Thursday, November 3, 2011

Learning from Failure

NY Times Article

This article describes a prestigious NYC school. It seems to me that the headmaster has some interesting ideas.  Cancel AP classes for the high school?  Rethink the entrance exams for pre-K?  Teach kids character?  KIPP schools? Training them in fractions and algebra, but also perseverance and empathy? 

Character Traits as defined by wikipedia.

The article goes on to discuss the success or failure of KIPP students in 4-year colleges.  Further, it discusses Seligman's views of character development and its implementation at the swanky private school mentioned early in the article.

An interesting read.

Posted by: BB

1 comment:

  1. “Whether it’s the pioneer in the Conestoga wagon or someone coming here in the 1920s from southern Italy, there was this idea in America that if you worked hard and you showed real grit, that you could be successful,” he said. “Strangely, we’ve now forgotten that. People who have an easy time of things, who get 800s on their SAT’s, I worry that those people get feedback that everything they’re doing is great. And I think as a result, we are actually setting them up for long-term failure. When that person suddenly has to face up to a difficult moment, then I think they’re screwed, to be honest. I don’t think they’ve grown the capacities to be able to handle that.”

    This quote really spoke to me. It's so easy to get caught up in the external markers of success--the scores, the college acceptances--that the things that really matter get neglected. Sure we need standardized tests for reading and math (and science and art and social studies)...but can we also create a test for character?

    Of course, if we did have a test for character, for morality, for empathy, would these intrinsic and vital characteristics become formulaic and narrow-minded?