Who is Agent Eric Lassard?

Who is Agent Eric Lassard?

Hi Guys, Agent Eric here!

I am a kind of “Peter Pan”, like my mother likes to call me; the “Peter Pan” of the 21st century.

 Peter Pan wanted to learn to fly, and he was determined to face all challenges and to go for any adventure to fulfill his dream.

I am the same! Since I was five years old, I always knew, that we live in the matrix of all possibilities, and all we have to do is to find the CODE. 

Did not take long to discover that the CODE was there all times in the letters of the word CODE.

Create Opportunities to  Develop and Elevate!

This might sound a little bit complicated, but the truth is that it is simple!        

In the last five years, I enrolled myself in a fantastic adventure, Soon after that day I started to meet other “Peter Pans”.

 So I thought that we should create a place where we can come together and “CODE” /“Create Opportunities to Develop and Elevate!”/

First I was thinking to set it up in a tree house,  then in a big house,,,, but soon I realized that any house it would be too small as we are so many “Peter Pans”.

Took me a few years figured out that that place is already here called the INTERNET, and all we have to do is to set up our space on it.

Few years work later; I traveled across a pond from country Ireland to the USA, and I found Agent Kim, who was the Tinkerbell of the 21 st century.

In a few hours after we met, we knew that we need to stick together and createDragonzland, the land of all possibilities. 

The land that will change the world will help you learn better, to achieve your dreams no matter your age and to feel safe in a non-competitive environment

.Definition of Dragonlzland : a place where you can bring your idea, that is your egg, place it into the nest and hatch it, grow it and when you are ready to fly you are free to fly.

I invite you to join the platform with no obligations and start placing your eggs, or helping others to hatch their eggs because just like in Peter Pan, together we can learn, do and conquer the word. 

See you in Dragonznest!

Sign up today at!

Thank You - Agent Eric Lassard 

The 5 Fundamentals of Modern Parenting

It is all parents aim to be the best parent they can be.

But parenting has changed, children changed, the world changed.
I am now in my 50, and still remember how I was raised and how my brothers and sisters and cousins were: newborn babies were isolated for the first six weeks. quit, sterile white rooms, protecting the baby from noise and pollution. Babies tied up in big pillows, legs straightened and silence all around.  Till their christening only very close family could see or visit them. 
Thank to the 70 hippies who liberated a little on this "expectations"  exposing their babies to their community earlier and freeing the children from the baby pillows. This practices all were forgotten soon as the white sterile rooms idea has the change to exposing the babies to the "messy" out word to gain immunity and socializing from the very beginning of their life.
So, there you go by the 90 babies were born into the daily lives, mums went to work earlier or became stay at home Mums, traveling with babies became easier and many products were invented to ease the parents and babies life.
So many things were changed but did parenting rules changed along with them? Did we ever actually upgrade on the parenting rules or we just liberated and forgot some that were uncomfortable for us?
Who is a good parent; the strict one, the allowing one, the loving one?
The strict one, who still believes that the only way to raise successful kids is by demanding that only parents can know better and expecting their children to live after their rules entirely?
The allowing one, who allows their children entirely to choose and behave as they want, allowing any agreeing all behai=vior saying that this is the only way the can gain life experience?
The loving one. who in the name of love, and in the fear of being not loved by their kids are allowing and fulfilling all expectations of their kids at all prices?
In the meantime, all life factors are changing so fast, communication inside and outside families had been changing so quickly, and parenting has become challenging. 
The freedom of expression and to an opinion has a significant impact, exposing our family live on social sites where we open our bedroom and kids room doors, and people can take a look in our everyday life without picking on the key hole, but they can get information  directly and with our agreement.
All operational system around us had been upgraded, but did we ever upgraded our parenting programs?
What kidn of parent is the 21th Century parent?
I had the fantastic luck to be parent of a child born in the 80 just before the iron curtain felt down.
I admit today that I used to be a very confused parent. Struggling with my first child between the strict, allowing and loving parenting styles I did not very well. I kind of blew it up.  Looking back today I know this.
Now, with my second born in the bloom and gloom of technology of the year 2003 and growing up in the world of apps and techno tools new challenges and a completely new vision of what a parent is for.
My second child is a real cyber child, and yes I know that many of you reading this will immediately challenge my new parenting methods. 
He discover the world of technology and using this in everyday life since he was 7.years of age.
He learned through technology reading, maths, science. He leanred and studied and his tutor was Google.
Ask Google, he says if you have a question that nobody can answer. 
"Google knows everything! "
Just before you roar up, OK this is to much I ask you to honestly answer this question: was there ever that you type something in Google and Google did wrote back: I do not know?
No, Google has millions of answers to all our questions, all we need to develop is the ability to choose the right answer for us.
And there is the same with parenting. We can be choose our way of parenting today form the hundreds of trends around the world, it is our decision which way we go. 
And freedom is sweet and good but freedom also can create confusion.
I meet many confused parents everyday. 
Her below I had collected the most frequent questions that I receive:
Should we allow the kids to use technology form a very young age?
What is the optimal screen time?
How can we protect our children online?
What is the best schooling; the classical or the e learning?
How to communicate with our kids all buried n games and social media?
Who should we listen; our kids or parenting advisers?
When kids do not perform well in school is this the fault of the teachers. the system or os there something wrong with my child?
Should I buy my kids the latest technology tools or should I still buy the a ball and send them out to the backyard to fresh air?
Should I look for alliterative education or the classical style will be always the good basics for life?
Should my child have the freedom to choose or should I make the choice and always have the last word in decisions?
Gathering together the last 30 years studies, knowledge, research and personal parenting experience here are the 5 most important things that will allow you to became a great  life companion for your kids.
1. Be proactive.
2. Your kid can know better.
3. Talk openly and engage conversation with your kids.
4. Your dreams and expectations are not your child dreams and expectation.
5. Never say NO! Explain the why not.
So, let me know what are your thoughts about the above 5 and follow up my blog as in the next 5 will be about working out each of these above so you can understand better and offering you some kid of guidance and comfort.
What will you adopt and what is working for your and you and your family? Well that is and always be your choice! 
Be the magnificent parent behind the success of your kid and enjoy the blessings of every moment of the celebration!
Abracadabra to you!
Katy Winner
Parenting Expert, Author and Mummager 

Follow us on FB, twitter and of course join the world first social platform about changing education KidsEduPro!

What is Love?

A few years ago on a lazy Sunday morning my little son only five years of back then, asked me this question: What is Love?
At first, it seemed a very easy question to answer.
"-What is Love? Love is what we feel when we like somebody very much." 
"-Just as you like me? was immediately the next question. 
"-Yes, just as I like you! 
" What if we do not like somebody, can we still love them?" -it was the next question that arose.
So, from a question that I thought it is very simple to answer, we already were involved in so much more deepness of the conversation.
The big issue is I presume; can we love somebody without like them?
What do you think? 
Well it took me many many years to realize that love, love is something that we are born from and we are born with.
Did you ever saw a new born baby looking at its Mum and do not like her or not looking at her with that profound and subtle look of Love that only babies can have?
So, is it love associated with likeness? Do we need to like who we love and do we love all that we like?
Well,  is hard to have a philosophical chat on a Sunday morning with five years old.
At that moment,  I had not a clue about the next questions that followed.
"Will you always love me? " was the next question
"Even if I will get married to another girl than you?" just like all five years old boys would get married their Mum
"Will you love me if I will die?"  , scary and tuff question for a Sunday morning 
" What if I will have a brother or sister, will you love them more?"
Little by little we went into questions that I realised that are not originally coming from my child. SO I asked him back;
"What do you think what is love?"
" Love is like a sun; he replied very seriously.  It is cozy... and you feel well and safe, and it is funny and thickly as you always need to laugh! "
" Where you feel all this?" I asked my young philosopher 
" Here inside, and he pointed to his tummy, you know where the butterflies live !" 
" So love lives inside you?" I asked curiously
" Yes, yeah, yeah, come the proper answer, you are love! "
" I am?"
"Yes, we all are, can you not see it?" came the unexpected question.
" Sometimes not, I replied, sometimes a meet people who I do not feel that are full of love." - I said and before my eyes, I could see the faces of few persons in the past that I had the problem loving.
" Hahahhaha, laughed  my young philosopher, if love lives inside you then why are you looking for it in others people ?"
I was not prepared for this!
I was not ready to receive my biggest lesson about life and love from my five years old, but the words hit me, and I knew that this is the truth!
Was I looking for love in other people heart all these years?
Yes, I was.
" Hahahahaha, laughed my little one, it is like when we play hide and seek with little kids, and we pretend that we do not know where they are, just to play around and make them feel well! 
From this Sunday morning conversation, my life had changed a lot. 
I know now the definition of love: crazy little colorful butterflies that live inside you and make you feel safe and happy. Love lives inside me and not in other peoples heart.
That is all about Love!
Many years since then, I still smile whenever I hear people asking: I wonder does he/she love me?
All I ask them and I ask now you: do you love her/him? 
Love is a reflection, the reflection of you!
Do not chase butterflies, fill up your heart with love so butterflies will come and stay with you.
So send your colorful cards, share your hugs and feel the Love, the Love that you are!
Happy Valentines!
We Love You
Katy Mummager and the Abracadabra& StoryBus Team
PS; Join us at our Valentines Story Party Sunday 28th of February at Wooly Ward`s Farm  pwncil it in and you can book in on Wooly Wards`s Farm Website.

Places are limited so hurry to secure your places!

Abracadabra Parenting - I create what I say


Just in case, you do not know by now, or if you know let me remind you what Abracadabra means.

Abracadabra means in Hebrew: I create what I say!
"The word Abracadabra may derive from an Aramaic phrase meaning "I create as I speak." [1] or from the Greek "Αύρα κατ' αύρα" meaning "from Αura to Aura". This etymology is dubious, however, as אברא כדברא in Aramaic is more reasonably translated "I create like the word." In the Hebrew language, אברא translates as "I will create" and כדברא "as spoken". 

Abracadabra School was founded two years ago also in February, on a cold winter evening when Eric was studying on the internet and he came across the explanation of Abracadabra.
My son was studying magic and magic tricks at that time.  
He was very interested in magic, and he had studied online and on youtube and loved this topic. So, when you learn about magic, inevitably you will come across the word Abracadabra! 
On that evening finding the meaning of the word Abracadabra, was more than just a mere learning.
He came out to me in the kitchen, and I could saw on him that he is extremely excited about something.
"You know what magic is ?" he asked me and without even giving me the chance to answer he continued: magic is nothing else but; preparation, practice, and delivery! You can do anything in life all you have to do is prepare, practice, and deliver at the right time to the right place!
I have to say that when I heard this suddenly had the same feeling that he must had: this is why we say life is magic. as life is nothing else just preparing your tomorrow, your future, practicing and delivering!
So, as simple as that we got to the conclusion that our Winner Academy school should be renamed; Abracadabra School, the school where you create what you say! 
A school where:
you learn the importance and power of your thoughts
where you can practice 
 learn that failure is the essential part of the process
learn to deliver to give the world your work, to deliver your results in a way that makes other people happy and contributes to their life.
learn to create your life and emotions and not allow life and emotions to create you
If you are a parent, just give yourself s few moments and think about this; do you build your life or are your emotions are making it?
If you come to the realization, just like I come at that moment, that all those emotions are mostly guiding my life, so maybe now is the time than to change this.
Not only change this but practice it with your children
Wake up from tomorrow and just change the things around. Instead of letting the feelings like, fear insecurity lead your life, step over them do what you believe that you have to do to conquer and manifest the feelings and emotions that you would love to feel and create.
Do not only believe, but also know!
Know that whatever it is there in your heart and gut are only emotions that are other peoples finds mostly, and you will not know what are these until you do not do and feel.
It takes less than a moment, start with a small insecurity and once you will see and feel the change there will be no return! 
Just prepare /what you want to change/ practice, you might not succeed first so remember you are practicing and than....deliver! Do it, feel it and know it!
I promise you will now understand what is the difference when you know!

Would it be just great if your kids would grow up by learning from a very young age to be magicians of their life? 


Would it not be awesome that your children would know that it does not take anything else to do anything in life but always the same 3 step; preparation, practice and deliver!
This is what is all about at Abracadabra School and Ask Theatre; we learn together the magic of creating emotions and living a happy life: this is nothing else but Emotional Intelligence, being smarter with feelings!


Online Safety – It Starts With You

Since the beginning, Kids Edu's made online safety a priority - we believe all our users should know how to stay safe online.

Be Cool Online — Respect Others

Treat people how you 
want to be treated
Avoid words that might offend others
If you wouldn't say it out loud, don't say it online

Kids Edu is Committed to Safety

There are filters to help block inappropriate chat
There are tons of crazy emotes to help express yourself
Be Heard Online — Speak Up

If you see anything you're not comfortable with, tell someone you trust right away
Don’t share personal info with anyone
Make sure your parents know what you're doing online


There are moderators around the clock to help keep you safe
If someone’s breaking the rules, Let the us know our Admin know we will get back right away!

Protect Personal Info

Keep your name, age, address, phone number, and school top secret
Only share passwords with parents - don't even tell your best friends!
Pick usernames that don't give away personal info

To keep safe,
Moderators approve all usernames

7 Practical Ways To Improve Your Emotional Intelligence


Emotional Intelligence (or EI for short) is a controversial but widely-discussed alternative to traditional IQ. EI measures our ability to perceive our own emotions, as well as the emotions of others, and to manage them in a productive and healthy way.

EI is fundamental to our life experience and can influence how successful we are in our relationships and careers. Whatever stage of life you’re at, you can use the seven simple steps below to improve your Emotional Intelligence and develop your self-awareness and empathy.

Practice Observing How You Feel

In the process of rushing from one commitment to the next, meeting deadlines, and responding to external demands, many of us lose touch with our emotions. When we do this, we’re far more likely to act unconsciously, and we miss out on the valuable information that our emotions contain.

Whenever we have an emotional reaction to something, we’re receiving information about a particular situation, person or event. The reaction we experience might be due to the current situation, or it could be that the current situation is reminding us of a painful, unprocessed memory.

When we pay attention to how we’re feeling, we learn to trust our emotions, and we become far more adept at managing them. If you’re feeling out of practice, try the following exercise:

Set a timer for various points during the day. When the timer goes off, take a few deep breaths and notice how you’re feeling emotionally. Pay attention to where that emotion is showing up as a physical feeling in your body and what the sensation feels like. The more you can practice this, the more it will become second nature.

Pay Attention to How You Behave

As I mentioned above, a key part of improving our EI is learning to manage our emotions, which is something we can only do if we’re consciously aware of them.

While you’re practicing your emotional awareness, pay attention to your behavior too. Notice how you act when you’re experiencing certain emotions, and how that affects your day-to-day life. Does it impact your communication with others, your productivity, or your overall sense of well-being?

Once we become more conscious of how we’re reacting to our emotions, it’s easy to slip into judgement mode and start attaching labels to our behavior. Try to refrain from doing that right now, as you’ll be far more likely to be honest with yourself if you’re not judging yourself at the same time.

Take Responsibility for Your Feelings and Behavior

This is probably the most challenging step, and it’s also the most helpful. Your emotions and behavior come from you—they don’t come from anyone else—therefore, you’re the one who’s responsible for them.

If you feel hurt in response to something someone says or does, and you lash out at them, you’re responsible for that. They didn’t “make” you lash out (they’re not controlling you with puppet strings, after all!), your reaction is your responsibility.

Equally, your feelings can provide you with valuable information about your experience of the other person, as well as your own needs and preferences, but your feelings aren’t another person’s responsibility.

Once you start accepting responsibility for how you feel and how you behave, this will have a positive impact on all areas of your life.

Practice Responding, Rather than Reacting

There’s a subtle but important difference between responding and reacting.

Reacting is an unconscious process where we experience an emotional trigger, and behave in an unconscious way that expresses or relieves that emotion (for example, feeling irritated and snapping at the person who has just interrupted you).

Responding is a conscious process that involves noticing how you feel, thendeciding how you want to behave (for example, feeling irritated, explaining to the person how you feel, why this isn’t a good time to be interrupting you, and when would be better).

Practice Empathizing with Yourself and Others

Empathy is about understanding why someone feels or behaves in a certain way and being able to communicate that understanding to them. It applies to ourselves and other people, and practicing this ability will improve your EI.

Start by practicing with yourself. When you notice yourself feeling or behaving in a certain way, ask “Why do I think I’m feeling like this/doing this?” At first, your response might be “I don’t know,” but keep paying attention to your feelings and behavior, and you’ll start to notice different answers coming through.

Create A Positive Environment

As well as practicing the skills I’ve mentioned so far (self-awareness, self-responsibility, and empathy), make time to notice what is going well and where you feel grateful in your life.

Creating a positive environment not only improves your quality of life, but it can be contagious to people around you too.

Remember EI is a Lifetime Process

EI isn’t something you develop once then drop. It’s a lifetime practice, and it is possible to keep improving. Even when you feel like you’ve mastered these steps, remember to keep practicing, and you’ll reap the benefits of EI for the rest of your life.

We all probably know people, at work or in our personal lives, who are great at listening and helping us feel more hopeful and optimistic.6 Ways To Raise Your Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Set a goal for yourself

"Life is hard at times. But when I overcome more challenges, I become much stronger then. So I’m going to embrace them.

Is Self-Talk Healthy?


Monday, 25 January 2016

Is Self-Talk Healthy?

Around age five, most people begin "self-talk" -- literally, they start talking to themselves either out loud or silently. 
While essential to language development, self-talk is also critical to moral reasoning. 
Sometimes we discourage it in ourselves or children, but we should do the opposite.
So, yes your kids are ok when they "self- talk" and you should encourage them by practicing it yourself too.
Self Talk is a crucial tool for developing emotional intelligence. You need to practice positive self-talk every day, just as much as you would need to brush your teeth every day!
Kids will practice a positive -self-talk, and if you hear them speaking otherwise about themselves it means that you urgently need to have a talk with them, to see if they are just copying anyone or they are genuinely thinking this about themselves. 
As a parent, you need to set the example, so you need to be very careful how you refer to yourself.
And you know what: positive self-talk can only serve you too!
Here are a few things self-talk can do for you:

Give yourself a shout out. Even if no one else seems to be appreciating you at the moment, compliment yourself on the way you handled a difficult situation, left your comfort zone for a new adventure, or just got through a busy day.
Give yourself a pep talk. We could all use a motivational speaker from time to time, but we don’t always have one handy. Self-talk can help you motivate yourself to achieve a goal at work, in a relationship, or in your personal behavior.
Debate both sides of a difficult decision. Saying your options out loud and elaborating on the pros and cons can help bring the right choice to light, and you might be surprised at the unexpected direction your thoughts take when they’re audible.
Blow off steam. If you’re not the type to confront people who tick you off, talk to yourself about how they bother you or how unfair a situation is. Introverts are especially prone to missing opportunities to assert themselves. Put the “self” back in self-assertion.
Understand you thoughts better.Sometimes we’re sure we think one way, but our psyche tells us differently. Have you ever found yourself crying when you didn’t think anything was wrong? That’s your subconscious letting you know. Invite it to join your conversation to bring you to new levels of self-awareness.
Boost your memory.Research shows that saying the location out loud when you place an object will help you remember where you put it.
Shake off stress and anxiety. Who couldn’t use one more way to get rid of stress? Work it through with a monolog.

You might find difficult every morning to get yourself an actual pep talk, so here is a link that you can follow and every morning al you have to do is only to repeat along and breathe for 2 minutes with Eric Lassard, our positivity expert.
Since two years Eric is sending thousand of people an email at exactly 8 am and gives great pep talk for the present day.
The best part is that you and your family can listen in the way to school, it is not dangerous while driving, /except do not close your eyes just breathe /at breakfast or whatever you are doing around 9 am each mornings! 
and if you want to receive it every  morning directly into your inbox then subscribe at:
So, please share with us your thoughts about self-talk and how you kids use this precious tool.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Wishing you an incredible week "talk yourself in" happiness!
Katy Winner
Your Devoted Emotional Intelligence Expert
PS; If you are around Dublin and Ireland come along to our shows and workshops.
See details; http;//
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Stay Safe, Be Safe

Tips & Advice
Practice good online safety habits with these tips and advice:

Keep A Clean Machine.

Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.

Automate software updates: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.

Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Along with computers, smart phones, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.

Plug & scan: “USBs” and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.

Protect Your Personal Information.

Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site.

Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.

Unique account, unique password: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.

Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer.

Own your online presence: When available, set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s ok to limit who you share information with.

Connect With Care.

When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or if appropriate, mark as junk email.

Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.

Protect your $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the sites is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://”, which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.

Be Web Wise.

Stay current. Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online: Check trusted websites for the latest information, and share with friends, family, and colleagues and encourage them to be web wise.

Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implores you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true, or asks for personal information.

Back it up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.

Be a Good Online Citizen.

Safer for me more secure for all: What you do online has the potential to affect everyone – at home, at work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community.

Post only about others as you have them post about you.

Help the authorities fight cyber crime: Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center ( and to your local law enforcement or state attorney general as appropriate.

Practice STOP. THINK. CONNECT. and encourage others to do it as well. 

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Is The End Near for Public Education...? What do you think?

“It’s time to admit that public education operates like a planned economy, a bureaucratic system in which everybody’s role is spelled out in advance and there are few incentives for innovation and productivity. It’s no surprise that our school system doesn’t improve: It more resembles the communist economy than our own market economy.”

- Albert Shanker

For more than 30 years prior to his death in 1997, Albert Shanker was a pivotal force in the teachers’ unions, serving as President of both the United Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers. But as hard as he fought for teachers’ rights, he also felt the public education system in the U.S. was sadly inadequate.

And with good reason. State-sponsored public education in almost every country in the world is unsatisfactory and inept, a scandal we’ve tolerated far too long.

The origin of comprehensive, state-sponsored schooling in the industrial era can be traced to 19th Century Prussia. In the early 1800’s Prussian military rulers implemented a national schooling program to ensure a supply of disciplined young soldiers capable of resisting any future Napoleonic-style invasion of their country. Under the guise of teaching young boys how to read and do numbers, Prussian schools grouped students by age, rather than by knowledge or ability, sat them at rows of desks facing a teacher, rather than arranging them in discussion circles, and rang a bell regularly, so as to discipline their day while they studied a variety of subjects.

The British adapted the Prussian model when they needed to create their own cadre of professionals to administer their far-flung empire. And Horace Mann, one of the early proponents of public schooling in America, returned from an 1843 visit to Prussia full of ideas for implementing the same kind of system in the U.S.

Teaching “reading, writing and ’rithmatic” was not the main purpose for these early school systems, however, because the vast majority of adults in Prussia, Britain, and the young United States were already literate, even before public schooling was instituted. The printing press had unleashed a tidal wave of demand for literacy, and most people either learned on their own, or were taught by a combination of parents and non-public, for-profit schools. Instead, one of the primary objectives of the public school system in most countries was to raise a disciplined work force and maintain the social order.

In Matt Ridley’s ambitious book The Evolution of Everything, he dedicates a full chapter to a sweeping story of how people educate themselves, when left to their own devices. If you look at how schools develop “in the wild” today, outside of government programs, you'll be amazed at the kind of systems that evolve on their own – simply because parents want to educate their children, and they’re willing to spend money to do so, especially when they see that a state-sponsored system is dysfunctional.

And why not? After all, no one thinks a government monopoly is necessary to ensure an adequate supply of fitness centers, or hotels, or grocery stores, right? But just like hotels and groceries, non-government schools maintain their quality because they compete with each other; state schools do not.

Ridley cites the work of James Tooley, Professor of Education at Newcastle University, who documented the evolution of low-cost private schools in city slums and remote villages around the world. In the cramped and sewage-infested slums of the old city of Hyderabad, India, for instance, there is an association of five hundred private schools catering to the poor. A school might have unglazed windows and stained walls, but for the equivalent of $2 a day or less, the children of rickshaw-pullers and day laborers get what amounts to a first-rate education. In Ghana, one highly popular teacher has built a school with four branches teaching some 3,400 children a year. Scholarships are provided for those who can’t afford even the modest tuition fee of about $50 per term. In Somaliland, Tooley found that in a city with no water supply, paved roads or street lights there were twice as many private schools as state schools.

In virtually every region, all over the world, low-cost private schools out-deliver state schools. They have consistently lower costs and they generate consistently better results than public schools, Tooley found, simply because parents vote with their feet.

Now add technology to the equation and you have a formula for rapidly evolving, non-state-controlled education, not just in the developed world but in the developing world as well. 

You may have already seen Sugata Mitra’s prize-winning 2013 TED talk about how poor kids in an Indian slum were able to teach themselves English, along with advanced concepts in biology, chemistry and mathematics, simply by following their own curiosity and helping each other with the use of a single personal computer and access to the internet. But if you haven't yet watched this, you are missing out on what may be one of the most important insights in the last couple of centuries into how the most effective kind of education actually happens.  

Mitra's research suggests that the schooling system itself may soon become obsolete, replaced by what he calls the self-organized learning environment, or “SOLE.” His plan is to have three to five children share a computer with internet access, then propel their learning simply by giving them questions to answer on their own, like figuring out puzzles. Can trees think? Why do we dream? How does an iPad know where it is? Why do humans breathe, and what happens to the air we breathe?

The galloping pace of technology requires us to upgrade our capability to learn. But unfortunately the public schools, saddled with bureaucracy and undisciplined by any real feedback from customers (i.e. students) will simply not be up to this task. No top-down, take-it-or-leave-it process ever could be.

When the end finally does come for public education it's unlikely to be by government action. Instead, at some point in the next two or three decades public schools will simply find themselves completely outdated by technology, to the point that they will stand alone and unused, rendered as obsolete as public phone booths, or secretarial pools. 

Whatever replaces the current system will be an emergent, evolutionary phenomenon, demanded by individual consumers (i.e., students and their parents), and augmented by technology. We can only hope it emerges sooner rather than later. 

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Introduction to Alternative Teachers: Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori Biography

Academic, Educator (1870–1952)



Maria Montessori

Academic, Educator

August 31, 1870

May 6, 1952

University of Rome

Chiaravalle, Italy

Noordwijk aan Zee, Netherlands



Italian physician Maria Montessori was a pioneer of theories in early childhood education, which are still implemented in Montessori schools all over the globe.


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“Supposing I said there was a planet without schools or teachers, study was unknown, and yet the inhabitants—doing nothing but living and walking about—came to know all things, to carry in their minds the whole of learning: would you not think I was romancing? Well, just this, which seems so fanciful as to be nothing but the invention of a fertile imagination, is a reality. It is the child's way of learning. This is the path he follows. He learns everything without knowing he is learning it, and in doing so passes little by little from the unconscious to the conscious, treading always in the paths of joy and love.”
—Maria Montessori


Maria Montessori was born on August 31, 1870, in Chiaravalle, Italy. In 1907 she was placed in charge of the Casa dei Bambini school. By 1925, more than 1,000 Montessori schools had opened in the United States. By 1940 the Montessori movement had faded, but it was revived in the 1960s. During World War II, Montessori developed Education for Peace in India, and earned two Nobel Peace Prize nominations. She died May 6, 1952, in Noordwijk aan Zee, Netherlands.

Early Life

Maria Montessori was born on August 31, 1870, in the provincial town of Chiaravalle, Italy, to middle-class, well-educated parents. At the time that Montessori was growing up, Italy held conservative values about women's roles. From a young age, she consistently broke out of those proscribed gender limitations. After the family moved to Rome, when she was 14, Montessori attended classes at a boys' technical institute, where she further developed her aptitude for math and her interest in the sciences—particularly biology.

Facing her father's resistance but armed with her mother's support, Montessori went on to graduate with high honors from the medical school of the University of Rome in 1896. In so doing, Montessori became the first female doctor in Italy.

Early Childhood Education Research

As a doctor, Montessori chose pediatrics and psychiatry as her specialties. While teaching at her medical-school alma mater, Montessori treated many poor and working-class children who attended the free clinics there. During that time, she observed that intrinsic intelligence was present in children of all socio-economic backgrounds.

Montessori became the director of the Orthophrenic School for developmentally disabled children in 1900. There she began to extensively research early childhood development and education. Her reading included the studies of 18th and 19th century French physicians Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard and Édouard Séguin, who had experimented with the capabilities of disabled children. Montessori began to conceptualize her own method of applying their educational theories, which she tested through hands-on scientific observation of students at the Orthophrenic School. Montessori found the resulting improvement in students' development remarkable. She spread her research findings in speeches throughout Europe, also using her platform to advocate for women's and children's rights.

Educational Legacy

Montessori's success with developmentally disabled children spurred her desire to test her teaching methods on "normal" children. In 1907 the Italian government afforded her that opportunity. Montessori was placed in charge of 60 students from the slums, ranging in age from 1 to 6. The school, called Casa dei Bambini (or Children's House), enabled Montessori to create the "prepared learning" environment she believed was conducive to sense learning and creative exploration. Teachers were encouraged to stand back and "follow the child"—that is, to let children's natural interests take the lead. Over time, Montessori tweaked her methods through trial and error. Her writings further served to spread her ideology throughout Europe and the United States.

By 1925 more than 1,000 of her schools had opened in America. Gradually Montessori schools fell out of favor; by 1940 the movement had faded and only a few schools remained. Once World War II began, Montessori was forced to flee to India, where she developed a program called Education for Peace. Her work with the program earned her two Nobel Peace Prize nominations.

Montessori died on May 6, 1952, in Noordwijk aan Zee, Netherlands. The 1960s witnessed a resurgence in Montessori schools, led by Dr. Nancy McCormick Rambusch. Today, Montessori's teaching methods continue to "follow the child" all over the globe.

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Funbrain Jr.

Numbers! Letters! Patterns! Yay! Preschoolers can dive into early learning with five games featuring quirky characters. In "Balloon Blowup," kids pop the balloon with the largest number set. In "Heat Wave," they connect pipes in alphabetical order to fill up a pool. In "Shape Shack," they click on the correct picture to complete a pattern.

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Help your preschooler learn her letters with the collection of fun games included in this app. In one game, children create letters by sliding colorful puzzle pieces into place while in another, kids learn to recognize letters as they appear in words. Note that this "lite" version covers only letters A through H, and you must buy the complete version ($3.99) for the entire alphabet.

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Alien Assignment

This out-of-this-world app was created by the Fred Rogers Center and a kindergarten teacher and received a five-star review from Common Sense Media. Kids join the loveable Gloop family of aliens in a problem-solving adventure to repair their space ship so they can return to their home planet.

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Science says parents of successful kids have these 11 things in common

Any good parent wants their kids to stay out of trouble, do well in school, and go on to do awesome things as adults. 

And while there isn't a set recipe for raising successful children, psychology research has pointed to a handful of factors that predict success.

Unsurprisingly, much of it comes down to the parents.

Here's what parents of successful kids have in common:

1. They make their kids do chores.

"If kids aren't doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them," Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean of freshmen at Stanford University and author of "How to Raise an Adult" said during a TED Talks Liveevent. 

"And so they're absolved of not only the work, but of learning that work has to be done and that each one of us must contribute for the betterment of the whole," she said. 

Lythcott-Haims believes kids raised on chores go on to become employees who collaborate well with their coworkers, are more empathetic because they know firsthand what struggling looks like, and are able to take on tasks independently. 

She bases this on the Harvard Grant Study, the longest longitudinal study ever conducted.

"By making them do chores — taking out the garbage, doing their own laundry — they realize I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life," she tells Tech Insider.

2. They teach their kids social skills.

[2. They teach their kids social skills.]
REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University and Duke University tracked more than 700 children from across the US between kindergarten and age 25 and found a significant correlation between their social skills as kindergartners and their success as adults two decades later.

The 20-year study showed that socially competent children who could cooperate with their peers without prompting, be helpful to others, understand their feelings, and resolve problems on their own, were far more likely to earn a college degree and have a full-time job by age 25 than those with limited social skills.

Those with limited social skills also had a higher chance of getting arrested, binge drinking, and applying for public housing.

"This study shows that helping children develop social and emotional skills is one of the most important things we can do to prepare them for a healthy future," said Kristin Schubert, program director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded the research, in a release.

"From an early age, these skills can determine whether a child goes to college or prison, and whether they end up employed or addicted."


3. They have high expectations.

Using data from a national survey of 6,600 children born in 2001, University of California at Los Angeles professor Neal Halfon and his colleagues discovered that the expectations parents hold for their kids have a huge effect on attainment. 

"Parents who saw college in their child's future seemed to manage their child toward that goal irrespective of their income and other assets," he said in a statement.

The finding came out in standardized tests: 57% of the kids who did the worst were expected to attend college by their parents, while 96% of the kids who did the best were expected to go to college.

This falls in line with another psych finding: The Pygmalion effect, which states "that what one person expects of another can come to serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy." 

In the case of kids, they live up to their parents' expectations.

4. They have healthy relationships with each other.

Children in high-conflict families, whether intact or divorced, tend to fare worse than children of parents that get along, according to a University of Illinois study review.

Robert Hughes Jr., professor and head of the Department of Human and Community Development at the University of Illinois and the study review author, also notes that some studies have found children in nonconflictual single-parent families fare better than children in conflictual two-parent families.

The conflict between parents prior to divorce also affects children negatively, while post-divorce conflict has a strong influence on children's adjustment, Hughes says.

One study found that, after divorce, when a father without custody has frequent contact with his kids and there is minimal conflict, children fare better. But when there is conflict, frequent visits from the father are related to poorer adjustment of children.

Yet another study found that 20-somethings who experienced divorce of their parents as children still report pain and distress over their parent's divorce ten years later. Young people who reported high conflict between their parents were far more likely to have feelings of loss and regret.

5. They've attained higher educational levels.

A 2014 study lead by University of Michigan psychologist Sandra Tang found that mothers who finished high school or college were more likely to raise kids that did the same. 

Pulling from a group of over 14,000 children who entered kindergarten from 1998 to 2007, the study found that children born to teen moms (18 years old or younger) were less likely to finish high school or go to college than their counterparts. 

Aspiration is at least partially responsible. Ina 2009 longitudinal study of 856 people in semirural New York, Bowling Green State University psychologist Eric Dubow found that "parents' educational level when the child was 8 years old significantly predicted educational and occupational success for the child 40 years later."

6. They teach their kids math early on.

[6. They teach their kids math early on.]
Flickr/tracy the astonishing

A 2007 meta-analysis of 35,000 preschoolers across the US, Canada, and England found that developing math skills early can turn into a huge advantage.

"The paramount importance of early math skills — of beginning school with a knowledge of numbers, number order, and other rudimentary math concepts — is one of the puzzles coming out of the study,"coauthor and Northwestern University researcher Greg Duncan said in a press release. "Mastery of early math skills predicts not only future math achievement, it also predicts future reading achievement."

7. They develop a relationship with their kids.

A 2014 study of 243 people born into poverty found that children who received "sensitive caregiving" in their first three years not only did better in academic tests in childhood, but had healthier relationships and greater academic attainment in their 30s. 

As reported on PsyBlog, parents who are sensitive caregivers "respond to their child's signals promptly and appropriately" and "provide a secure base" for children to explore the world.

"This suggests that investments in early parent-child relationships may result in long-term returns that accumulate across individuals' lives," coauthor and University of Minnesota psychologist Lee Raby said in an interview.

8. They're less stressed.

According to recent research cited by Brigid Schulte at The Washington Post, the number of hours that moms spend with kids between ages 3 and 11 does little to predict the child's behavior, well-being, or achievement. 

What's more, the "intensive mothering" or "helicopter parenting" approach can backfire. 

"Mothers' stress, especially when mothers are stressed because of the juggling with work and trying to find time with kids, that may actually be affecting their kids poorly," study coauthor and Bowling Green State University sociologist Kei Nomaguchi told The Post.

Emotional contagion — or the psychological phenomenon where people "catch" feelings from one another like they would a cold — helps explain why. Research shows that if your friend is happy, that brightness will infect you; if she's sad, that gloominess will transfer as well. So if a parent is exhausted or frustrated, that emotional state could transfer to the kids. 

9. They value effort over avoiding failure.

Where kids think success comes from also predicts their attainment. 

Over decades, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has discovered that children (and adults) think about success in one of two ways. Over at the always-fantastic Brain Pickings, Maria Popova says they go a little something like this: 

A "fixed mindset" assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens that we can't change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard; striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled.

A "growth mindset," on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of un-intelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. 

At the core is a distinction in the way you assume your will affects your ability, and it has a powerful effect on kids. If kids are told that they aced a test because of their innate intelligence, that creates a "fixed" mindset. If they succeeded because of effort, that teaches a "growth" mindset.

10. The moms work.

According to research out of Harvard Business School, there are significant benefits for children growing up with mothers who work outside the home.

The study found daughters of working mothers went to school longer, were more likely to have a job in a supervisory role, and earned more money — 23% more compared to their peers who were raised by stay-at-home mothers.

The sons of working mothers also tended to pitch in more on household chores and childcare, the study found — they spent seven-and-a-half more hours a week on childcare and 25 more minutes on housework.

"Role modeling is a way of signaling what's appropriate in terms of how you behave, what you do, the activities you engage in, and what you believe," the study's lead author, Harvard Business School professor Kathleen L. McGinn, told Business Insider.

"There are very few things, that we know of, that have such a clear effect on gender inequality as being raised by a working mother," she told Working Knowledge.

11. They have a higher socioeconomic status.

Tragically, one-fifth of American children grow up in poverty, a situation that severely limits their potential.

It's getting more extreme. According to Stanford University researcher Sean Reardon, the achievement gap between high- and low-income families "is roughly 30% to 40% larger among children born in 2001 than among those born 25 years earlier." 

As "Drive" author Dan Pink has noted, the higher the income for the parents, the higher the SAT scores for the kids. 

"Absent comprehensive and expensive interventions, socioeconomic status is what drives much of educational attainment and performance," he wrote.

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The Story that makes a difference

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"As part of the Start Up Weekend in Limerick, which is a 54 hour weekend entrepreneurial activity, a group of us have come up with an interesting idea. The problem: A widening communication gap between parent and child, particularly in the area of emotions/feelings. "

21st Century Learning

20th century versus 21st century learning–what’s the difference?

The term ‘21st century learning’ is a kind of shorthand for what needs to be different in schools if young people are to be well prepared for life in the Knowledge Age. It is usually used to refer to some or all of the following:

building learning capacity – building the ability to learn, and to go on learning more–and harder–things, without a teacher or other authority figure to help. This is very different from seeing learning as instruction designed to help students ‘get’ existing bodies of knowledge
developing competencies – building a broad set of basic skills needed by everyone for life and work in the 21st century. This is a different approach from encouraging students to accumulate knowledge-based credentials)
developing the ability to do things with knowledge – using knowledge to develop new knowledge, as opposed to ‘getting’ existing knowledge
developing personalised learning programmes – co-constructing programmes of learning for students that build their general competencies and scaffold their development as learners, but allow them to work at their own pace, and in contexts of interest to them. It is the opposite to a one-size-fits-all approaches
acceptance of the idea that everyone must achieve and leave school ‘tertiary ready’. From a 20th century perspective, school is a place of screening and sorting people for their future employment destinations
explicit teaching of general intellectual skills – such as analyzing, synthesizing, creative thinking, practical thinking and so on. The 20th century expectation that these would be developed implicitly, via exposure to the traditional subjects
an emphasis on ‘right brain thinking’ – the idea that ‘left brain thinking’ (logical, analytic, detail-oriented thinking) is necessary, but no longer sufficient, and ‘right brain thinking’(aesthetic, synthesising, simultaneous, ‘big picture’ thinking) is now just as important
developing people/relationship/collaborative skills and emotional intelligence.

21st century schools are designed, not to ‘fill up’ students with particular kinds of existing knowledge, but to increase students’ ability to learn, independently and with others, and to produce new knowledge.
Read more about the wider context and the ideas that have driven these changes

The Theories pages explore in more detail why these changes have happened, why they are important, and how and why teachers, students, and others involved in education, need to think differently. The main reason for changing what and how students learn has to do with the advent of the Knowledge Age.

Not everything about learning has changed. The big shift is the context and purposes of learning. Ideas about what, how, and why students learn are changing. This means that teachers, students, parents, and the people who run education systems, need to think differently.

There is now much more emphasis on learning as a skill, on increasing people’s ability to learn (on their own or in groups), and on developing this ability in everyone. This might seem simple, but it’s not. This change means that schools and other educational institutions now need to be organised differently. Teachers, students, parents, and administrators need to think differently, and to understand why they need to think differently.

Hear Jane Gilbert discuss some of these ideas in these two video interviews: on new educational ideas and  on knowledge


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Thank you for visiting our community. As many of you know this is 

starting to be a product of so many many years of trying to reform 

the education. After so many years, meeting hundreds of 

organizations and thousands of parents we come to one 

conclusion: education needs change. 

Yes, I now there is no earth shattering in this idea. Maria Montessori, 

Rudolf Steiner are only 2 of the best known. There are the Waldorf 

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