Anya Kamenetz

Peers Are Powerful: Using Positive Social Norms to Tackle Unhealthy Behaviors

No one ever shows up at brunch and says, “Oh my gosh, I was so sober last night!”
Risky behavior draws attention. As a result, people tend to assume that everyone else is doing it more than they really are.
But, over the last two decades, research on college campuses has shown that giving students the real facts about their peers reduces unsafe drinking. This approach is called positive social norms. It works because of a basic truth of human nature: People want to do what others are doing.

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How To Talk To Young People About The Kavanaugh Story

Young people around the country are among those joining the debate over Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh in 1982, when both were teenagers.
What are teens learning from all this? And how should adults be handling this conversation?
One night during the summer of 2017, a teenager named Francesca in Virginia was assaulted by a classmate: “I was pinned down and he fondled my breasts and sexually assaulted me.” We’re only using her first name because she’s 15 years old.

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Five Proven Benefits Of Play

It may be a new school year, yet I come to sing the praises of trampolines and bubble-blowing, pillow forts and peekaboo, Monopoly and Marco Polo.

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‘Lies My Teacher Told Me,’ And How American History Can Be Used As A Weapon

When I was a high school junior in New Orleans taking AP American History, my teacher assigned us a paperback book. Slim in contrast to our hulking required textbook, it was a funny, compelling, even shocking read. Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James Loewen, explained how history textbooks got the story of America wrong, usually by soft-pedaling, oversimplifying and burying the thorny drama and uncertainties of the past under a blanket of dull, voice-of-God narration.

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How Learning Science Is Catching Up To Mr. Rogers

Editor’s note on Aug. 8, 2018: This piece has been substantially updated from a version published in 2014.
A solemn little boy with a bowl haircut is telling Mr. Rogers that his pet got hit by a car. More precisely, he’s confiding this to Daniel Striped Tiger, the hand puppet that, Rogers’ wife, Joanne, says, “pretty much was Fred.”

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How Writing Can Help You Overcome Math Anxiety

Do you remember the day you decided you were no good at math?
Or maybe you had the less common, opposite experience: a moment of math excitement that hooked you for good?
Thousands of studies have been published that touch on the topic of “math anxiety.” Overwhelming fear of math, regardless of one’s actual aptitude, affects students of all ages, from kindergarten to grad school.

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How Decisions Architects Made A Century Ago Affect Learning Today

Alexandra Lange’s interest in school design started in her childhood, when she read Little House on the Prairie, with its indelible depiction of Laura’s one-room schoolhouse in Wisconsin.

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Let’s Stop Talking About The ’30 Million Word Gap’

Did you know that kids growing up in poverty hear 30 million fewer words by age 3?

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What’s Going On In Your Child’s Brain When You Read Them A Story?

“I want The Three Bears!”
These days parents, caregivers and teachers have lots of options when it comes to fulfilling that request. You can read a picture book, put on a cartoon, play an audiobook, or even ask Alexa.

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Why So Many Gifted Yet Struggling Students Are Hidden In Plain Sight

Scott Barry Kaufman was placed in special education classes as a kid. He struggled with auditory information processing and with anxiety.
But with the support of his mother, and some teachers who saw his creativity and intellectual curiosity, Kaufman ended up with degrees from Yale and Cambridge.

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