Help Promote Ending Discrimination Against Young People!

You know I’m not the most famous person in the world, right?!? I don’t have a publicist, and I want people to get a hold of my newest book, Ending Discrimination Against Young People. I need your help! If you want to pitch in, you can help me by helping get the word out. The biggestContinue reading “Help Promote Ending Discrimination Against Young People!”

Expanding Children’s Rights in the US

Bound up in this ongoing conversation about youth engagement is the question of who has the right to be heard. In the United States, there are two distinct conversations that happen regarding the rights of children and youth; one is protective (Children’s Defense Fund) and the other is liberatory (National Youth Rights Association). Children’s OmbudsmanContinue reading “Expanding Children’s Rights in the US”

Silencing Youth

One of the ways adultism affects young people is through silencing. Silencing youth happens when adults take away the ability of young people to speak. This happens directly, such as when adults tell youth to be quiet or take away their instruments for communication. It also happens indirectly, like when youth are seeking adult approvalContinue reading “Silencing Youth”

Activity: Songs About School

Adam’s Note: The following activity is designed for people who want to use music to engage students in critically analyzing the purpose of schools. It’s not for everyone, everywhere, and can produce challenging conversations afterwards, particularly in a school setting. However, by approaching students from a forthright, honest perspective, I (and hundreds of educators whoContinue reading “Activity: Songs About School”

Childhood IS Adultism

An image from my notebook to remind me that childhood is a social construct… Are you a teacher? Parent? Youth worker, social worker, child psychologist, toy store owner, afterschool worker, summer camp counselor, playground monitor, pediatric therapist, math tutor, or school principal? If you have any of these titles then you’re adultist practicing adultism. Period.Continue reading “Childhood IS Adultism”

Stop Beating Kids: Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools

Spanking Slapping Smacking Pulling ears Pinching Shaking Hitting with rulers, belts, wooden spoons, extension cords, slippers, hairbrushes, pins, sticks, whips, rubber hoses, flyswatters, wire hangers, stones, bats, canes, or paddles Forcing a child to stand for a long time Forcing a child to stay in an uncomfortable position Forcing a child to stand motionless ForcingContinue reading “Stop Beating Kids: Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools”

Becoming the Problem

For a long time it seemed to me that the problem was aging out: Every youth becomes an adult. At some point after that, adults become voters, workers, and taxpayers. It appeared that in that process most lost touch with their own experiences as children and youth. They develop indifference towards young people today, andContinue reading “Becoming the Problem”

A New Vision for Students in School Reform

The following is a vision for schools, written in response to the National Day of Blogging for Real Education Reform, a project of the American Association of School Administrators and ASCD. After 10 years of working with K-12 schools, districts, state agencies, and national education organizations across the US and Canada focused on Meaningful Student Involvement,Continue reading “A New Vision for Students in School Reform”

Connecting Youth Rights and Youth Involvement

There is a moral imperative inherent in youth rights and youth involvement. Rather than seeing the situation as a purely charitable consideration, or a civic responsibility, I believe it is a soul-wrenching mistake to deny young people the full rights of citizenship, effectively making them second class citizenry. That’s because denying anyone is wrong. ItContinue reading “Connecting Youth Rights and Youth Involvement”

How Should We Engage Kids of Privilege?

The Internet, television, the mall… there are so many forces that apparently distract young people in America today. How do we go about engaging young people with access, authority and what seems to be power in creating positive, powerful social change? As I wrote about yesterday all youth need to be actively engaged in thisContinue reading “How Should We Engage Kids of Privilege?”