A Brief Overview of the Problems with Teen Brain Science

Posted by on April 21st, 2016

Until very recently, I thought neuroscience had put up barriers to youth rights that no argument could cross. If the teenage brain is physically incapable of handling freedoms, then that’s the end of the discussion. It doesn’t matter how much we argue about the Constitution and equality under the law—no amount of arguing can make […]

Babies have logical reasoning before age one, study finds

Posted by on November 23rd, 2015

Deductive problem solving was previously thought be be beyond the reach of babies, says study lead – Human infants are capable of deductive problem solving as early as 10 months of age, a new study by psychologists at Emory University and Bucknell finds. The journal Developmental Science has published the research, showing that babies can […]

Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction

Posted by on October 31st, 2012

What happens if you give a thousand Motorola Zoom tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids who have never even seen a printed word? Within five months, they’ll start teaching themselves English while circumventing the security on your OS to customize settings and activate disabled hardware. Whoa. The One Laptop Per Child project started as a way […]

Adultism and Cultural Competence

In 1988, the William T. Grant Foundation released a report that found the picture painted by adult culture of youth in our society as pervasively negative. The commission wrote,   There is a portrait of youth that is not only misleading, but harmful. We ought to correct the record out of a sense of fairness, […]

Childhood Intelligence

Posted by on February 19th, 2009

Recently, I’ve been giving some thought to the capabilities of the human mind and the meaning of intelligence. The common perception is that human intelligence grows as we age, that young children start off stupid and it is adults’ job, through the various institutions of education, to implant the right “knowledge” into children’s brains until they’re intelligent like us. I think that’s very, very far from the truth.

Is Temporary Injustice OK?

Posted by on October 8th, 2008

As part of the lengthy, ongoing debate about the voting age on Facebook in response to NYRA-Southeast Florida’s awesome voting age ad, one person (trying to sound much smarter than he is) posted something about women & youth. While this isn’t the best articulated version of this argument it is one that we get quite […]

The Answer to immaturity?

Posted by on August 11th, 2008

Someone on Yahoo Answers recently asked a question to the effect of, “Do you consider 16-year-olds to be adults?” As of this writing, I’ve not been able to get my rather lengthy response through Yahoo’s wall of technological uselessness to actually post it, but I was rather pleased with myself, and Alex agreed, so I […]

Time to Rethink Age Restrictions – Op-Ed in NY Times

Posted by on February 25th, 2008

Wednesday the New York Times printed an op-ed written by Anya Kamenetz entitled, “You’re 16, You’re Beautiful and You’re a Voter”. Kamenetz makes the case that the voting age, drinking age, credit card ownership and other age restrictions should be lowered to 16. She also describes competency testing as a more flexible standard than “increasingly […]

New Book: The Case Against Adolescence

Posted by on April 17th, 2007

A new book by Dr. Robert Epstein, The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen, argues that young people are more competent than most people think. Epstein’s research led him to the conclusion that teenagers are essentially as competent as adults, and treating them as children just leads to behavioral problems. Listen to […]

UN Report Discusses Youth Rights

Posted by on December 13th, 2005

The Innocenti Research Centre at UNICEF recently put out a lengthy report that interprets the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and explores many issues pertaining to youth and children’s rights. The report, titled “The Evolving Capacities of the Child,” finds that age does not directly correspond with competence and capacity, and cites numerous […]

NYRA’s mission centers on challenging age discrimination against young people, both in law and in attitudes and supporting the basic freedoms afforded to young Americans in the Bill of Rights.