• Stanford Social Innovation Review Webinar: Rebooting the American High School with Neuroscience and Purpose Learning

    Patrick will co-lead this this webinar on May 24th that will explore:

    • What does the future of high school look like in the next 10, 20, and 30 years? Where are the trends pointing?
    • How can the growth of neuroscience help us develop better learning systems and strategies for our students?
    • What is the future of product- and project-based learning, and how does this fit into new models of innovative high schools around the country?
    • How do all these trends look in light of the new administration in Washington?
  • Five Tips for Teaching Advisory Classes at Your School

    Published: UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center

    What use is attention and emotional regulation if students have not addressed the deeper, more fundamental questions: What is most important to me? How do I want to live my life? And how will I lead a purpose-driven, meaningful life?

    My hope is that Project Wayfinder will help students and educators dive down deeper than a normal advisory, social-emotional learning, or mindfulness program. Ultimately, students need to discover their “why” and then start to experiment with their “what.” Advisory is the best place already baked into the school schedule to start asking what I call the “big questions.” And introducing students to these questions in high school is some of the best education and guidance we can provide them.

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  • Redefining Masculinity in the age of Donald Trump

    Published: Quartz

    "What does it mean to be a good man? The election of US president Donald Trump, and his subsequent inauguration, has led many of us to worry about the example that he is setting for boys and young men now coming of age in America. Trump’s style of leadership—bullying, narcissistic, violent, and indifferent to the natural world—is a caricature of the basest traits of conventional masculinity. So too is his definition of success, which involves objectifying women and equating people’s worth with their pocketbooks.

    As wilderness guides and mentors who work closely with young men and teenage boys, we’re especially alarmed by the fact that, to some voters, these traits weren’t just flaws to be overlooked—they were Trump’s selling points..."

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  • Re-Designing American High Schools for the 21st Century

    Published: Stanford Social Innovation Review

    High school should be a launching pad to a meaningful life. Instead, it’s often a missed opportunity filled with apathy, purposelessness, and incredible amounts of stress. The three words most frequently used by students in the United States to describe their high school experience are “tired,” “stressed,” and “bored.”

    This is largely because US high schools are unengaging and based on a hundred-year-old model designed for a different era. US high schools are depressingly archaic, reminiscent of giant factories or prisons, with block scheduling and teachers still lecturing to students in time-chunks that have no correlation to teenagers’ brain and body chemistry. We still have rigid, industrial-era roles for adults—principal, vice-principal, counselor, and teacher. This antiquated model, coupled with the “college arms race” and the standardized testing craze, is wreaking havoc on students’ mental and physical health.

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  • 10 Things I Wish I Learned as a Teenager

    Published: Huffington Post

    One punch came at me, I ducked. Another punch came at me, I could not quite duck. The punch landed square on the side of my helmet. I turned starry eyed and fell back into the lockers. My teammates were standing around, cheering loudly — pushing me back into a boxing match with my senior teammate. The punches kept pummeling me. I tried as best I could to hit him, but I was a scrappy 140-pound freshman. There was nothing I could do but endure the punishment from my senior teammate — he was a good 8 inches taller and 60 pounds heavier then me.

    I suffered through it, and then waited for the next week when I would be forced to box another one of the seniors on the team. This was how you “manned up” — all the freshman on Varsity lacrosse had to box all of the seniors on the team. It was our right of passage. It was brutal, scary, and certainly did not make me a better lacrosse player. In fact, it just made me scared shitless on my walk back from field to the locker room — “Would I have to box Josh or Andre today” — I never knew until we came back in the locker room and the seniors announced it was “boxing time.”

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  • CNN Article: MIndfulness, Stress, and Teenagers

    Published: CNN.com

    At the start of the school year at Marblehead High School in Massachusetts, students started moving their desks out of the way, grabbing a mat and laying down on the floor for guided meditation before French class. Lexxi Seay, a senior, was skeptical.

    "I actually never believed really in meditation. ... I thought it was a joke," she said during an interview.

      That all changed one day back in September. While she was on her computer working and everyone else in her class was meditating, she just fell asleep sitting up. "When I woke up, I was like, 'What happened?' ... It just completely relaxed me."

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    • 7 Ways to Help High Schoolers Find Purpose

      Published: UC Berkeley Greater Good Center

      Over the past decade, I have had the chance to ask thousands of teenagers what they think about school. I’ve found that the vast majority of them generally feel one of two ways: disengaged or incredibly pressured.

      One thing nearly all teens agree on is that most of what high school teaches them is irrelevant to their lives outside of school or their future careers. One study found that the most common feelings among high school students are fatigue and boredom. Another study concluded that 65 percent of the jobs that today’s high school graduates will have in their lifetime do not even exist yet. But we are still teaching them in the same way that we trained industrial workers a century ago.

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