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What my students taught me about reading: old books hold new insights for the digital generation

Every year about 150 students enrol in the introductory English literature course at the Australian National University, which I teach. The course includes works by Shakespeare, Austen, Woolf and Dickens. I know what these books did for me as a student 20 years ago, but times have changed. I am curious to discover what reading [...]

By |2020-03-24T17:36:19+11:00March 23rd, 2020|Categories: Society & Culture|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

What we don’t understand about young people’s motivations

Young people are demanding change. In the last few days, young Indigenous activists and their supporters blocked parliamentarians in Victoria, B.C., from accessing the provincial legislature and led waves of protest across the country. For some young people, climate change is urgent. For others, gun violence is a crisis. From truth and reconciliation to inclusion [...]

By |2020-03-09T11:29:21+11:00March 9th, 2020|Categories: Positive Psychology, Society & Culture|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

5 Australian books that can help young people understand their place in the world

Alfred Tatum, a US education professor specialising in literacy for African American boys, coined the term “bookprint”. He said it’s something we all have – a list of books that have impacted how we see ourselves and the world. What we read matters. Reading shapes the way we see the world, increases our understanding of [...]

By |2020-02-10T16:05:05+11:00February 10th, 2020|Categories: Society & Culture|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Expect family talks about climate change this Christmas? Take tips from Greta Thunberg

As bushfires rage and our cities lie shrouded in smoke, climate change is shaping as a likely topic of conversation at the family dinner table this Christmas. Such discussions can be fraught if family members hold differing views. You may not all agree on the urgency of dealing with climate change – or indeed whether [...]

By |2019-12-12T16:36:00+11:00December 12th, 2019|Categories: Society & Culture|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Building empathy is more important than ever

Empathy isn't always what people think of when considering important factors in leading a good and successful life. It's difficult, uncomfortable, and doesn't seem to yield any immediate, tangible gain for either the giver or the receiver. Like many words to do with emotions it's also fuzzy; hard enough to define, let alone quantify. Despite [...]

By |2019-10-22T11:13:06+11:00October 21st, 2019|Categories: Society & Culture|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Still serving guests while your male relatives relax? Everyday sexism like this hurts women’s mental health

Sexism and misogyny harm women in many obvious ways. Women experience economic, workforce and health-care disadvantages, intimate partner violence, gendered violence in public places, and street harassment. Women are also faced with denials gender inequality still exists in 2019. Some people presume anti-discrimination legislation, equal pay, and ensuring motherhood is not a barrier to workforce [...]

By |2019-09-30T18:21:44+10:00September 30th, 2019|Categories: Society & Culture|0 Comments

7 skills to teach your daughter by age 13

Despite all the progress made, our society still puts women through the wringer emotionally. From impossible body standards, to victim blaming, to the pressure to always put others before themselves, there is a whole lot for women to deal with from their teens and beyond. Although parents and caregivers can't shield girls from the world, [...]

Let’s make it mandatory to teach respectful relationships in every Australian school

Media reports of findings from the latest National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey caused a stir in recent days, with some highlighting the importance of education programs to teach young people about gender-based violence. The survey of young people, aged 16-24, revealed some concerning findings. Nearly one-quarter of respondents agreed that women tend [...]

Too much love: helicopter parents could be raising anxious, narcissistic children

The Age newspaper recently highlighted the issue of so-called “helicopter parenting” at universities. The report talked of parents contacting lecturers to ask about their adult children’s grades, sitting in on meetings with course coordinators and repeatedly phoning academics to inquire about students’ progress. Over-parenting involves parents using developmentally inappropriate tactics that far exceed the actual [...]

By |2019-05-13T17:10:04+10:00May 13th, 2019|Categories: Science & Research, Society & Culture, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Youth find hope for the future through documentary play

Kathleen Gallagher, University of Toronto Today’s young people deserve to be heard. But, because of all of our technological distractions and polarized political systems, listening to others is becoming increasingly difficult. Philosopher and political scientist Roman Krznaric recently wrote an eloquent column on the harrowing prospects of “short-termism” for young people. My research has delivered [...]

By |2019-05-06T23:28:44+10:00May 6th, 2019|Categories: Society & Culture|0 Comments