their world and figure out how things work. And parents have compelling reasons to foster this inherent inquisitiveness. Curiosity is tied to academic achievement, with research showing “unequivocally that when people are curious about something, they learn more, and better.” According to one study,…

How Caring for Living Things Helps Kids Build Empathy

Before leaving for preschool this morning, my four-year-old checked on her jar of ladybug larvae, watered her little flower garden and shared a bagel with her little brother.  She may not know the term, but she was practicing empathy. Empathy is a skill – one that we can cultivate and strengthen with practice. It requires us…

Creative Play: The Real Work of Childhood

Ever notice how kids often have more fun playing with an empty box than with what was inside of it? That’s their imagination at work, and as parents, we should not underestimate how vital it is to nurture this creative spirit. Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson explains that creativity is “the process of having original…