Over the past decade or so, the U.S. military has learned the consequences of our national foreign language and intercultural competency deficit and in recent years piloted programs that provide language, regional expertise, and culture training to some of its units, realizing such knowledge is a key component in the tool box of a soldier.
These examples indicate we’re already in a situation where we’re playing a game of catch-up. Why? Because, as a country, we are, by and large, ignorant to the fact that not being able to relate to someone whose first language is not English, and whose cultural reference point is not American, is detrimental to our competitiveness at home and abroad.
Richard Louv, author of The Nature Principle, spoke recently with a CTV morning host about the importance of encouraging children to have positive experiences in the natural world. Louv argues that there are mental and physical benefits for children and families if kids have greater involvement in the natural world. “We may need nature in ways we don’t fully understand.”
"Go West, Young People! And East!" In a recent opinion column in the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof encourages Americans to study abroad. He cites both statistics about study abroad as well as his own travel and study over the years. “The experiences changed me by opening my eyes to human needs,” Kristof asserts, creating a perspective that he argues would be helpful for politicians and citizens of any country but sorely needed here in the United States. Read the...
Steve and Susie Baskin are parents of a Lac du Bois villager and camp directors themselves. In this TEDx San Antonio talk, Steve articulates the reasons for attending camp and the important lessons youth learn with excellent role models and engaged in a positive learning community.
Recently, a villager parent and columnist for the Pioneer Press (Minn.) wrote an intriguing column about President Barack Obama’s controversial nominee for the U.S. ambassadorship to Norway, George Tsunis, and identifies how a culturally immersive environment could serve him well,given what she calls recent cultural “flubs.”