A school girl wearing a padded hood to protect her from falling debris, walks in school field during an earthquake simulation exercise at an elementary school in Tokyo

Why Japanese Kids Can Walk to School Alone

It’s a common sight on Japanese mass transit: Children troop through train cars, singly or in small groups, looking for seats. They wear knee socks, polished patent-leather shoes, and plaid jumpers, with wide-brimmed hats fastened under the chin and train passes pinned to their backpacks. The kids are as young as 6 or 7, on their way to and from school, and there is nary a guardian in sight. Even…


Letter of Recommendation: Fanny Packs

What other accessory ensures the safety of your essentials, with easy access, while also liberating your hands? The fanny pack, when used properly, enables a whole host of activities that other bags render awkward: a deep embrace, a dance party, the ability to quickly find and swipe and secure your MetroCard. Through its rare combination of aesthetic contrarianism and functionality, it enables a life of wild abandon. Source: Letter of…


Why Teachers, Parents, and Society at Large Have Destroyed Kids’ Love of Learning

I have experimented with rewarding students for embracing complexity, taking risks, and for celebrating their failures. Returning to musical theater after a 25-year break has been a valuable lesson in humility for me, and a reminder of just how scary it is — exciting and scary — to do something new. The truth—for this parent and so many others—is this: Her child has sacrificed her natural curiosity and love of…


Employers unhappy with new generation of workers

Show up, prepared and on time, not just when you feel like it. Take directions gratefully — and this means not being offended if you’re corrected in public. Knowing a particular skill or craft is not as important as knowing how to learn new things — and that means a willingness to step out of your comfort zone, into a scary new place where there is no step-by-step YouTube tutorial…

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Television is Now the Second Screen for Kids with Tablets

Of course, not all kids have tablets, and at least some of what the kids are doing on their tablets is watching videos. There’s only so much one can draw from a survey-based study, and much more that could be learned from a controlled experiment that actually gives kids the choice and reports what they do. [I]n households where tablets and smartphones are accessible, they’ve now taken the lead with…