It feels like summer and TYO gets geared up for the heat with renewed vigor and enthusiasm! We bid welcome to new interns in Nablus, YALLA participants preparing their summer projects, and the ladies of The Women’s Group as we splish splash into June!
Sunday, June 3
TYO’s SUHAD comments on the value of making English creative, fun, and engaging, removing the stress from a potentially mentally taxing activity.
Monday, June 4
TYO Alum DORIS Carion reflects on the professional skill-building she accomplished during her months in Nablus.
Tuesday, June 5
YLC members begin trainings for YALLA participants embarking on their summer community development initiatives.
Wednesday, June 6
It’s that time again! TYO welcomes the latest crop of summer INTERNS, six fantastic students from all around the USA!
Thursday, June 7
Samin sits down with The Women’s Group to talk about the GROWING pains of adolescence and ways to grapple with teenage changes for parents and teens alike.
Friday, June 8
Splish splash! TYO dives into SUMMER with the latest on the ongoing battle of the book against illiteracy, monetizing the value of education, setting back the clock for high school teens, and just what makes camp counselors so darn cool.
Splish splash! TYO dives into summer with the latest on the ongoing battle of the book against illiteracy, monetizing the value of an investment in education, setting back the clock for high school teens, and just what makes camp counselors so darn cool.
A Book A Day Keeps Illiteracy Away! In spite of rising literacy rates around the world, researchers doubt many countries will meet the Education for All goal of halving world illiteracy by 2015. The culprit? A lack of political commitment fueled by the view of adult LITERACY as unfeasible and unaffordable. With demonstrable advantages to reducing poverty and improving lives, adult literacy should be seen as a vehicle for advancing countries out of poverty, however at present world governments seem all too eager to turn a blind eye on roughly 775 million adults worldwide. #EducationforAll Global Monitoring Report asks why.
Wakey, Wakey! Eggs and…Camp Counselors! Ever wonder why your kids adore those twenty-somethings leading them across ziplines and monkey bars each SUMMER? Ever fret to think you must be doing something wrong when Johnny and Susie throw tantrums for you yet come back from camp attentive, eager to please, and dare I say… more mature? The NY Times gets to the bottom of just how and why those Barbie and Ken look-alikes work Hogwarts magic on your little ones each summer.
The Power is Yours. Now it’s not just Captain Planet telling young people that power is in their HANDS. Recently UNRWA experimented with “Citizenship Project” in which young refugees are given the tools and opportunity to affect change in their communities. From ideas to implementation, youth identify community areas in need of development, research and devise an approach, and secure funding to affect change in their communities. As one student put it: “Our goals should be collective in order to be achieved, because one hand cannot clap.” Sounds a lot like TYO’s YALLA and YLC groups!
Looking Back, Leaping Forward. It’s Friday, June 8th, 2012. Where does our world stand?
Cashing in on Education. Can the value of learning be monetized? Does education carry financial weight and not of the loan-induced variety? Education for All examines “A Report Card on Adolescents” valuing the potential of education for saving lives and creating substantial returns on INVESTMENTS in youth. In the same vein, directors of the #EducationforAll Global Monitoring Report tackle what makes learning valuable for youth and in what ways they can be encouraged to partake in the education system. Thus, through education, countries around the world can begin to confront poverty one PUPIL at a time.
Snoozing on Schooling. Parents know all too well that familiar sound, something akin to the low buzz and grumble of a lawn mower in the distance—the inconsolable, unrelenting, resentful whine of a teenager forced to “Rise and Shine!” on a SCHOOL day morning. Progressive educators and researchers have gathered to discuss the benefits of observing and incorporating age-specific norms of the sleep cycle into the school day, starting the day slightly later for each age group. In a conglomerate of top posts on the issue, the Scientific American takes on the sleep cycle and sleep deprivation in the American school system.
A Woman’s World. With the euro in freefall and riots sparking in economically strained nations around the world, this snazzy INFOGRAPHIC takes a look at the strides business women have made in the United States over a fifty year period from 1969 to 2009, including comprising 70% of small business start-ups in the last 15 years, bringing in 55% of household incomes, owning over ten million firms, and 93% having a high school diploma or higher education.
The YLC convenes in Nablus with the youth members of YALLA!
Wednesday, May 30
TYO alum JULIE Yelle recounts her experiences with Nabulsi society.
Thursday, May 31
TYO LAUNCHES the Child Friendly Schools Initiative in Beirut!
Friday, June 1
From spending on early childhood education to re-questioning the power of questioning and global “skills currency,” this WEEK TYO comments on education reform and unusual workplace pressures for women.
From spending on early childhood education to re-questioning the power of questioning and global “skills currency” on the job market, this week TYO heads up thoughts on education reform and some unusual workplace pressures for women, particularly in male-dominated sectors.
Seen and heard. For the past several decades, a popular wave of conjecture in the West (backed by behavioral and developmental research) has centered on child learning through physical interaction, hence the abundance of “hands-on” museum displays and the Montessori method of pre and primary schooling. However, challenging the age-old adage that children should be “seen, not HEARD,” further research emphasizes the importance of conversation and more specifically, questions to a child’s development. As such verbal inquisitiveness is often criticized in children from certain socio-economic backgrounds, Harvard Professor Paul L. Harris examines the repercussions.
Big bucks and better education. With pre-school and after-school programs already on the federal chopping block in America and a number of other school programming in danger of discontinuation, researchers look into the longer term consequences of such drastic slashing. In particular, the U.S.’s popular Head Start program is placed under the MICROSCOPE with the promising realization that despite the uncertain cognitive benefits of the program, “children who attended Head Start were more likely to graduate from high school and attend college than their siblings who did not,” among other tangible benefits. TYO’s Suhad examines similar institutional SUPPORT for child programming in Palestine.
Go, Granny, go, Granny, GO! What’s 50 years old with 36 grand babies and a mean grip on her gun? Zarifa Qazizadah, an Afghani GRANDMOTHER, mother of 15, village head, and leader of the local women’s council in Naw Abad, Balkh province. Flying down the road on her motorbike often in men’s clothes and a moustache, Qazizadah has brought her village a steady electricity supply, a new bridge over troubled water, and Naw Abad’s first mosque, a progressively designed mosque in which women and men pray together. A wife at 10 and mother at 15, Qazizadah learned early on the power of persuasion and a pair of sturdy breeches. Doubtless she would not disagree with this week’s all-call to women FEARED by religious men in the Huffington Post, including an empowering montage of 10 inspiring religious women.
More money, less problems. “Skills have become the global CURRENCY of the 21st century,” says Andreas Schleicher, deputy director for education at the OECD. “But this currency can depreciate if it isn’t used.” On World Education Blog this week, Schleicher cites three key policy areas to help developing countries rise out of the slump of low skills currency in cross-border skills migration, labor market retention, and skills-matching within job sectors. What remains is to determine if the MENA region, with some of the lowest provider RATES for early childhood education, will jump on board for some of the most cost effective strategies with the promise of high economic returns. And for those already
A Woman’s (Work) Worth. In some countries, particularly in an era of disturbingly high global UNEMPLOYMENT, women’s participation in the labor force has been criticized, if not threatened by those discomfited by the thought that women at work could mean less jobs for men. However, the World Bank recently commented on the potential rippling benefits of the female labor force in raising the demand for jobs elsewhere in the economy. Why? “A working woman may have to send her children to daycare and after school classes or camps, hire cleaning help, buy more ready-made goods and depend on specialized services from the market,” increasing demand for these goods on the market.
And as if the smack of unemployment hasn’t already been heard around the world, the World Bank provides a short video on how job creation leads to economic and social prosperity.
A Woman by Any Other Name. In the Economist’s art, books, and culture section aptly entitled Prospero, a startling discovery: in art, “DEPICTIONS of women often command the highest prices, whereas works by them do not.” To back this claim, the author references a recent Christie’s auction in New York of post-war and contemporary evening art where a record $388 million was made, less than 5% attributable to the sale of works by the eight features women artists presented in a five-to-one artist ratio with their male peers. But is this norm recalibrating? Some in the art world would like to think women are just now getting a taste of the rising success for women artists to come.
From absenteeism to obesity, an examination of alarming trends in education this week, including a closer correlation between academic attainment and voting behavior in America.
M.I.A.: Missing in Academics. “I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance,” says Oscar Wilde’s Lady Bracknell in the social satire The Importance of Being Earnest. “Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.” This month, the Get Schooled Foundation in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University School of Education chime in on “The Importance of Being in School,” an absenteeism REPORT on the progress of the nation’s schools in attempting to wither such blooms in American youth. According to the report, schools have a significantly harder time of touching that ‘delicate exotic fruit’ and instructing the nation’s young when 7.5 million students (the equivalent of all K-12 students in California) MISS SCHOOL each year, as many as one in three high school students alone each day. Techniques vary from getting parents involved to offering children celebrity wake-up calls. Now that’s motivation!
Weighing the Value of Shut-Eye. New study by the University of Munich analyzed sleep logs of Europeans ages 10 to 80, discovering that sleep takes a deep dive between the ages of 10 and 20 primarily due to social lives and work obligations. These same individuals, 80% of whom rely on alarm clocks to break their natural sleep cycle for early rising during the week, confessed to sleeping late and eating later on the weekends. This form of SOCIAL JETLAG, worst among the region’s teens, researchers are now linking to early onset weight gain and obesity. Is it time to rethink the school day?
Battle of the Bulge. As America’s First Lady Michelle Obama tackles childhood obesity in the U.S., the World Health Organization (WHO) takes a glance at the global pandemic of childhood obesity with reported rates higher in the developing world than in developed countries.
Books to the Ballot. “With the presidential campaign in full swing, a new study spotlights some troubling disparities in who is—and who is not—likely to cast a BALLOT this November,” begins Education Week guest blogger, Erik Robelen. “In short… If you’re young, poor, and a high school dropout, you probably won’t vote.” Robelen is referring to a recent uncovering by Educational Testing Service, or ETS, the organization feared by high school students across America for its production of the dreaded SAT test, among others. ETS has found exceedingly high correlation between not only socio-economics, but socio-economics and educational attainment as strong indicators of voting behavior. Find out why!
Eating and Educating. It goes without saying that worldwide FOOD shortages and malnutrition are among some of the globe’s most pressing concerns, however as World Education Blog demonstrates, both can play significant roles in the development of healthy bodies and minds for education. Now the development community and others have been shifting their focus to G8 leaders in time for their May retreat last week at Camp David in Maryland. Check out the twitter stream for #DearG8 to hear what they’re saying.
This week, TYO dives into the methodology behind play, better ways to read, improvements in poverty and maternal health, and disturbing child abuse allegations in homes for the mentally and behaviorally challenged.
No play? NO WAY! A disturbing trend has taken hold in schools around America. As they race to comply with improved math and reading scores thanks to initiatives like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, many are finding ways to cut back on seemingly superfluous activities during the school day. One of the first activities to go? RECESS, of course! Education Week cautions against the hasty excise made by 30% of U.S. schools (as of 2009) and 40% who significantly reduced recreation time citing the myriad benefits to improved test scores for children who are granted time to relax and recharge.
Play on. Following the close of a fifteen year longitudinal study published in Family Science and recent updates in Psychology Today, researchers reveal the mechanisms behind learning through PLAY. Examining 229 low-income children in the U.S. Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project, parent-toddler interactions in imaginative play at age 2 were examined against child outcomes at age 3 and in the fifth grade. Discoveries include increases in language usage, self-regulation, social skills, and cognitive flexibility. So what can parents and teachers do to support this essential development process? Talk! Read! And, most importantly, PLAY! with your children.
Raising the Bar on Reading. New findings reveal that how you read may have as great an impact as what you READ to small children. Studying a group of over 500 four-year-olds, comparative research demonstrated that groups who focused on the text itself—tracing letters as they read or talking about the material and discussing the concepts of words—created more conducive absorption and learning environments for children than those who adhered to the classic style of reading the text alone.
No Place Like Home. Many have lauded relatively high numbers of children’s HOMES for the mentally and behaviorally challenged in Jordan, however alarming exposés and interviews of parents and caretakers involved in the system have unveiled a web of systematic abuses brought on by primary caretakers and hospice administration. Further disturbing still, despite regulations on the books to curb such abuse and maltreatment that parents pay upwards of 1,000 Jordanian dinars ($1,400) per month for, the BBC investigates scandals that persist in a system where the qualifications to receive a license “are only about the building—such as the height of rooms and the size of the water tank.”
When DECLINING never felt so UPLIFTING! Great news for children in developing countries around the world! The pace of declining poverty has been accelerating, and for the first time, according to a recent USAID Impact report showing the results of a World Bank survey, between 2005 and 2008 the absolute number of people living in extreme POVERTY declined in all major developing regions! And if that wasn’t enough, the NY Times reports discoveries by the UN and the University of Washington in an independent study sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation demonstrating the notable DECLINE of maternal deaths, particularly in childbirth, over the last two decades. Healthy moms make for healthy babies and a healthier child population overall!
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, TYO looks at pressing issues facing Mommies around the world in child marriage, domestic violence, mobile phone use, and the birth control debate, among others.
Mothers Moving Forward. Breaking news from the Chicago Tribune just in time for Mother’s Day—Afghanistan is no longer ranked as the world’s WORST PLACE to be a mother! The causes of this triumphant step forward for the country? According to Save the Children, better healthcare and more girls attending school. Today, the number of births attended by professionals rose 10% from 2003 to 2008 while girls in formal education has skyrocketed from zero to 2.5 million. Yet despite this good news, the struggle continues as 60% of children are affected by stunting and 275 children die every day because of malnutrition and illness.
Born to Wed? Wall Street Journal speaks with law professor Michele Goodwin on child MARRIAGE and the implications to human rights violations in India where the practice remains common despite legislation forbidding it. Though the legal age for women to marry in India is 18, “according to a major recent survey by the Ministry of Health… 43% of the married women in the age group of 20-24 had been child brides.” But girls are not alone! “Ms. Goodwin suggests that the pressure for early marriage from the groom’s side could come from mothers-in-law who want free domestic labor.” Boy or girl, if a child is still legally a child, does marriage count as human trafficking? And how much should courts be called upon to do something about it when the law simply isn’t enough?
Broadening the Debate. As debate over birth control rages in the U.S., Melinda Gates gives a Ted Talk on one of the most controversial issues today. “We’re not talking about abortion. We’re not talking about population control. What I’m talking about is giving women the power to save their lives, save their children’s lives, and to give their families the best possible future.” Drawing on examples from around the developing and underdeveloped world, including contraception rates in Uttar Pradesh (one of the largest states in India which, if a country, would be the fifth largest in the world)at 29% and Nigeria (the most populous country in Africa) at 10%, Gates addresses the need for world governments to recognize the role of contraception and more importantly, a woman’s right to control her rate of reproduction, as vital issues affecting social change around the world.
Mother’s Day Every Day! It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, but the Huffington Post speaks up about the MOTHERS DAY EVERY DAY initiative launched by White Ribbon Alliance and CARE to raise awareness and call for greater U.S. leadership to save lives of mothers and babies globally. Mother and politician, Congresswoman Barbara Lee recalls her visit to Uganda to view the impact of anti-HIV/AIDS campaigns in the country. Among her discoveries: the fact that 70% of the world’s poor living on less than a dollar a day are women, and educating girls for five years could boost child survival by up to 40%! Inspired, she writes about how the experience “was a valuable reminder of the power of a mother.”
Suffering in Silence. UNRWA reports on the alarming rate of reported DOMESTIC VIOLENCE by women in the Gaza Strip. As many as 15% report physical abuse with an overwhelming 75% reporting psychological abuse; however statistics encompass only as many women who are willing to speak up, therefore unreported cases likely exceed these numbers. To counter numbers both reported and unreported, UNRWA has teamed up with the Women’s Affairs Centre (WAC) to continue a 2008 initiative aimed at spreading awareness, providing security, and empowering women endangered by domestic violence in Gaza.
Mobile Mommies. Perhaps phones aren’t all about the gift of gab? Well, a new study is defying challenging existing stereotypes by linking women’s cell phone use with better business practices in the developing world. The Council on Foreign Relations opens up about overcoming business barriers with value added MOBILE services with guest poster Henriette Kolb from the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. The study, which looked at women in Egypt, Nigeria, and Indonesia, concluded that: “In the exciting but fast-paced mobile industry, we must strategically focus resources on the realities that millions of women around the world encounter on a daily basis and work to develop practical solutions in order to maximize impact and positive change.”