TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Scott Ingram

Robin Pendoley is the founder of Thinking Beyond Borders. Robin’s blog posts on education and social change have been featured on Forbes, Ashoka, and Innovation Excellence.

Posted Jan. 23, 2014, 2:33 p.m. by Scott Ingram | View Comments
Next Steps in Gap Year Assessment

We’re proud of the impact of our gap year programs on the lives of our students. Why does this matter? Our theory of change states that if TBB programs help students develop a sense of purpose and direction rooted in justice and equity, they will better leverage opportunities higher ed and their careers offer to create social impact. Additionally, if we can help students develop higher order empathy and their capacities as powerful learners, they will create meaningful social impact throughout their lives. This impact assessment demonstrates that we have successfully developed these capacities — the same ones that made ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 12:26 p.m. by Scott Ingram | View Comments
Year Programs Develop Powerful Learners

Our third major area of impact is in developing the learning capacity of TBB students. This growth is not about changing the volume students can learn. Rather, it’s about shaping how students learn. Powerful learners are humble, they are introspective, they value good questions over answers, and they understand how the pursuit of knowledge can bring people together. Great innovators are powerful learners. Great social change leaders are powerful learners, too. Download These are not the traits being developed by most schools in our K-12 system. Students are rewarded for having answers, not questions. Learning is done at arms length, ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 12:16 p.m. by Scott Ingram | View Comments
Gap Year Programs Teach Higher Order Empathy

Our second major area of impact is the development of higher order empathy in students. Teaching empathy is a hot topic. Business leaders believe it is key to strong organizational function. Educators believe it is a means of preventing bullying. Sociologists believe it is the root of healthy relationships. But, this discourse seems to rely heavily on the easier end of the empathy scale. It includes comforting someone who is the victim of violence, oppression, or circumstance. Slightly tougher — but still easy — is trying to understand and work productively with someone who holds a different opinion. Download Higher ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 12:06 p.m. by Scott Ingram | View Comments
Gap Year Programs Provide Purpose & Direction

The development of purpose and direction is the strongest area of growth for TBB students. In the general population, students tend to enter college with no clear sense of what they want to learn or what they’ll do with the expertise they gain. While some have chosen a major, few base that decision in real world experiences. They haven’t explored how they’ll align their profession with the ethics and morals that shape their worldview and sense of self. Also, they tend to know very little about the work available to experts in their chosen field. As a result, they’re ill-equipped ...

Posted Jan. 17, 2014, 1:59 p.m. by Scott Ingram | View Comments
Study Proves Benefits of Gap Year Programs

Thinking Beyond Borders (TBB) is proud to announce the outcomes of the first comprehensive impact assessment of our gap year programs. We’ve worked hard to create innovative programs, and we are thrilled to illustrate the exceptional impact they’ve had on our students. We’re publishing these findings to highlight best practices and contribute to the conversations around both international education and the college transition. Why This Study Matters There are two groups of people who will find this series useful: 1) those seeking a solution to the current crisis in higher education; 2) those seeking to educate a new generation of ...