This classical idea, that young people should be taught the best that’s been thought and written as well as being given the chance to develop their character strengths, has always been popular. A recent poll for The Jubilee Centre for Character and Values showed that 87 per cent of parents want schools to focus on character development and academic study. The independent sector – which has always been more responsive to parents than to passing fads – has long delivered this more rounded approach to schooling.
But research from the field of positive psychology has shown that focusing on pupils’ happiness, which is best achieved by improving their character strengths like optimism, perseverance, compassion and curiosity, actually leads to better outcomes in tests. Modern research is in the process of confirming the wisdom of the ancients.
In his book How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that pupils’ characters traits are better predictors of whether they will lead happy and successful lives than their academic grades.
As Martin Luther King said: “Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education.” Parents want it and young people need it.
Why Tough Teachers Get Good Results by Joanne Lipman in the Wall Street Journal.
It's time to revive old-fashioned education. Not just traditional but old-fashioned in the sense that so many of us knew as kids, with strict discipline and unyielding demands. Because here's the thing: It works.Posted by Jill Fallon at October 9, 2013 10:45 AM | Permalink
Now I'm not calling for abuse; I'd be the first to complain if a teacher called my kids names. But the latest evidence backs up my modest proposal. Studies have now shown, among other things, the benefits of moderate childhood stress; how praise kills kids' self-esteem; and why grit is a better predictor of success than SAT scores.
the following eight principles—a manifesto if you will, a battle cry inspired by my old teacher and buttressed by new research—
1. A little pain is good for you.
2. Drill, baby, drill.
3. Failure is an option.
4. Strict is better than nice.
5. Creativity can be learned.
6. Grit trumps talent.
7. Praise makes you weak…
8.…while stress makes you strong.