4 to 14 Speaker Series: Past Speakers

Brookwood Head of School Laura Caron comments on the value of the 4 to 14 Speaker Series and the breadth of speakers and topics. "By working in partnership and attending education programs like our 4 to 14 Speaker Series, parents and teachers can share a common understanding of the latest child development research and explore together the many ways in which we can encourage children to take responsibility for their own success in school and in life."

On Thursday, November 2, 2017 we welcomed Dr. Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D., author of The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears, to share simple, effective strategies that build connection through fun, play, and empathy. Whether it's the monster in the closet or the fear that arises from new social situations, school, or sports, anxiety can be especially challenging for children.

Thank you to the over 300 guest who, on September 27, 2016, were on hand to hear best-selling author Richard Louv speak on the power of the natural world and the importance of keeping our children connected to nature. iPhones, iPads and other tablets, e-readers, video games, electronic toys ... the list of our children's devices goes on and on. In his book, The Nature Principle, Richard Louv argued simply and convincingly, "The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need." Known for having coined the term "Nature Deficit Disorder" in his bestselling book Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv sparked a national debate and an international movement to reconnect kids and nature. He has influenced the public perspective as well as national policy, and has inspired campaigns across the country. In his new book Vitamin N, Louv provides 500 ways to enrich the health and happiness of families and communities and combat Nature-Deficit Disorder. In this practical guidebook, Richard provides handy tips for parents on sharing nature with their kids as well as inspirations for educators, medical professionals and career seekers. The presentation is sure to be thought provoking and informative. Brookwood students have access to nature and the outdoors on a daily basis. From PreK-Grade 8, students across divisions and throughout the curriculum are using our campus to explore, discover, study, and learn. 

In October 2015, Brookwood welcomed well known author Dr. Madeline Levine, a clinician, consultant, educator and author with close to 30 years of experience.  Dr. Levine’s latest book, Teach Your Children Well, is a New York Times bestseller and tackles our culture’s current narrow definition of success.  According to Dr. Levine’s research, the development of skills needed to be successful in the 21st century – creativity, collaboration, innovation – are not easily developed in our competitive, fast-paced, high pressure world. Teach Your Children Well aims to help parents return their families to healthier and saner versions of themselves by remembering that successful parenting is measured 20 or 30 years down the road, not at the end of any particular grading period.

In April 2016, Brookwood hosted Dr. Jennifer Bryan who spoke about gender and sexuality. Dr. Jennifer Bryan earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University and a B.A. in Creative Writing from Princeton University. She has worked as a teacher, counselor, author, clinician and consultant in the Psychology and Education fields for the past 30 years. She is the principal for Team Finch Consultants and specializes in helping PreK-12 Schools address issues of Gender and Sexuality Diversity. Using her teaching, facilitation, consulting and clinical skills, Dr. Bryan helps administrators, teachers,students, board members and parents create safe learning environments for all members of the school community.

Bruce Feiler, one of America’s most thoughtful and popular voices on contemporary life, came to campus in October 2014 to discuss his work The Secrets of Happy Families, a top-five New York Times bestseller. For his research, Feiler sought out the most creative minds in Silicon Valley, elite peace negotiators,  the creators of Modern Family, and Green Berets and asked them all what team-building exercises and problem-solving techniques they use in their jobs and at home with their families. Feiler then tested these ideas with his own wife and kids. The result is an original look at how families can draw closer together and is full of ideas for today’s parents.  Bruce Feiler is the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers and writes the “This Life” column about today’s families for the Sunday Times.

In February 2015, Jeffrey Kluger spoke on his perceptive, groundbreaking book The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters  Reveal About Us. Kluger is a senior writer at TIME Magazine and a former writer and editor for The New York Times, Business World Magazine, Family Circle magazine, and Science Digest. He is also the author of seven books most notably Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, which was the basis for Ron Howard's 1995 film Apollo 13. An engaging and entertaining writer and speaker, Kluger explored the power of sibling relationships through cutting-edge research, birth order, twins, genetic encoding of behavioral traits, emotional disorders and their effects.

In the fall of 2013 Brookwood hosted author and former New York Times Magazine writer Paul Tough discussed his bestseller, How Children Succeed. Diverging from the accepted notion of success and citing the latest research, Tough showed overcoming adversity produces character, even more than IQ, and is what leads to real and lasting success.

Brookwood's next speaker was Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, psychologist and instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, who in January 2014 discussed her latest book, The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age. Dr. Steiner-Adair gave a compelling message on the damaging effects smart phones and tablets are having on today's family life and suggested easy ways parents can push back against technology's negative influence while at the same time making the most of tech's creative opportunities.

The 2012-13 school year brought to campus Ashley Merryman, co-author of the New York Times bestseller NurtureShock, whose October 2012 talk examined the latest behavioral science behind motivation, what blocks and what encourages motivation, and how creativity comes into play. She also discussed the difference between effective and ineffective praise.
In April 2013, Dr. Brene Brown spoke on the Power of Imperfect Parenting to a sold-out audience.  Nationally known as a TED Talk all-star (her TEDxHouston talk on the power of vulnerability has over view twenty-five million views). Dr. Brene Brown is a graduate school professor at the University of Houston and author and researcher on courage, vulnerability and shame. She has authored four books including the just released Daring Greatly as well as the best-seller The Gifts of Imperfection.

The inaugural year of the Speaker Series in 2011-12 featured Dr. Michael Thompson and Dr. Wendy Mogel.