The Omran ♦ Nelson Speaker Series: Innovative Parent Education for All
Open to the public, this speaker series explores a range of parent education topics and philosophies. It is designed to provide opportunities for parents, educators and the community at large to practice life-long learning, whether about Montessori and other educational philosophies and programs, or about parenting in general.
Thanks to the outpouring of generosity from donors, the Omran ♦ Nelson Speaker Series has been established in memory of our friends and former teachers, Sue Omran and Brien Nelson. With financial support from this fund, we intend to bring outstanding thought leaders to the South Shore, who—in the tradition of Maria Montessori —challenge, inspire, and guide us to become the best educators and parents we can be.
Alfie Kohn, author of "The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom About Children and Parenting"
December 3, 2014
7:00 PM, Meehan Family Artsbarn
Somehow, a set of deeply conservative assumptions about children -- what they're like and how they should be raised -- have congealed into the conventional wisdom in our society. Parents are accused of being both permissive and overprotective, unwilling to set limits and afraid to let their kids fail. Young people, meanwhile, are routinely described as entitled and narcissistic. . . among other unflattering adjectives.
In The Myth of the Spoiled Child, Alfie Kohn systematically debunks these beliefs -- not only challenging erroneous factual claims but also exposing the troubling ideology that underlies them. Complaints about pushover parents and coddled kids are hardly new, he shows, and there is no evidence that either phenomenon is especially widespread today -- let alone more common than in previous generations. Moreover, new research reveals that helicopter parenting is quite rare and, surprisingly, may do more good than harm when it does occur. The major threat to healthy child development, Kohn argues, is posed by parenting that is too controlling rather than too indulgent.
With the same lively, contrarian style that marked his influential books about rewards, competition, and education, Kohn relies on a vast collection of social science data, as well as on logic and humor, to challenge assertions that appear with numbing regularity in the popular press. These include claims that young people suffer from inflated self-esteem; that they receive trophies, praise, and A's too easily; and that they would benefit from more self-discipline and "grit." These conservative beliefs are often accepted without question, even by people who are politically liberal. Kohn's invitation to reexamine our assumptions is particularly timely, then; his book has the potential to change our culture's conversation about kids and the people who raise them.
More details to follow.
John Hunter: Award-Winning Educator and TED Talk Presenter on Hands-on, Experiential Learning and Global Awareness in Today's K–12 Schools
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
"The Teachers & Schools Our Students Need Us To Be"
Talk by John Hunter. Q&A to follow
Joe is an inspirational, dynamic speaker and seminar leader who works with corporate, civic and community organizations and associations to promote growth, teamwork, effectiveness and individual responsibility.
Joe was a professional football player for 13 years and recognized as the Colts' Man of the Year. He has been featured on the cover of Parade Magazine and called "The Most Important Coach in America" because of his work to transform the culture of sports. He has also been named one of The 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America by the Institute for International Sport.
Deepak Chopra, M.D is the founder of the Chopra Foundation and the author of more than 65 books, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. A Fellow of the American College of Physicians, his medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology. He is also a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and at Columbia Business School, Columbia University. Learn more about Deepak Choprahere.
Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD, is the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Dr. Tanzi co-discovered the first Alzheimer's disease gene and several others, as head of the Alzheimer's Genome Project. Learn more about Rudy Tanzi here.
Richard Louv is a journalist and author of eight books about the connections between family, nature and community. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times of London and other major publications, and has appeared on many national TV shows, including NBC's Today Show and Nightly News and NPR's Morning Edition, Fresh Air and Talk of the Nation. Recently Louv was keynote speaker at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference. Learn more about Richard Louv here.
Sue Omran, a beloved teacher, friend, wife and mother of three young children, passed away in 2011.
Her husband Mohamad wanted to establish a speaker series as a legacy to share her two overarching passions—parenting and education—with the community. Sue taught in the Toddler House and Discovery programs at Inly and was well known for her intellectual curiosity and her passion for Montessori education. She loved music, had a gift for languages (she spoke six), and was a true global citizen. As a Montessori teacher dedicated to life-long learning, she continues to inspire us all.
A beloved member of the Inly Family for 14 years, Brien passed away in 2007.
Brien was a lower elementary teacher for seven years, and then served as Inly's first technology director. His son, Spencer, attended Inly from toddler through middle school and his wife Michelle continues to be a strong supporter and volunteer. In addition to his great intelligence and wit, Brien’s fervent dedication to Montessori education has been an inspiration to us all. We are pleased to honor Brien with the naming of this speaker series in his memory.