How can families and teachers give kids the life skills they need to cope in our multi-tasking, multimedia, modern world?
Ellen Galinsky felt compelled to seek an answer to this question more than a decade ago when her own research showed that far too many young people were turned off to learning—the fire in their eyes had dimmed, if not gone out.
Since then, Ellen has been conducting an extensive review of the research on how children learn best. With New Screen Concepts, she has traveled across the country filming researchers “in action” and interviewing them as they conduct groundbreaking experiments on child development.
On April 20, 2010, Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs was published by HarperCollins. In a first, Ellen shares this journey not only in the book but also in a Vook (video book) that takes us into the labs of the scientists as they conduct their studies.
In another first, Ellen has identified skills from child development research and neuroscience that help children thrive both now and in the future—that’s why they are called life skills.
All of the life skills involve the part of our brain (the prefrontal cortex) that weaves together our social, emotional and intellectual capacities in pursuit of our goals. Ellen believes that we will not be able to effectively address the achievement gap in this country unless we help all children gain these life skills. Among her findings are:
- Any child can learn these skills at any age—it is never too late;
- Any adult can teach these skills; and
- Promoting these skills doesn’t call for expensive toys or equipment or lots of time—they involve doing fun, everyday things in new ways.
Mind in the Making offers a new approach to understanding how our children learn. We invite you to join us on an inspirational journey as we uncover the scientific breakthroughs that to promote the life skills that help our children thrive.
At FWI, Mind in the Making (MITM) is an unprecedented effort to share the science of children’s learning with the general public, families and professionals who work with them. Based on Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs (HarperCollins, 2010) by Ellen Galinsky, its mission is to promote Executive Function Life Skills in adults and through them in children in order to keep the fire for learning burning brightly in all of us. Projects include: Learning Modules for Teachers (in English/Spanish) that have been implemented in ten states; Seven Essential Skills Learning Modules (in English/Spanish) that are being implemented in six communities through community schools with funding with the WFFK Kellogg Foundation in partnership with the Institute for Educational Leadership and in an additional eight communities/systems; a DVD collection of 42 videos showing important experiments in child development research; Prescriptions for Learning—downloadable tips sheets for pediatricians and health care professionals on frequently asked questions by families that show how to turn behavior problems into learning opportunities; and a partnership with First Book where we have created a library of children’s books and accompanying tips to promote life skills. Mind in the Making has sold more than 100,000 copies and had more than 1.5 billion media impressions since April 2010.
Click here for suggested Tips for Promoting Essential Skills
Click here for a list of our funders.
Click here for a list of researchers and educators who have been filmed/interviewed for Mind in the Making.
Click here for a summary of the outreach we have done with Mind in the Making