Abigail and Atticus: the importance of positive role models in the 21st century

Ms Jan O’Sullivan, Head of Griffith House I only care what you think of yourself. If you feel your value lies in being decorative, one day you may believe that’s all you really are ... Time erodes all such beauty but what it cannot diminish are the wonderful workings of your mind: your humour, your kindness and your moral courage.   Abigail March in the 1994 Columbia Pictures film Little Women If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view ... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. Atticus Finch in the novel and film, To Kill a Mockingbird For many years I have promoted the idea to my English students that the reading of novels and the viewing of quality films is an effortless way to widen one’s…

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The Supergirl Syndrome

‘Superwoman’ has a younger counterpart in our teenage girls who, like their mothers, feel the pressure to be everything to everyone. In recent years the term ‘supergirl syndrome’ has been coined to describe the unrealistic standards that many girls feel compelled to attain. Compared to their mothers and grandmothers, girls are presented with seemingly endless opportunities and told they can do anything. Unfortunately this positive message can have its shadow side when girls confuse opportunity to do anything with compulsion to do, and perhaps be, everything. It is not enough to be smart and successful, they must also be thin, beautiful, kind and caring.

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