I just have share something that happened in my class today! I was seriously teary and my heart is still full. Earlier this week I taught my kinders how to write a Tootle. Yes, a Tootle. For those who haven’t heard of the PAX Good Behavior game (we are going school-wide this year), a Tootle is the opposite of a Tattle. It is a note to say thank you for making our school a wonderful place to be.
The biggest danger to humans is other humans, and the biggest source of safety for humans is other humans. This is not an abstraction.
Nurturing Environments can achieve population-level protection of human developmental outcomes by richly reinforcing prosocial behavior, limiting problematic behaviors, reducing toxic influences, and increasing psychological flexibility widely in homes, schools and community settings. This is a case example of how to do so, based on multiple experimental tests and experiences.
The current debate over the tragic deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner provides us a lens through which to view the broader problems of our juvenile and criminal systems. In both respects, we find ourselves focusing on what might be the proper “responses” to failings in these systems. As the debate moves from the streets to policy forums, the best focus for all concerned would be on preventing the need for a response as opposed to which response. While requiring police to wear body cameras and to receive better training, including training for proven community policing strategies, should reduce the incidences of tragedies arising from antagonistic encounters between police and citizens suspected of criminal activity, we can all conclude that it would be better for all concerned to prevent the need for a response in the first place.
Today, we have as good or better science for preventing mental illness than we did with Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine in 1954. His study only showed reduction in antibodies for a few thousand of kids. Today, we have scores, if not hundreds, of studies showing we can actually avert, reduce or even prevent mental illnesses —and not by just one method.