Episode 10: True Grit with Angela Duckworth

Tang Institute Fellow Noah Rachlin talks with Angela Duckworth before her presentation at Phillips Academy.

Grit has been a pretty popular buzzword in education these past few years. The concept isn’t exactly new. Perseverance, willingness to learn, passion, positively dealing with adversity—these are all characteristics that we typically associate with good students, and people for that matter. While we may have anecdotally known this for a while, scientific research is now demonstrating that grit, along with a suite of characteristics known as character strengths, serve as essential tools that can help students develop the skills they need to flourish inside (and out) of the classroom.

Angela Duckworth is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the founder and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development. Duckworth’s first book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, debuted May 3, 2016, as an immediate New York Times bestseller. Duckworth studies grit and self-control, two character strengths that are distinct from IQ and yet powerfully predict success and well-being.

She recently visited Phillips Academy to talk about her research and present to the community. Before hitting the stage Duckworth sat down with History & Social Science Instructor and Tang Institute Fellow Noah Rachlin to dive deeper into her thesis.

 

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Episode 08: Finding Your Voice with Jay Smooth

How do you teach and support student activism in 2017?

Fake news. Black Lives Matter. Women’s rights. These are just a few of the current issues Andover students are trying to grapple with. Phillips Academy is committed to equity and inclusion, youth from every quarter, non sibi. But how do you uphold these values when it feels like the world beyond our campus bubble is turning into the direct antithesis of everything we try to instill in our community? There are no easy answers. Conversations, however, are happening. Students want to be involved. They have a voice. And we need to listen.

Back in April Andover hosted Stand Up: Student Activism in Independent Schools, a daylong symposium for independent school educators and administrators. One of our presenters was the writer, video blogger, and cultural commentator Jay Smooth. Jay grew up in the burgeoning New York hip-hop scene and is the founder of the city’s longest-running hip hop radio program, WBAI’s Underground Railroad. Before his presentation, Jay joined Dean of Community and Multicultural Development LaShawn Springer to discuss his path from DJ to pundit, the current state of hip-hop and how today’s students can be supported in their efforts to lead positive change through activism.

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Episode 05: The Road to Repatriation

Peabody Museum Director Ryan Wheeler discusses repatriation and sacred artifacts with members of White Earth Nation.

Since the beginning of time, human beings have documented their experiences for future generations—on caves, tablets, scrolls and parchment. Now imagine a world where these records were lost. What if the Magna Carta were placed in a drawer, never to be seen again?

In this episode of EQ, we meet Anishinaabeg members of White Earth Nation. Their search for one of their nation’s founding documents led them to Andover, where a large birch scroll containing ancient accounts from their ancestors languished undiscovered for more than a century.

Phillips Academy’s Robert S. Peabody Museum is home to one of the nation’s major repositories of Native American archaeological collections. Founded in 1901, its first curator was the legendary Warren King Moorehead, known as “the dean of American archaeology.” So how did Moorehead come into possession of this sacred scroll and many other artifacts? And what does this discovery mean to its people and their future?

Join archaeologist and Peabody Museum director Ryan Wheeler and three members of White Earth Nation, who recently met at the museum to tell the story behind the lost scroll, recount its incredible journey and describe ongoing repatriation collaboration.

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Episode 04: Internment – America’s Dark Chapter

Sam Mihara describes life inside a Japanese internment camp with Andover’s Damany Fisher.

In early 1942, two months after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered all Japanese-Americans to evacuate the West Coast. Nine-year-old Sam Mihara and his family were among the approximately 120,000 people who were sent to internment camps across the country. The Miharas, who lived in San Francisco, landed at Heart Mountain, a camp in northern Wyoming, where they would live for the next three years.

Sam Mihara visited Phillips Academy in October 2016 to share his story of what life was like inside the camp and how he was affected by those years of confinement, intolerance, and discrimination. Andover Instructor and historian Damany Fisher talked with Mihara and his wife Helene about their experiences for Every Quarter. Fisher is an authority on the American history of residential segregation and housing discrimination. His paper, “No Utopia: the African American Struggle for Fair Housing in Postwar Sacramento, 1948-1967,” was recently published in the academic journal Introduction to Ethnic Studies.

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