Nini White | Edutopia
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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Nini White

I'm a mother and I was a teacher for 20+ years. Like many parents and teachers, I've experienced countless ways in which young kids are capable of acting AS IF they don't know how to behave!!! I've also experienced a world of frustration trying to change kids' behavior UNTIL I gave up and accepted the fact that most kids would never change their behavior based solely on what I told them to do. Fortunately, though, right about the time that I gave up trying to control kids' behavior, I realized the massive influence peers have on each other. Perhaps, I thought, there was a way to engage that influence, and turn it into a 'positive' for everyone.

Numberless test sessions in my own and other teachers' classrooms for 10+ years affirmed the capacity of the new approach, exceeding even my own high expectations. When major research, along with important discoveries in brain science, provided objective validation, it was time to share what I'd discovered with as many people as possible. I've since spoken at national and state level education conferences in the U.S., and even one large teacher gathering in India.

Since the late '80's, when I started tackling the issue of social-emotional development, some legitimately valuable programs have emerged; a good thing for everyone, obviously. Still, what Kids' Own Wisdom provides is unique in several ways: * Engages groups of kids' attention around challenges and solutions that work best for everyone. * Minimal amount of time required for facilitator training ... just 2 hours. * Exercises and expands kids' ability to transfer their understanding from specific SEL lessons from other approaches.

Areas of Interest: 
Social emotional learning,
School readiness,
Elementary school social skills

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