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Archive for September 2020

Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's podcast my guest is Professor William (Bill) Damon from Stanford University Graduate School of Education where he directs the Stanford Center on Adolescence. He is the author of many books, including The Path to Purpose. We discuss how students can be helped to find purpose in life. Among the topics discussed on this week's programme are:

  • Many young people looking for something to believe in - about a quarter of them “drifting”
  • Responses to being adrift: hedonism, anxiety.
  • Being adrift originates in not finding something that is a positive direction for themselves.
  • Profile of young people who are drifting
  • How young people have found purpose in previous eras (national, economic…)
  • Difference between seeking a purpose and seeking a meaning in life
  • How having a sense of purpose can help you have a psychological balance
  • Any activity can be purposeful if you believe in it, do it well and give it your all
  • How teachers can model a purposeful life for their students
  • Profiles in purpose
  • A teacher’s role in helping students find their purpose
  • When parents dislike the purpose chosen by their daughter or son
  • Most of us have multiple purposes in life
  • The link between purpose and entrepreneurship
  • Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal
  • The relationship between mission, commitment and purpose
  • Where people find purpose
  • The importance of “why” questions for teachers
  • How exams could be purposeful
  • Barriers students encounter in trying to find their purpose in life
  • How he conducts his research
  • Questions to help people find their purpose
  • Diane Ravitch

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On this week's programme I speak to Paddy Madden about teaching and learning outdoors. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • How weather engages the senses when we learn outdoors
  • Benefits of teaching outdoors
  • Forest bathing
  • Noticing Nature
  • Cloud watching, listening to the sound of birds, smelling flowers.
  • Daily 15-minute walkabout
  • Teaching outdoors across the curriculum
  • Book: Sue Waite Children Learning Outside the classroom
  • A silly symphony
  • Preparing for outdoor learning
  • Learning outcomes
  • Ways of Knowing by John Quinn
  • A spiral curriculum – revisiting topics at a more complex level
  • Teaching outdoors in September
    • What to do when a wasp enters your classroom
    • Spiders
    • Planting a square metre of wheat
  • Integration across the curriculum using topic of wheat
  • Painting – called The Gleaners (I mistakenly called it “The Garners” in the recording)
  • Places to visit at this time of year
  • Fruit and seed walk: Dry fruit (e.g. helicopters, nuts) and succulent fruit (blackberries, rowan berries, sloes)
  • How school grounds can sometimes be barren
  • Paddy’s vision of ideal school grounds
  • Creating raised beds in a school grounds
  • Furniture for outdoors learning
  • Making a pond safe for a school setting
  • Making clipboards from recycled corroboard
  • How to position a bird box correctly
  • The value of a compass in school for showing directions
  • Why he dislikes terms such as a “bug hotel” or a “bug viewer”
  • Working outdoors in an urban environment
  • Using window boxes to grow food
  • Using binoculars with early finishers
  • The “Engage with Nature” website
  • Nature as a stage
  • The value of unstructured play
  • Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
  • John Feehan’s books
  • Richard Louv: "The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need."
  • Sacha Hamilton, the Duchess of Abercorn and activities of the Pushkin Trust

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