Episodes
British author Somerset Maugham once wrote, “What makes old age hard to bear is not the failing of one's faculties, mental and physical, but the burden of one's memories.” Writers and poets have a lot to say about reminiscing, contemplation, regret and nostalgia, but it often suggests that one must travel far down the road of life to arrive at that point where suddenly our life decisions say more about who we are rather than what we did! On this episode, professor at Stanford University,...
Published 10/07/21
Helping children develop their identity is integral to making them self-sufficient and independent, as well as to master their Executive Function skills. In addition to children’s cognitive, linguistic, and emotional development, parents and educators alike must understand the social science behind the development of racial, ethnic, and cultural identities, which play a major role in shaping a child’s lens on life and how they relate to other racial and ethnic groups different than their...
Published 09/30/21
What’s the urgent and yet preventable crisis in America? It’s poverty! The discussion about the maturation of the prefrontal cortex, down-regulation of amygdala as well as the flourishing of Executive Function skills throughout childhood is incomplete when according to the Children’s Defense Fund one in six children in United States live in poverty. The impact of poverty is deep and wide taking not only a biological, psychological, and social toll on children but also on the nation’s GDP in...
Published 09/23/21
Douglas Horton has said, “While seeking revenge, dig two graves - one for yourself.” Nothing is quite as satisfying as well-executed revenge where by taking  justice into one’s own hands feels empowering, quenching the thirst for fairness. However, there’s another option;  conventional wisdom often refers to as taking the higher road; letting the better-self win against the catty, shallow, and spiteful self. So why do we struggle to forgive? On this episode, Professor of Psychology,  Director...
Published 09/16/21
“I like you exactly the way you are.” These are the words brought to life by beloved TV host, Fred Rogers, and seems to be exactly what children need to know and experience that they are valued and loved. As  culture has taken the time to pause and reflect on the powerful teachings of Mr. Rogers in the heavily consumed medium of television, the evidence in the neuroscience, learning, and developmental psychology shows how deeply effective his methodologies have been all along. With multiple...
Published 09/09/21
Conventional wisdom propels the notion that children from low-income backgrounds perform poorly because their families are less invested or do not value education as much as those from higher-income backgrounds. However, by applying a sociological framework to education, the evidence shows that schools, instead of contributing to the breaking of economic and social barriers, are actively widening the achievement gap by furthering inequalities. How do we rethink these challenges and actualize...
Published 08/27/21
When the New York Times in a student opinion piece asked “How do you think American education could be improved?”, Skye Williams from Sarasota, Florida wrote, ”I think that the American education system can be improved by allowing students to choose the classes that they wish to take or classes that are beneficial for their future. Students aren’t really learning things that can help them in the future such as basic reading and math.” Skye’s comment captures the fact that schooling...
Published 08/19/21
In 2015, at the White House Correspondents' Dinner something hilarious transpired. President Obama invited Luther, his anger translator, on the stage with him and the Comedian Keegan-Michael Key obliged. The tongue in cheek display of Obama’s true frustrations expressed through “Luther” was not only ironic but brilliant reminding us how we all need an anger handler. On this episode author, researcher and associate dean, Ryan Martin, Ph.D., discusses what anger is, why we get angry, and how it...
Published 08/12/21
The schooling of American children is marred by our notions that hard and long hours of classroom learning is a defining feature of K-12 school success even though such environments lack a playful approach to learning or room for imaginative interactions with the world. In their book Out of My Skull, Neuroscientists James Danckert & John D. Eastwood write, “When we have a sense of meaning and purpose in life, options for engagement with the world are evident and compelling.” So if we know...
Published 08/05/21
Poet and philosopher Rumi once wrote, “Love is the bridge between you and everything.” As much as a loving bond between people may be the starting point for close relationships, the future of it however, is shaped by stress, communication, coping, mental health, and interpersonal support; which are the defining factors that allow those relationships to last or crumble. Bicker, squabble, argue, wrangle, fight, disagree, dispute, and spar are some of things that we do when we’re in a...
Published 07/28/21
On February 18, 1981, Mr. Rogers asked Jeffrey Erlinger a 10-year old quadriplegic with multiple challenges to show the television viewers how his wheelchair worked and by celebrating Jeffrey with warmth and amazement, Mr. Rogers helped crystalized the modern neurodiversity movement. For a long time, normal and abnormal have been the only two concrete buckets cultures have used to determine an individual’s worth and value based on their capacity to partake in and serve the workforce. And by...
Published 07/21/21
In his 1890 seminal book, The Principles of Psychology, William James wrote, “There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.” One such key form of indecision is procrastination; and research shows that procrastinators act as if there’s no future. There is a way however, to rein in the reckless disregard for the future-self by evoking the empathic connection between the present and future-self.  On this episode, psychologist and expert on...
Published 07/12/21
Not now, later! These are three words we have come to value. The Marshmallow experiment from the 1960s popularized the idea of self-control and brought it into cultural consciousness; however, sometimes it has mislead us to think that kids who don’t wait for two marshmallows at the age of 4 might be destined to lead less fruitful lives. Instead of focusing on self-control through a narrow lens as an individual’s choice-making ability, there's another way to view this complex process using...
Published 07/06/21
In his short story, The Girl Next Door, essayist and comedian, David Sedaris writes, “In the coming days, I ran the conversation over and over in my mind, thinking of all the fierce and sensible things I should have said.” To some extent, each of us are trapped in our own mind’s echo chamber like David Sedaris describes and if kept unchecked, listening to the unfiltered stream of thoughts can feel like we’re losing control. The neuroscience of self-talk can provide valuable insights to shift...
Published 06/23/21
“You stupid idiot!” Most of us in the civilized world would refrain from using such hurtful and aggressive language when addressing others. However, if someone were to be a fly on our mind’s wall and hear the things we say to ourselves, they might be horrified. When individuals face challenges, encounter failures, and make fools of themselves, the harsh and judgmental critic within gets cracking with self-flagellation. However, a learned alternative is to extend self-compassion, which is less...
Published 06/15/21
Kofi Annan once said, "Education is a human right with an immense power to transform. On its foundation rests the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development." The question is, how do we help developing minds gain the knowledge of the self-evident or the invisible structural of oppression that creates and sustains inequity so that their learning experiences foster a sense of agency over one’s own condition to ultimately commit to taking action against oppressive...
Published 06/10/21
What is common between a middle school teacher during the pandemic, a three-generation family living together with a terminally-ill child, and an employee who just lost their job? They all are stretched to the max and stressed to the limit. These individuals and the rest of America is stressed! Studies shows that when asked, close to 80% of doctor visits for health problems are associated with stress; however, as little as 3% of doctors actually talk to patients about methods and approaches...
Published 06/04/21
A ticking bomb, an empty room with a hanger from the dry-cleaners, a radiator, two in captivity with their hands tied behind their backs, and that’s it. With less than 60 seconds left on the clock, only MacGyver can stay focused and optimistic, get himself untied, get his companion freed and flip the trick back on the assailant at the speed of lightening. That takes incredible problem solving and grace under fire that only a character on a TV show has. Or is it? In celebration of the 150th...
Published 05/28/21
In the 1830s, Rev. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet’s method of teaching reading to deaf children was evolutionary and became inviting enough that  the then secretary of education, Horace Munn, adopted to teaching it to neurotypical children; the logic being, if the teaching strategy works for the deaf it must work wonders for all. It wasn’t until much later that that it was discovered how ill-fitted such an extrapolation was. For far too long the culture has harbored a dreamy notion that gifted...
Published 05/20/21
America’s struggle with equity was unveiled in a  2011 Department of Education study which showed that 45% of high-poverty schools received less state and local funding than what was typical for other schools in their district. The  funding disparities were further brought to light through a 2019 Ed Build report that showed that majority-white districts received $23 billion more in school funding than majority non-white districts. If this data is accurate, the performance gap is truly an...
Published 05/13/21
Keeping up with the pace, load, and challenge of learning requires emotional and self-management skills – best described as Executive Function. However, when these skills are either delayed, under-developed, or absent it is easy to question the child’s motivations and intentions. The truth of the matter is that some kids simply need more support, scaffolding, and a greater appreciation for their differences.  On this episode, counselor, author, Washington Post contributor, and freelance...
Published 05/04/21
Even though studies after studies show that more than 75% of job success is determined by soft skills ,which in business refers to effective communication, professionalism and work ethics, critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership, the word soft often...
Published 04/27/21
A difficult to teach child slows down the learning for others and accentuates the burden of teaching a group of diverse learners that often looms heavily on the teacher. What if  disruptive children are actually facing challenges that result from the...
Published 04/15/21
What do wigs, cookie jars, pizza dough, supermarket flyers, unpaid invoices, airplane menus, and a mummified human foot have in common? Those are some of the Andy Stuff found amongst 641 boxes left behind by the Pop Art legend Andy Warhol, which is now...
Published 04/05/21
The true meaning of empowering children is to help them claim the rights to their own life so that they can lead with a sense of confidence, clarity, and courage. The key is to trust  children to make their own mistakes while trusting yourself to resist...
Published 03/23/21