We are honored and excited to be debuting the “Screenagers” movie as part of our 15th Annual Gurian Summer Institute.
This moving documentary is sure to propel your thoughts and ideas on how families manage and supervise the many devices and technological gadgets that continue to come on to the market. Over 16 devices exist that are specifically marketed to millions of teens and tweens all over the world.
Delaney Ruston, physician and mother, directed and wrote this piece as a talking point and platform for parents and guardians to be able to have resources and access to beginning the courageous conversations of, where is the balance? Experts on child therapy, brain research, and technology addiction chime in to reveal the latest trends and research while we watch Dr. Ruston handle her teen daughter’s wish for a phone.
Girls and boys differ in their approach to social media and online behavior. Girls, as is typical in their every day interpersonal communication, use it for a more verbal and emotive medium to connect and showcase their friendships and outward appearances, while boys typically interface on fast moving and spatial video games and digital media.
As with any medium, social aggression, ostracizing, and exclusion can be problematic for our youth, especially online where it’s difficult to run pass interference for yourself, especially when you lack the maturity to do so.
If you are local to the Carlsbad area, please join us Thursday, June 16, 2016, from 7-9 p.m. at Army and Navy Academy, a Gurian Model School, as we begin courageous conversations around how to manage and protect our kids in the digital world as we launch our digital citizenship initiative.
An expert panel headlined by Rosalind Wiseman, author of “Masterminds and Wingmen”, and one of the nation’s leading social justice philosophers, in tandem with cyber experts, law enforcement, educators, family therapists, and parents will follow our screening.
Attached please find a sample of our family data plan contract as a first step and template to assist you in defining what digital citizenship looks like in your home. This includes adults too!
Screenings are in all major cities. For more information on a screening near you, please visit screenagersmovie.com where you can provide your zip code for available showings near you.
Gurian Model School Army Navy Academy to host Gurian Summer Institute this June!
Join us on the shores of the Pacific as we explore the gender lens perspective at our 13th annual Summer Institute. Geared for educators, parents, and mental health professionals, this institute provides powerful keynote speakers and strategies-focused break out sessions.
Learn the latest research in gender differences related to education and human behavior. Leave with proven success strategies for strategic school wide and classroom implementation.
You will also have the option to become a Gurian Certified Trainer.
REGISTER TODAY FOR THE GURIAN SUMMER INSTITUTE IN CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA AS SPACES WILL FILL UP FAST!
JUNE 16-18 – GURIAN SUMMER INSTITUTE IN CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA
For more information on the Army Navy Academy, click HERE!
In addition to registering today, we’ve partnered up with several different hotels in the area to give you the best rate available for attending…. So don’t delay, register today and click HERE to take advantage of these hotel discounts as they won’t last long!
And………. If that doesn’t have you excited, then check out these Gurian Certified Trainers that are joining us at the Summer Institute!
Frank Griffitts is currently a special agent for a state law enforcement agency. He has been a police officer since 2002. In 2006, Frank was the Arizona School Resource Officer of the Year, during which time he developed social media responsibility presentations that are still being used today. He was a detective in the Computer Crimes Unit of the Scottsdale Police Department, the majority of his cases involving internet crimes against children. Frank is a certified computer forensic examiner and an adjunct professor for digital forensics at the University of Advancing Technology. Frank is married with six children. He became a Gurian Institute certified trainer in 2016.
Travis Webb is a Licensed Master Social Worker and received his Graduate Degree in Direct Practice Social Work from Arizona State University with an emphasis on children and families. He completed internships with Hamilton High School in Chandler, AZ in 2008 and LDS Family Services in 2009. Since graduation he has worked as a private practicing psychotherapist and trauma therapist, and currently works at Arizona Family Institute as a private practice counselor. His scope of professional services includes helping children, adolescents and adults find healing through the effects of physical, emotional and sexual trauma. He is also trained in Attachment Modalities for Addiction/Compulsive Behavior treatment.
Rob Kodama has been a Certified Gurian Trainer since 2007 and is a member of the Boys Initiative Board of Advisors. He is the Director of Admissions, Marketing, and International Relations at Crespi Carmelite High School. He is also the head soccer coach and the Director of K-Sports Soccer Camps. In his role as the Director of Admissions he has increased enrollment at Crespi Carmelite High School nearly 20% within his first 5 years. He has taught a revolutionary course titled “Becoming a Man” to seniors at the school for the past 8 years. In this innovative class, he challenges his students to look at what it truly means to become a man in our society. He explores what their roles are as sons, brothers, fathers, husbands, and mentors. The course helps teenage boys define their purpose in life.
A year ago, Marcus Wheeler won the State Division I Cross Country title in 15:36, a race he had not even qualified for the previous three years. A year ago he attended prom, was looking forward to graduation, and the next step in his future at Central Arizona College as a scholar and elite runner on an athletic scholarship.
This same week last year, Marcus took his life, at school, with a gun.
7 months later two female students in Glendale did the same, and again, warning signs flashed like big red embers on their social media.
Over 4,500 fellow students experienced vicarious trauma on those 2 days as stunned adults administered emotional triage.
Although I did not personally know Marcus, I was called by Amanda Goodman from Channel 5 News to talk about how and what to look for on teen’s social media if you suspect there is an issue. Other channels did a story on resources for kids and who they can turn to if they are feeling down, lonely, or potentially self-harming or suicidal, and they posted phone numbers for students to call. While these resources are plentiful and amazing, the reality is, our kids are each other’s first resources, and then adults.
For me, Marcus represented ALL of my students, and all of our teens. Funny, awkward, going through the motions, under tremendous pressure, and just trying to “be”, trying to figure out where they fit in this big, fast paced, sometimes daunting world. Hormones abundant, financial pressure to find money to go to college, pressure to have the right girl, gear, and “stuff”.
In my quest to provide answers to parents who picked up their child from school that day, it really is quite simple.
Supervision, open communication, trust, and the ability to see kids for what they are–kids.
If you really are truly present, you don’t have to dig into their phones and hover over texts, they will tell you exactly what it is they are going through– in their own way, in their own time, which very likely does not match up with your timeline.
Below is a repost of my post from last year, and this time, I am including a photo of Marcus. We have to teach kids to report safety issues. They are the first line of defense for other kids, and it is too much for them to handle on their own. If you listen closely, and look closely, their message to the world is very loud and very clear. There are many reasons Marcus’ last words were on Twitter.
Unfortunately, as adults, we missed the mark on the many beforehand.
Saturday, May 14th, 2016, The Gurian Institute, hosted 175 people in our community for a screening of “Screenagers”, a documentary and town hall and courageous conversation about how to take our kids from digital distress to digital citizenship success. We discussed how do we embrace technology for what it is, how to teach kids to use it responsibly, how to unplug ourselves as families and trusted adults, and how to begin to really understand how the future is going to look for our youth as we move forward in a digital world that is only advancing.
There are several pros to kids using social media. We just need to be focused and vigilant when it comes to the cons.
Thanks friends for your support. Together we do make a difference in the lives of our children.
I am never brief. Yesterday morning our community lost a local high school student to suicide.
I have lost at least 7 students to suicide in the last 12 years. All boys between the ages of 11-18.
This one was a bit different. He did it AT school. A place he poured his heart out to. He was a state champion in cross country. Ran the 800 in 15:36. Graduating in a few days. Going to college on a full ride scholarship.
What made it beyond comprehensible to most was he tweeted for the at least 10 days about not feeling like himself. Wanting to rewind his life. Hundreds of kids at his school of 3,000 students saw the tweets, and of course as teens do, retweeted them.
His digital footprint was vast.
Isolated in themselves the tweets were not much different than most teens rolling along on the roller coaster of life. Coupled together however, even a lay person would see them as not necessarily suicidal at all, but troubling. A sharp turn in his on line behavior, a platform that they all use to showcase their ” highlight reel”. Their voice to the world.
But the stark reality is, this is the new baseline for kids. Sharing your feelings on line is just that. A one liner. Kids aren’t mature enough to add up the cumulative comments. They’re all just trying to run pass interference for themselves and keep their highlight reel looking better than the rest.
I don’t know if any kids reported it. I don’t know if any adults knew. What I know to be true is if you see an uptick in your child’s posts being negative or down, something has happened. Students are reluctant to report because it’s not cool to break privacy and confidentiality. Adults are not always present and engaged nor know how to monitor the dozens of apps kids are plugged into. Many parents I talk to say they have no idea how to work the phone itself nor have their child’s password.
As I teach my students, if something sounds weird, it is weird. If the behavior changes, something is up. If someone is suddenly off, there is a reason.
Students know things way before teachers and parents find out. Encourage kids to share with you. Get to know your kid’s social media. Check in with them. Keep the dialogue open. All phones in off position on your night stand by 9 p.m.
This was a “GOOD” kid from a “GOOD” home. From all outside glances, he was “living the dream” until May 1.
I ask students 4 questions when they are struggling with these types of issues. We can teach kids a way to ask these questions of each other.
1) How long have you been feeling like this?
2)Do you have someone to talk to?
3) Did something happen to trigger you?
4) Do you have a plan?
5)Do you have the ability to execute your plan?
I am NOT an expert, but students will NOT be calling Teen LifeLine. Although a great resource, their Teen Lifeline is Twitter, Instragram, Kik group chats, and the like. Hell, most of them have never even dialed their own phones.
He was any of our kids. He was amazing. He was loved. He was pure joy. He was in pain.
My sincere and heartfelt prayers go out to the entire TUHSD community as they wage triage for their students, staff, and faculty. Moving forward with graduation in just a few days knowing they lost one of the good ones MUCH too soon. Grace upon grace, peace upon peace as the healing process begins.
Katey McPherson – Gurian Institute Executive Director
Dr. Michael Gurian recieved an honorary doctor of letters in recognition of his contributions to gender neuroscience and efforts to improve education for children in disadvantaged communities this past weekend. His connections to Gonzaga began as a student, evolved as a faculty member and continued through the nonprofit Gurian Foundation he co-founded.
Gurian, as a social philosopher and consultant over the past 25 years, has traveled extensively to colleges, schools, and conferences to bring gender science into multiple environments and public policy. The Gurian Institute conducts international research and instructs professionals in gender science. A number of his books have sparked international debate, including “The Wonder of Boys,” “The Wonder of Girls,” “Boys and Girls Learn Differently,” and “Leadership and the Sexes.”
Read on for Dr. Michael Gurian’s, Commencement Address, for Gonzaga University Graduate Schools Graduation that he delivered on May 7, 2016.
Hello everyone! Congratulations on the honors and degrees you’ve received. Thank you, Dr. McCulloh and each member of the Commencement Committee, for asking me to speak today, and for giving me an Honorary Doctor of Letters. I am truly and deeply honored. My deepest gratitude, also, to all of my Gonzaga mentors, and to my family—you have made my life possible.
When Dr. McCulloh asked me to offer some remarks I responded, “Are you kidding—you want me? What do I know?” He was patient. “Yes, we want you. Tell us what you’ve learned since you left graduate school; what you wish someone had told you at this moment of life. And please do it in 12 minutes or less.” Sage advice! I promise to stick to the timeline.
On a day shortly after I had completed my graduate program, I sat at the edge of Lake Pend ’Oreille. I remember hearing the honking of Canadian geese. As I turned toward them I saw their V approaching then disturbing the water as they dropped into it. These dozen or so geese lingered there, washing and grooming themselves until a boat came charging. Most of the geese flew upward—honking, flapping, chaotic until they could re-order the air again, but one goose sat courageously in the water, curious to meet the huge bird coming at it. Only when the boat hit its tail did the goose rise awkwardly upward and flap around until its wings found air currents to support them.
I remember this vividly because I was struck by how long that goose stayed in the churning, chaotic water; it suggested openness to a new kind of love. I think it reflected my graduate school experience. I was always a bit of a misfit, a wounded boy, a worried man, a spiritual searcher—not making the same decisions the rest of the flock seemed to be making. I left grad school with a fear of being consumed in other people’s certainties, their forms, their ideologies. I had a strong and awkward will to work my way back towards some whole greater than any perfect certainty.
This passion took me into the gender world—the study of women and men, and boys and girls. Before I knew it, I was back at Gonzaga developing a course in gender psychology that used brain scans to show gender in the brains of females, males, and the whole gender spectrum. As I researched and wrote my fourth book, The Wonder of Boys, I became the lone goose again: academic opinion of that time felt certain boys were fine, only girls were victims, but my studies showed all children could suffer–one gender did not have it easier than the other in the whole, though in certain parts, each gender did.
In the late 1990s, as the Gurian Institute formed, growing research in brain science allowed me to transcend limiting ideology and discover my own way of caring for not just one group of children but all children. But, again, I became the awkward goose in the water awaiting the wallop of that boat! The majority of academics argued that gender was wholly socialized, not brain-related. Even today, this ideological opinion trumps the natural sciences in much academic conversation, and so, many of the sufferings of both boys and girls are not healed.
All this to say–though my specific area of focus is gender, you, too, will encounter your moments of awkward, anti-establishment thinking; you’ll linger waiting for the bam! before you soar. Or, let me say, I hope you will. I hope you’ll take the risk of breathing the deep breath of the impossible as you pursue your vision. This is what I wish someone had told me thirty years ago: to succeed and serve others we need our misfit awkwardness just as much as our distinctive beauty.
We have to let life teach us who we are by engaging accepted certainties then tossing them out when we have evidence of something better. It is in this way that we sing the song we are each born for. This song—your life-work—will be your way of creating revelation. No matter your field or role in life, you will create your portion of the mysterious and limitless whole.
Signals of this work will reveal themselves everywhere you go. Just walk along the Spokane River some time—watch a woodpecker moving from tree to tree, making holes no deeper than an inch. This pecking is practice for the ultimate task that will define the woodpecker’s life: the actual building of the actual nest where that one bird will feel eternity pouring into its material form. This is what I mean: we keep pecking awkwardly and beautifully until we build our sturdy part of the whole.
And even when you commit to that deep work, you will have your share of misgivings. Traveling somewhere, seeing a different life; you’ll think, “I’m singing a smaller song than I hoped for in grad school; I’m not singing the great song.” These thoughts are signals from the soul: now you must answer, “Am I really doing what I’m born for?” not with anyone else’s certainty, but with your own sense of meaning. If we work just for success, not to repair the world, we may not find meaning. But if you move, always, to places where you are needed you will build the nest of real living and loving.
Thirty years ago I had no way to anticipate I would be doing what I’m doing now. Who you become will certainly emerge from what you studied in graduate school, but your life will not go as you plan. You may well be needed somewhere quite different than you envisioned. Let that, too, be a source of joy; it is the invigorating awkwardness inside the ultimate beauty. Not the expected in life but the unexpected keeps us kneeling before the impossible.
This is why when people say, “Live in the Now, only in the Now!” I wince a bit. Yes, the Now-moment near the lake or river; the now with spouse, partner or friend; the now with child or grandchild…these moments of God are absolutely beautiful; they are the feeling of being stripped down to light. But that “now” does not just happen; we must build the masterpiece we will call the Now.
I do most of my building in research and consulting on gender issues. When I face death I will ask, as I think you will in your last moment of Now: “Did I do enough with my life?” I hope and believe I’ll say “Yes” because I’m doing everything I can for children. My standard of meaning is: I can only fail if I fail the children. I hope you will go forth from here and seek your standard, your own answer to “Am I doing enough with my life?” When you find it, build it awkwardly and courageously until it becomes your great song.
Thank you for listening. God Bless You!
Teaching and learning have always been embedded in my DNA. From a young age sitting in my mom’s high school French classroom, watching my Dad in the courtroom, and my step-mother lift families through social work in the depths of Detroit Public Schools, there wasn’t much conversation about a career path. It just was sort of an understood in my mind. I would teach.
As my teaching career unfolded, I would teach the rich of the rich, and the poor of the poor, and everything in between. I vividly remember during my student teaching in inner city Cincinnati, an 8th grade student throwing a desk at me and telling me to “you know what”! Later, I would learn that she had shrapnel in her leg from a gun shot wound that occurred the year prior. Talk about a reality check. Most of my students would arrive in the morning eating a pickle. I absolutely hate pickles. But you see, pickles curb hunger, and so they figured out how to survive with no food. Can you imagine?
As the years go by I marvel at the continued spirit of teachers to keep on keeping on. As buzz words come and go, policies and curriculum initiatives change, family dynamics and mental health issues of students rise, they are still standing.
Standing tall, and standing proud, of the relevance and relationships they bring to our children. Notice I didn’t mention rigor.
While all of those items above are important, the person who builds intrinsic and social emotional wealth 8 hours a day is far more important that what your child’s state assessment says.
The person who listens, strokes, and lifts spirits, is far more important than any district benchmark.
The person who literally would DIE for your child and practices doing so monthly by locking their door and how to shield bodies with his or her own, is more important than multiplication facts.
When you look back at the three R’s–rigor, relevance, and relationships, rigor is not what you think of when you think of your most cherished or challenging teachers and professors. It’s the human connection that said ” You are important to me.”
It’s also how hard they pushed you to become who you are today.
How they made you feel.
How they allowed you to be you!
And how they never, ever, gave up on you.
So take a listen to why we teach.
Rita Pierson nails what it is like to be a teacher and why human connection is the single most important factor in the equation.
This week, amidst the gifts, cookies, cards, flowers, remember to tell them thank you, and be specific.
Their bucket needs filling too!
“Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.'” A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level”. Take a look at this powerfulVIDEO!
Katey McPherson – GI Executive Director
By Katey McPherson