Acting correctly demands skills

Lost at School at

I read Ross W Greene’s classic piece Lost at School and I was very inspired by his ideas. He writes that it’s easy for us to think that children act correctly and behave well if they just want to; that acting correctly and behaving well only depend on the desire to do so. However, that’s not the case. Children act correctly when they have sufficient skills to do so.

I find this revolutionary, because it obviously challenges the general attitude towards “troublemakers” and other “misfits”.

I was recommended to read Greene’s book by a teacher who teaches children with special needs. Kaisa Vuorinen had noticed that many of children with special needs have received so much negative feedback that we should change direction and start supporting what is positive in them. They certainly need strong guidance and someone to show them how to regulate their emotions and behavior. I had a chance to follow Vuorinen’s teaching in the classroom and saw in practice how she works with children. She has developed with her colleagues new ways to encounter children. She used new ways to teach them skills to learn and regulate their behavior. I got a good lesson on how to strengthen child’s perseverance, self-control and courage among other things. This visit to school changed my interaction with my own child. I realized that perseverance, self-control and courage are skills that can be taught.

See the Good cover
My eBook See the Good

If you want to take a closer look at my visit to school, you are welcome to download the reportage as a PDF-file by clicking the image of the book cover beside.




Learning and zest

Jyri Engstrom
Jyri Engstrom

A Silicon Valley entrepeneur Jyri Engstrom has something to say about learning and zest. I met him in his lovely summer paradise in Helsinki. But let me introduce him first. Engstrom has made his career in USA, Silicon Valley creating social media platforms – Jaiku (acquired by Google) and Ditto (acquired by Groupon). He now works as an Entrepreneur in venture capital firm that has invested in technology companies. Together with his partner Caterina Fake he runs Sesat School, a micro-school in San Francisco. They have three children and as a hobby they run together a coffee shop nearby their Helsinki home.

According to Jyri Engstrom children are attracted to the virtual world because there they have more agency, they can manipulate things the way they are not allowed to do in the real (adults) world. The virtual world expert throws a question: how to expand children’s agency and improve their zest for learning in the real world?