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Do Your Children Know What You Do at Work by Ronald G. Shapiro PROBABLY During That’s My Mom and other related Education by Entertainment programs blindfolded middle and/or high school students are asked to identify which parent (to be selected from a panel of four or five parents) is theirs. The students are allowed to ask the panelists yes/no questions about what they do at work, but the answers to these questions are the only information provided. Typically, one student out of a panel of four to five students will correctly identify their parent! Their performance is at chance level! FREE Low E Glass with your Window Order! 36 RISBJ | rhode island small business journal On occasion students will perform better than chance in this activity. Indeed, this past week a panel of girl scouts performed 100% accurately. Performance better than chance is often due to an artifact, such as the parent says something rather than just holding their YES or NO sign, the parents on the panel do very different types of work, or the student knowing something unique about the parent (such as they refuse to use a cell phone or they have students write a story about a huge stuffed animal). More significantly, on occasion students perform well because they have either spent a day or two with their parents at work, attended a school assembly on careers or have extensive career discussions with their parents on a very regular basis. In all cases, after playing this game, students (even the high performing ones) and parents alike agree that they should spend more time speaking about work.

RISBJ - Issue 3

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