Best of the Web: Nurturing Good Writers, What Kids Think about Parental Phone Use, and Finland Excited about Victoria’s Best

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful articles from around the web on educating and raising children.

(Dana Goldstein, The New York Times)

How can parents encourage children to develop as writers?  This is a Q&A with Steve Graham, a professor at Arizona State University’s Teachers College, who is an expert in how young people learn to write. His books include Powerful Writing Strategies for All Students. In this interview, he offers some simple, practical advice. Interestingly, he’s not worried about the impact of social media. Rather, students are learning to write in different registers and situations.

Helicopter or lawnmower? Modern parenting styles can get in the way of raising well-balanced children

(Amy Brown, The Conversation)

Parents want to be involved in their child’s life. It’s when that involvement goes too far that problems emerge, captured in the labels ‘Helicopter Parents’ and ‘Lawnmower Parents’. Helicopters hover, ready to swoop in, while lawnmowers smooth the way ahead. The author argues that it is all about the middle ground between supporting children and wrapping them in ‘gold-plated cotton wool’.

‘It makes me feel angry’: Kids speak out about their parents’ phone use

(Fiona Pepper, Life Matters, ABC)

Parents worry about the amount of time children spend looking at screens. It may come as a surprise that the reverse is also true. This revealing report asked children at a Melbourne primary school how they felt about their parents’ mobile phone use. ‘When my dad’s on the phone and I try to talk to him, he just ignores me,’ said a Year 2 student. ‘It makes me feel angry.’  Another said she was ‘pretty sad’ when her father was constantly on his phone or computer.

Why education superpower Finland is interested in Victorian schools

(Henrietta Cook, The Age)

The Finnish organisation HundrED has chosen Victoria as its first location for a new project identifying education initiatives to share with the world. Three initiatives have been selected: Geelong Grammar School’s positive education movement, a DIY playground organisation Playground Ide and Templestowe College, which abandoned the ATAR. ‘There are a lot of good things happening and people are excited about education,’ says HundrED’s head of operations, Lasse Leponiemi​. The Victorian approaches are part of a global list of 100 inspiring education initiatives being released as part of Finland’s 100 years of independence celebrations

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