Earlier this week, David Brooks floored
readers—and vindicated nostalgic old grumps—when he detailed new research out
of Notre Dame showing that young adults lack an ability to discuss, or even
define, morality. That’s the bad news. The good news comes from Paul Tough. In
his NY Times Magazine piece, Tough profiles two disparate school
models—one, an elite Gotham private school; the other, the KIPP network—and how
they are both deliberately (and successfully) infusing lessons on character,
grit, and morality into the veins of their students. Both schools even appraise
their students’ moral fiber using a twenty-four item questionnaire developed by
researchers at UPenn. (The questionnaire assesses students on both
“performance” character and “moral” character—whether you can persevere through
hardship, and whether you can remain compassionate while doing so.) Kudos to
Riverdale Country School and KIPP for tackling these tough issues—and for
giving old grumps a reason for hope.
|Click to listen to commentary on Brooks's column from the Education Gadfly Show podcast.
if the Secret to Success is Failure?,” by Paul Tough, New York Times Magazine, September 14, 2011.
Feels Right…,” by David Brooks, New
York Times, September 12, 2011.