Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Glenbard Parent Series announces 2017-2018 Glenbard Common Read and Parent Reading List

Our students have their summer reading and here are summer reading suggestions for parents. Please join us in the next school year when we welcome these authors  (and many others) as part of GPS 2017-18.     Our 2017-2018 speaker lineup is posted under Upcoming Speakers at glenbardgps.org

Glenbard Common Read: Enrique's Journey  
with Sonia Nazario  August 23, 2017 at 7pm Glenbard East

The Glenbard Parent Series has selected Enrique's Journey as its Common Read for 2017. Enrique's Journey first appeared  in the Los Angeles Times as a Pulitzer Prize winning series written by reporter Sonia Nazario. Nazario expanded the article into a book which has won numerous awards and is on the  required reading list of many colleges and high schools across the country. Many Glenbard students will be reading the middle school version of this book. This national best seller is the story of a Honduran boy's search for his mother in the US, the struggle of a family to unite and their fight to heal deep
wounds. In the book Nazario asks questions about the economic, social and human factors in the debate about America's newcomers. Please join us when we welcome Sonia Nazario to Glenbard East at 7pm on Wednesday, August 23 as part of the Glenbard Parent Series.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Susan Engel, PhD, speaks to GPS on The Hungry Mind: Keeping Kids Inspired, Curious and Motivated

Susan Engel (left) & Deborah Meyer
The Glenbard Parent Series hosted Susan Engel in a presentation based on her book "The Hungry Mind" last night.  Glenbard East parent Deborah Meyer shared the following takeaway: "Dr. Engel presented a fascinating discussion on the need to foster curiosity to cultivate our children's love of learning, enhance their intrinsic motivation and create lifelong learners.  After the early years, ages 1-3, adolescence is the second most powerful time of developmental change filled with passion, mastery and natural intellectual interest.  If that interest is piqued, they will learn at a deeper level and then memory and happiness are enhanced. Parents can help by serving as good role models - ask questions as an opening for further inquiry and use meal time as a relaxed and informal time to cultivate curiosity."

Resource Links

Web site for Susan Engel here

You Tube:  The Hungry Mind: The Origins of Curiosity here

Susan Engel's blog:  Young Minds/Psychology Today here

By George! Curiosity is Really Necessary (summary of the Susan Engel event)

Why do children love that little monkey still? Because, the creator of the beloved Curious George, has always let that little monkey follow his curiosity. No matter where it might lead him, no matter what funny, outlandish or awful situations might occur, children have wanted to accompany George to find out, “what will happen if…”

Apparently, we all have much in common with George. Susan Engel, PhD, a developmental psychologist, and author of the best-selling book, The Hungry Mind, believes that curiosity is essential when it comes to children learning. Her evening,  April 27th, Glenbard Parent Series presentation, held at Glenbard East High School, provided parents and educators with data-based evidence that while children come into the world with an intrinsic, natural curiosity, once they enter school, their curiosity steadily diminishes. Why?

Engel explains, that starting in infancy, as Jerome Kagan, a noted early childhood developmental psychologist observed, “Children use their curiosity because they have a need to resolve uncertainty or to explain the unexplainable.”

“Infants follow patterns and absorb familiar routines. If something doesn’t fit into their known pattern, infants have a ‘novelty detector’ and try to figure out why the anomaly exists.”

Citing the 1984 data of researchers, Tizzard & Hughes, Engel says that when children are two to three years old, they ask, on average, between 27 to 100 questions per hour. By the time they are old enough to be in a classroom situation, their questions drop to an average of just 4 per hour.

According to Engel, “Curiosity is the single most important tool to get students to want to learn something. Curiosity helps students to: 1) learn information quicker; 2) retain information longer; and 3) learn information at a deeper level.”

Sadly, students’ curiosity diminishes the longer they are in school. Engel explains that  teachers don’t foster curiosity in students because they are fearful of getting off track with planned classroom activities and won’t be able to cover the course material required.

Finally, Engel believes that the greatest influences on a child’s curiosity, at any age, are the following:

1) Role-models - parents and teachers need to express curiosity regularly.
2) Encouragement - parents and teachers need to encourage children; and
3) Security - parents and teachers need to create an environment where a child will feel secure enough to express curiosity, even if it requires risk-taking or results in failure.

So maybe when it comes to your student’s academic environment, it’s okay to “monkey around.”

Suzanne Burdett is a freelance writer and a former Glenbard parent