News From Masters
Educator David Streight spoke about the importance of helping students live “a life of significance” at a conference hosted this week by The Masters School.
Mr. Streight, former executive director of the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education, was the keynote speaker at the daylong event held at the Fonseca Center. He is the author of several books on character development.
Dr. Eileen Dieck, Ethical Leadership Coordinator at Masters, organized the conference, which was sponsored by NYSAIS.
Some 70 educators from New York and Connecticut attended the event, which featured presentations by two other guest speakers, as well as group discussions and sharing. In addition, Upper School teachers Zev Barnett and Stacy Van Beek delivered a presentation entitled “Bringing Ethical Leadership to the Core Curriculum.”
“It was an engaged group of educators coming together to collaborate on the best ways to help our students grow into ethical adults,” Dr. Dieck said after the conference.
During his speech, Mr. Streight outlined the key elements of a life of significance and provided practical suggestions on how educators can foster such a pursuit among students. He noted that research has shown that individuals who pursue acquisition of money, possessions or status as life goals report less happiness and life satisfaction, lower levels of vitality, and more anxiety and depression than those who pursue lives of significance.
Timothy Leet, Ethics and Character Coordinator at Columbus Academy, delivered a presentation entitled “What’s Holding Up Your School? Foundations of Culture that Support Academic Excellence, Positive Character Development and Well-Being.” The presentation emphasized the research on self-determination theory.
Later in the day, Damaris Maclean spoke about “Partnerships, Problem-Solving and Power: How Service Learning for Social Justice Shapes Identity and Inspires 21st-Century Leaders.” Ms. Maclean is Director of Community Engagement and Service Learning and a faculty member at Nightingale-Bamford School.
The conference closed with the attendees sharing best practices for fostering lives of significance.
“We hope it’s the first of many such conferences, and are grateful to NYSAIS for its support,” Dr. Dieck said.