The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

November 2009

Hi, this is Bob Collier inviting you to 'explore the psychology of happy and successful parenting', connect with bright minds, discover new ideas and sail outside the mainstream for a while without running aground.

All that and more.

In this month's issue of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter there are links to 33 articles and 16 notices and items of news. As always, I trust you will find in my latest collection of parenting, education and personal development ideas and information from around the internet something that will make a positive difference to your life - and, through you, to the lives of your children.

Please scroll down to pick and choose whatever is of interest and useful to you.

Thank you for being here! I appreciate this opportunity to be of help to you in your parenting adventure and wish you all the happiness and success you would wish yourself.

See you next month!



"If you don't like positive thinking that's OK. Just eliminate all the negative thoughts from your brain, and what's left will do just fine!" - Doug Bench


The Scientific Benefits of Breastfeeding
by PhD in Parenting

There are a great many Web sites and studies out there that talk about the benefits of breastfeeding. Like much of the stuff on the Web, they have been written at different stages in time, may or may not have been updated, may be based on science or may be based on what someone heard from their neighbour. In short, you can't believe everything you read online.

Read more ...

CCFC Urges Baby Einstein to Come Clean with Parents
from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) is pleased that Baby Einstein has acknowledged that their videos for infants and toddlers are not educational, but calls on the company to stop misleading parents about its past actions.

Read more ...

The Tiny Differences in the Littlest Brains
by Emily Bazelon, Washington Post

In one of the eye-opening studies cited in Lise Eliot's masterful new book on gender and the brain, mothers brought their 11-month-olds to a lab so the babies could crawl down a carpeted slope. The moms pushed a button to change the slope's angle based on what they thought their children could handle. And then the babies were tested to see how steep a slope they could navigate.

The results?

Girls and boys proved equally adept at crawling and risk-taking: On their own, they tried and conquered the same slopes. But the mothers of the girls -- unlike the mothers of the boys -- underestimated their daughters' aptitude by a significant margin.

Read more ...

NurtureShocked and Awed by a Great Book
by Jonathan Liu

Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman didn't set out to write a book about parenting, but sort of stumbled across it while researching a story for Time Magazine. They found that, at least when it comes to praising our kids, our instincts appear to be completely wrong. And they wondered: what else have we gotten wrong? Digging deeper, they found piles of scientific studies done about children, and spent three years investigating what really works and what doesn't. The results are often counterintuitive and (unfortunately) completely opposite of what we do by "instinct."

Read more ...

Do Our Genes Influence Behavior?
by John Horgan

A few weeks ago I was hurrying past a newsstand in Grand Central Station when the cover of the latest issue of Time stopped me short. Superimposed on a painting of a blue-skinned, red-lipped woman, her hands clasped in prayer, were the words "The God Gene." The article within reported that in a new book with that title, the geneticist Dean Hamer had traced belief in God to a specific gene. "Does our DNA compel us to seek a higher power?" Time asked.

The article left me pondering a different question: Given the track record of behavioral geneticists in general, and Dean Hamer in particular, why does anyone still take their claims seriously?

Read more ...

Kids' Survival Skills
by Gal Baras

In the Stone Age, survival involved hunting, gathering, finding shelter, keeping a file going and making simple stone tools. Men were men, women were women and kids had to observe and learn from their respective role models how to survive, but it was fairly simple - get food, make sure nothing eats you, that sort of thing.

From a social point of view, kids did as they were told and stayed out of the way of people who were physically stronger. When they did not, they were beaten, denied food or faced danger on their own.

Over time, life changed quite a bit.

Read more ...

Help Your Children Grow Into Exceptional Adults
by Gabriella Kortsch, Ph.D.

We send our kids to the best schools we can afford. We send them to immersion courses during the summer in other countries to perfect their foreign language skills. We make sure their food is nutritious, we organize tennis lessons, piano lessons, private tutors and if they need it, we send them to expensive dermatologists to help with their acne. We buy over-priced school and sports uniforms; we give in to their pleas for the latest fashion or technology craze, and it is abundantly clear that we love them very much and want the very best for them.

Today I want to discuss other aspects of helping them grow up well. And all of these have to do with us. Not with them.

Read more ...

The Complete Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Process for Compassion, Understanding, and Peace
by Joshua Uebergang aka "Tower of Power"

You are about to unlock what I believe is the greatest human need in communication. I will show you how to connect with another human in the most intimate way possible - a way that most people never experience. This is something the world so desperately needs. It is something you so desperately need. I have poured enormous amounts of time and effort into this article to change your communication - your life - forever.

Read more ...

Happiness is a Choice
by Ronit Baras

Happiness is probably the thing people dedicate their life to achieve the most. Their definition of happiness is different from one to another, but when they focus on a relationship, they want to be happy in that relationship, when they focus on money, they want to be happy with their financial situation, when they try to be healthy, they want to be happy with their body and wellbeing and when they spend time with their kids, they want to be happy in their parenting. Happiness covers every area of life. Life is a journey to many destinations, but in all of them, we seek to be happy.

So the big question is "How to achieve happiness?"

Would you like to have a happiness manual?

Read more ...

Gardner's 'Multiple Intelligences' seductive nonsense?
by Donald Clark

One of the problems with Gardner's 'Multiple Intelligences' was its seductiveness. A teacher could simply say, everyone's smart, we're all just smart in different ways. There's a truth in this, in terms of a narrowly academic curriculum, but when adopted as 'science' in schools, Multiple Intelligences can be a dumbing-down, destructive force. In general people confuse the critique of single IQ scores as a measure of intelligence, with Gardner's theory, as if he were the final world on the matter. He is not.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Stephen Downes

The "chemical imbalance" myth
by Chris Kresser

The "chemical imbalance" theory is so well established that it is now part of the popular lexicon.

It is, after all, a neat theory. It takes a complex and heterogeneous condition (depression) and boils it down to a simple imbalance of two to three neurotransmitters (out of more than 100 that have been identified), which, as it happens, can be "corrected" by long-term drug treatment. This clear and easy-to-follow theory is the driving force behind the $12 billion worth of antidepressant drugs sold each year.

However, there is one (rather large) problem with this theory: there is absolutely no evidence to support it.

Read more ...

The kids are alright. But their parents ...
by Neil Howe, Washington Post

It is the prerogative of every generation of graybeards to look down the age ladder and accuse today's young of sloth, greed, selfishness -- and stupidity. We hear daily jeremiads from baby boomers who wonder how kids who'd rather listen to Linkin Park and play "Grand Theft Auto III" than solve equations or read books can possibly grow up to become leaders of the world's superpower. The recent publication of "The Dumbest Generation" by Mark Bauerlein of Emory University epitomizes the genre. His subtitle -- "How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future" -- says it all.

Generational putdowns, Bauerlein's included, are typically long on attitude and short on facts. But the underlying question is worth pursuing: If the data are objectively assessed, which age-slice of today's working-age adults really does deserve to be called the dumbest generation?

Read more ...

Aussie school tries to liberate teen brains
by Alanna Mitchell, Toronto Star

There are no textbooks at the Australian Science and Mathematics School.

No classrooms, no bells, no uniforms - unlike the other public high schools in South Australia - or even a dress code. ...

This highly unusual school for Grades 10 to 12 was built six years ago to plug into what neuroscience says the adolescent brain needs in order to learn. It's what teaching teenagers could look like if the teens' biology were taken seriously.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Stephen Downes

Fertile minds need feeding
by Jessica Shepherd, The Guardian (UK)

'Now Sats have gone, what do they expect us to teach?" a teacher asked in an internet chatroom the day the national tests for 14-year-olds were scrapped. She was not alone. While staffrooms across the country cracked open the bubbly on 14 October last year, several teachers confessed that they were lost for what to do with their year 9s - short of going through practice exam papers.

Sir Ken Robinson isn't surprised. A government-commissioned inquiry he chaired in 1998 found that a prescriptive education system was stifling the creativity of teachers and their pupils.

Eleven years on and things have only got worse, the former professor of arts education at the University of Warwick argues in his new book, The Element.

Read more ...

Five Ways to Reschool on the Interweb
by Melia Dicker

As much as I curse the Information Age for gluing me to a computer screen all day, every day, I must also praise it for democratizing learning. Never before has information been so accessible to those of us lucky enough to live in countries with Internet access. Even those without Internet at home can use it at the local library free of charge and reschool themselves in just about anything. For example, I've learned how to play basic guitar largely from Googling guitar chords and pop songs, and I've figured out how to build many of the features on my website by searching technology forums. Here are five types of online resources to educate you from the comfort of your couch.

Read more ...

Homeschooling: Learning Not School
by Gea D'Marea Bassett

If you trace history just a few generations back, almost no one went to school. It wasn't until the 1830's that public education came into existence; it  wasn't until 1956 that education starting shifting out of the hands of parents and the state and into the hands of the federal government; it wasn't until  1965 when the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (the beginning of what is now known as No Child Left Behind) brought us to the current assumptions about learning: that learning and schools are synonymous and that learning occurs through rigid standards and testing.

Read more ...

One Parent's Demand for the Truth About the Legality of Homeschooling
by Attorney Deborah Stevenson

Nothing makes me angrier than a lie, except when a lie is repeated so often that people believe it to be truth. I'm sick of lies, distorted truth, spin, and revisionist history. Can we just get back to reality? Can we just hold people accountable for their purposeful distortions?

Can we just set the record straight?

Read more ...

No Thank You, We Don't Believe in Socialization!
by Lisa Russell

I can't believe I am writing an article about socialization, The word makes my skin crawl. As homeschoolers, we are often accosted by people who assume that since we're homeschooling, our kids won't be "socialized." The word has become such a catch phrase that it has entirely lost any meaning.

The first time I heard the word, I was attending a Catholic day school as a first grader.

Having been a 'reader' for almost 2 years, I found the phonics and reading lessons to be incredibly boring. Luckily the girl behind me felt the same way, and when we were done with our silly little worksheets, we would chat back and forth. I've never known two 6 yr. olds who could maintain a quiet conversation, so naturally a ruler-carrying nun interrupted us with a few strong raps on our desk. We were both asked to stay in at recess, and sit quietly in our desks for the entire 25 minutes, because "We are not here to socialize, young ladies."

Read more ...

Homeschooling: How we do it
by Andrew O'Hehir

As I wrote in the first installment of this series last month, home schooling sneaked up on us, or at least on me. It's true that Leslie knew about the rapidly expanding world of urban, mostly secular home schooling through online parents' groups, and was already drawn to alternative educational approaches. But right up until the moment she quit her lefty-nonprofit job early in 2007, when our twins were 2½, we were a pretty typical big-city, middle-class family, with two kids, two incomes and a full-time nanny.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Peter Logue

No lesson plans? No problem
by Sara K. Taylor, Southern Maryland News

For the children of Zoa Conner and Walter Roscello, schoolwork isn't confined to a classroom.

Evan, 11, and Maia, 6, don't even really have "schoolwork," not in the traditional sense.

No, Conner and Roscello, both physicists, have concluded that the only way they will "teach" their children, is through unschooling, an offshoot of home-schooling that basically allows children to learn sort of organically.

Read more ...

Unschooling - Rejection Or Revolution?
by Phil Rowlands

If homeschooling can be viewed as an alternative to the state system does unschooling represent a complete rejection?

My understanding is that it goes even deeper than rejection. Unschooling represents an alternative child-centered philosophy where the child is the focus not an externally imposed curricula. In this context the natural curiosity of the child and his particular interests become the driving force for learning. Processes are more important than content and, secure within this environment, the child reveals his true nature as a born scientist where there exist no such things as first truths, but only the glorious adventure of exploration and discovery.

Read more ...

Unschooling Thoughts
by Miranda

Unschooling is a terrible term to use to describe what I envision our life with our children to be. The focus on the "un" brings up a negative connotation from the start. And the word "school" emphasizes the exact opposite of what we will be living. "Unschoolers" have gotten into the habit of defining what they do by what they don't do. This tends to look like we are running away from something (the school model), rather than striving towards something (living and learning as inseparable). It makes us look like we are basing our decisions on fear of school rather than simply choosing differently.

Read more ...

Unschooling - Is it right for You?
by MrsM

I love telling people about unschooling, and why it works so well for us, but I make it a point to start every conversation with one simple fact-unschooling is not for everyone. Just like traditional homeschool or public school, what will work for some families will not work for others and no system is inherently better than the others. To each their own…it just so happens that unschooling is for us.

Read more ...

Precisely How to Unschool
by Sandra Dodd

Occasionally it comes up and recently did again-the question of exactly how to unschool. No philosophical nattering, some folks say; just tell us what we have to do. Of all the things in the world that don't work like that, unschooling must be in the top ten. Unschooling and I both are all about philosophical nattering. One of the truest and clearest answers I can give is often "It depends," after which much "if/then" ensues.

Read more ...

Report from the 13th International Rethinking Education Conference
by Lisa Russell

The 13th annual, international Rethinking Education Conference ( held at the Marriot Solana in Westlake, Texas. The conference is designed to foster communication, enrichment, inspiration, motivation and networking for unschooling families. Unschooling is often lumped into the "homeschooling" category, but proponents of unschooling contest that it is an entirely different ball game.

Read more ...

Some Thoughts About Homeschooling, Unschooling and Gaps
by christinemm

A fallacy of American public education is that the students get a thorough (and deep) education of what they need to know before adulthood. It seems that just about everyone realizes that there are gaps or that some material jumps from here to there, covers things too shallowly or fails to connect the dots. However the same people who know this tell themselves and others that the education system is a very good one. Not many parents think their school system is sub-par. Everyone thinks their schools are "one of the best". Yet when I ask some parents what their schools have taught their kids that year, they usually don't know, or can list just a couple of topics.

Read more ...

Home Education and Incidences of Child Abuse
by John Barratt-Peacock BA., PGCE., BA., MSc., PhD.

Two things need to be carefully defined before we start to discuss home education and child abuse: they are child abuse and sources of information.

The author on the Australian Homeschooling Legal Advisory Service web site does not define what she means by child abuse and quotes a number of unacknowledged sources with no context. This is simply mischievous gossip rather than credible reportage and should be thrown out. I accept the legal definitions of physical and sexual abuse as they apply to children, though subject to some qualifications. First, they may vary from state to state and my knowledge has to do with the law in Tasmania.

Read more ...

Web technology is about to change how we learn
by Russell Moench

People are already waking up to the fact that they can learn online at a fraction of the cost of traditional means; the next realization is that they might be able to learn better.

Read more ...

'Convergent education' comes together
by Gregg W. Downey, Editor, eSchool News

Those elements of the education establishment that traditionally have defeated change will be powerless to stop it this time. Their hands will be tied, because the general population will no longer be limited to learning in authorized institutions at appointed hours under regular supervision.

Read more ...

The RPG (Role-Playing Generation)
What Business can learn from Gaming
by Heledd Straker

A lot has been written and discussed about Generation Y and its use of social networking sites, but there isn't so much at the moment on how businesses can gain insights into leading this cohort by observing how it uses other technologies, such as online role playing games.

Read more ...

Colleges Offering Video Game Courses
by Maria Rose Williams, The Kansas City Star

Menacing, metallic and mega-gun brandishing, the cyber super soldier looms over Richard Fleming's desk.

Not exactly stereotypical for a professor's office at Johnson County Community College?

Well, as the "Gears of War" crowd might say: "Eat boot! Suck pavement! Get back into your hole!"

This professor under the "Halo 3" figure teaches video game development. So lock and load, zappers of Nazi zombies or the locust horde. All those hours wearing out your thumbs in front of "Halo" or "Gears" actually could mean a college degree and fast career path.

Read more ...

The Promise of Games in the Public Interest
by Suzanne Seggerman

Games can be used for A LOT of purposes - well beyond entertainment. And as they are a young medium, they are not often envisioned beyond their current contexts; we are all still just getting used to them. Some people though have caught on early, and are using games in almost everything they do. Here's a list I excerpted from an email I received earlier this year outlining just some of the ways this one contractor/developer is using games: (Do read through it - it will surprise you.)

Read more ...

Wikipedia Goes All Douglas Adams With Portable E-Reader
by Kit Eaton

Think of Wikipedia, and your mental image probably has you sitting at a PC tapping your queries in. But that's about to change because Wikipedia's Wikireader takes the encyclopedia mobile, in a sweetly Hitchhiker's Guide kind of way.

Read more ...


Don't Bother Me, Mom - I'm Learning!
How Computer and Video Games Are Preparing Your Kids For 21st Century Success - and How You Can Help!
by Marc Prensky

[I've been re-reading my copy of this book this month and it's as great a read as ever. What others are saying now about the benefits of videogaming, Marc Prensky was saying five years ago. The following is a slightly abridged version of a review of Don't Bother Me, Mom - I'm Learning! I wrote for the April 2006 issue of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter.]

Long time readers of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter will know, I'm sure, that I'm a huge fan of Marc Prensky and his work, so it will probably come as no surprise that I believe Don't Bother Me, Mom - I'm Learning! is a vital book to read if you're the least bit worried about the computer and video games your children are playing (or would like to play).

There are, however, many aspects to this book that make it much more than an enlightening and positive response to all the objections, criticisms, negativity and fears that surround the world of digital gaming - it's an equally important read if you're simply interested in the probable future of our day to day lifestyles and/or the rapidly changing world of teaching and learning.

Of particular interest to me as the father of a 10-year old home educated boy [now 14] was the mention in the book of developments in the application of games technology to the school curriculum - including a little something called "disintermediation", or 'cutting out the middleman', a subject I've written about myself elsewhere.

To be honest, I was almost bouncing up and down with excitement as I read of the possibilities for learning and self-development that are emanating from the most recent advances in video gaming technology. The potential now unfolding is absolutely thrilling.

But, even if you're not as ready as I am to share Marc Prensky's enthusiasm for computer and video games as a means of educating and preparing our children for 21st century success, you'll discover at the very least from reading Don't Bother Me, Mom - I'm Learning! that what you may have been reading or hearing in the media about the games melting our children's brains and turning them into violent zombies has been both highly selective and greatly exaggerated.

Something that quickly became apparent to me as I read this book was that negative opinions about computer and video games tend to come from people who don't play them! Indeed, it seems to be that many parents who are worried about the games their children are playing don't actually know what it is they're worried about.

Both of my children play computer and video games. Without restrictions of any kind.

Computer and video games are the biggest passion in my son's life right now, and I think it would be most odd if I didn't know at least a little bit about every game he plays. Because I play them, too!

As Marc Prensky explains clearly and comprehensively in Don't Bother Me, Mom - I'm Learning!, "games are NOT the enemy". Games are a medium. TV is a medium. Books are a medium. Did you know that even the piano was once considered by many to be dangerous new-fangled technology?

Though it certainly does seem to me at times that there's a very questionable motive behind the making of certain individual games, of course, that really is no different to the questionable motives behind the making of certain movies or TV programs, or the writing of certain books, and so on.

So, as with movies, TV and books, it's crucially important to separate the medium from the message. To optimise the positive qualities of the medium and exercise informed choice as far as the message is concerned. Which, no surprise, requires parental involvement - something that Marc Prensky advocates throughout his book, despite what its title might suggest.

In fact, this is one of the book's great strengths. It's a book of solutions for parents. It does acknowledge the problems and it does offer thoughtful, experience-based advice on how to make things better, do things in a more positive way,  improve our relationships with our children and move forward and upward together into a new world of opportunity and accomplishment. Does that seem a little too dramatic for you?

Well, Marc Prensky doesn't have to convince me that computer and video games are preparing our children for 21st century success. I'm already convinced. I've been watching my son learning at the speed of thought for the past three years.

And, if I wasn't convinced before reading Don't Bother Me, Mom - I'm Learning!, I certainly would be after I'd read it.

If you have a child or children who play computer and video games, I hope you'll read this book, too. For reassurance, if that's all you need - or for mind expanding inspiration if you're ready for it.

To learn more about Marc Prensky's book, please visit

There's also a companion website to the book that will provide you with more insight into the video games themselves and the world of computer and video gaming at


Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Liberating Parents

A new and different parenting book from Australian NLP Consultant and Life Coach Keith Gilbert.

"... this is what Liberating Parents is all about.  It is training for parents so that you can learn the essential processes for creating, maintaining and enjoying mental and emotional health and wellbeing. And when you have these skills and use them on a daily basis then you become a model for your children of a balanced, creative and free individual… which is exactly what you want for your children!"

My favourite parenting book ever.

Visit Keith Gilbert's Neuro Linguistic Parents website for more information

Join the Liberating Parents group at Facebook

How I Parent

A short and hopefully useful instantly downloadable FREE ebook about how I've parented my own children.

Read more about that here 

Guiding Stars of the New Parenting Movement

Be sure to download your FREE copy of my Guiding Stars of the New Parenting Movement ebooks while you're here if you haven't done so already.

These ebooks are FREE with my compliments and are packed with valuable insights and useful ideas to help you in your parenting adventure.

Volume 1 - an introduction to the work of Michael Mendizza, Robin Grille, Laura Ramirez, Jan Hunt, Pam Leo, Pat and Larry Downing, Alfie Kohn, Marc Prensky, Kali Wendorf and Jan Fortune-Wood:

Download it from here  

Volume 2 - an introduction to the work of Aletha Solter, Kim Wildner, Naomi Aldort, John Travis and Meryn Callander, John Breeding, Scott Noelle, Beverley Paine and Alan Wilson

Download it from here

Kindred Magazine

"Kindred magazine is created to support and give voice to the embryonic but powerfully essential movement towards conscious parenting and conscious living happening all around the world. It is in honour of that revolutionary movement everywhere, be it large or small, public or personal, that Kindred addresses issues ahead of mainstream media. It brings cutting edge research and information from pioneers in all fields relating to the well being of our human family and the world we live in.

Courageously exploring social, political, spiritual, global and environmental issues, it is the first and only such magazine in Australia and one of only a few in the world."

For the full story, please visit the Kindred Magazine website 

Kindred Newsletter November 2009

Connection Parenting

Connection Parenting by Pam Leo is an outstanding parenting book endorsed by the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children (aTLC).

Here's a review of  Connection Parenting from Vanessa Van Petten of Radical

BOOK REVIEW: Connection Parenting by Pam Leo

Parenting For A Peaceful World
"Robin Grille, author of Parenting for a Peaceful World, and also Heart to Heart Parenting, shares some profound information about children and parenting  practices around the world and throughout history."

A video created by Jacob Devaney for Culture Collective, narrated by Aja Swafford, written by  Robin Grille.

Watch it on YouTube (7mins 48secs)

Learn more about Robin Grille's work at

'Early Loving, Early Learning - Loving Ways to Make Your Baby Smarter'

"If you would you like to learn amazing secrets about early nurturing that will have lifelong benefits to your baby's development - without feeling overcome by guilt and stress or having to create a whole new lifestyle, you will love the recordings of this ground-breaking tele-seminar series featuring interviews with internationally acclaimed experts.

Each expert explains the revolutionary research in their specialised field of early development and how you can apply this information to create the best possible environment to help your baby thrive and achieve his or her incredible physical, social, emotional and neurological potential - from the very beginning!"

For further information, please visit

Feeleez. A simple game about feelings.

This game is for parents, teachers, therapists or anyone who cares about fostering well-being for children. Used as a game or a tool, Feeleez grows empathy  and compassion, along with imagination and creativity. Made by the Natural Parenting Center (, Feeleez is sustainably  produced, made with recycled cardboard, soy-based ink and a re-usable tin.

Kris Laroche is looking for distributors in various regions around the globe. Help share Feeleez and become part of something that matters. Contact Kris at if you are interested in creating a meaningful business for yourself.

Steve Biddulph

"Steve Biddulph is one of the world's best known psychologists. His books, including Secrets of Happy Children and Manhood are in four million homes and 27 languages, and he has influenced the way we look at children and especially the raising of boys. He believes that as the world economy slows down, we need to rediscover community and find time to love our families, our earth, and those who share our lives."

I have two of Steve's books in my collection and they're both very, very good.

Gen Y Guide Manifesto

A new initiative from "Your Gen Y Guide" Sarah Newton.

"Whether you are a parent, an employer, a school or a concerned citizen, this manifesto is designed to change not only the way we act towards young people but the way we think about them and our relationships with them. Isn't it about time that, as a society, we stopped crushing the spirits of the next generation and instead embraced them and encouraged them for the change that they can effect?

This manifesto aims to bring together thought leaders and change makers in a common purpose and set guidelines to connect, engage and mobilize the next generation."

Find out more here

Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

"Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity." The legendary TED talk revisited.

Watch the video here (19 mins 21 secs)

Thank you for the reminder to Jonathan Chase

AERO's Survival Campaign

"For twenty years, AERO has been a major networker and promoter of learner-centered educational alternatives. It has always been a shoestring operation, with almost everything going toward our mission. But we, too, are now suffering in these bad economic times.

Over the years our deficit has been made up by grants from three foundations and donations from our members. This year we did not receive one of the major grants we were expecting. We have scrambled to find other sources of support but we have fallen quite short. If we can make it a few more months we expect that we will be getting more foundation support and we'll be okay. In the interim, we need to make up a deficit of about $20,000. When you consider the hundreds of schools around the world that we have helped, or even helped to found, this does not seem like too much. But the reality is that AERO's support and even our existence is taken too much for granted by many of our members and former members. They think we'll be here when they need us.

We have not had a major fund raising campaign for several years. We are having one now, and the need is urgent. We need your donations so we can keep our staff working, our bookstore going, continue printing Education Revolution Magazine, continue our online courses, producing our free e-newsletter, updating our website, and so we can organize yet another AERO conference this summer (you've probably heard that John Taylor Gatto and Herbert Kohl will be two of the keynoters!).

If you think that AERO has been of some help to you in the past twenty years, or perhaps will be in the future, if you believe in learner-centered and democratic education that really empowers students, if you share our goal of a true Education Revolution, donate to the AERO survival fund so we can be around for a lot longer.


Jerry Mintz
Executive Director"

Make a donation online at

Raising Children Vaccine-Free, TV-Free, and Without School is a Viable Mainstream Lifestyle that is Gaining Momentum; It's Not Just for Fanatics and Zealots.

Unvaccinated, Homeschooled, and TV-Free: It's Not Just for Fanatics and Zealots
is a new book by Julie Cook of No Regrets Life Coaching. Here's the press release:

"For years the homeschooling, TV-free, and anti-vaccine movements have been regarded by most as lifestyles adopted by fanatics and zealots.  Mass media has  continued to portray families who choose these lifestyles as outsiders and oddballs, even though homeschooling has been growing at a rate of 7%-12% per year  and most homeschooling families are in the upper middle class with both parents having advanced degrees.

In her upcoming book titled Unvaccinated, Homeschooled, and TV-Free: It's Not Just for Fanatics and Zealots, Julie Cook describes the decision making  process, and reasons behind selecting this lifestyle for her daughter and family.  Julie Cook is a mother with three advanced degrees, working as a middle  manager for a large technology firm, with a decidedly mainstream life. 

In the book, Julie Cook recaps the research data and statistics surrounding vaccinations and explains that nobody makes money if you don't vaccinate and many  people and organizations will lose massive amounts of money if you decide not to vaccinate. Some of the statistics in the book include:

*  A study done in 1985 proved that adults who had natural measles had a decreased incidence of various cancers including cervical cancer.

*   In 1997, a report showed that a person who has received 5 or more flu vaccines is 10 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease (than a  person who has received fewer than 2 flu shots in their lifetime).

*   A New Zealand study disclosed that 23% of vaccinated children develop asthma, as compared to 0% in unvaccinated children.
In the TV-Free section, Julie Cook includes statistics and data linking obesity to TV viewing.  Some of the interesting TV quotes include:

*   I have prevented my kids from watching MTV at home. It's not safe for kids. (Tom Freston, former president of MTV).

*   If the television craze continues with the present level of programs, we are destined to have a nation of morons. (Daniel Marsh, 1950).

The homeschooling section outlines the author's top 10 reasons for homeschooling and not one of them has anything to do with politics, religion, the content  of what is taught, or the safety of the environment.  She discusses intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation as well as the merits of play-based learning. 

Julie Cook is the owner of No Regrets Life Coaching and Publishing. To find out more, please go to

What's Wrong with Psychiatry? A Psychiatrist Explains...

"Dr. Niall McLaren, a practicing psychiatrist for 22 years, explains what is wrong with the psychiatric profession: That it cannot/will not take criticism, for fear the entire model of biological psychiatry will unravel. That there is no science to psychiatric diagnoses, no brain based diseases. And that psychiatry only pushes mental disorders as biological disease in order to convince people to take psychiatric drugs, causing a host of dangerous side effects."

Watch the video here (2 mins 39 secs)

Thank you for that item to Anthony Dillon

And finally ...

There's An Adult In My Soup

A new book from the inimitable Kim and Jason Kotecki.

"This book contains recipes for cooking up the life of your dreams and tips for keeping the adult out of your soup. The ingredients aren't included, but don't worry-you already have everything you need.

The essays within are short and easily digestible but contain witty and wise advice from two thought leaders in the area of life balance and stress management. This enjoyable read is packed with over 50 illustrations, making it a perfect gift for people looking for short bursts of inspiration or who are not normally "book people.""

Download a free preview

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Copyright © Bob Collier, except where indicated otherwise

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

Email: bobcollier[at]parental-intelligence[dot]com 

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