Care To Learn

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Image: Rutu Modan

“What does it take to be a good parent? We know some of the tricks for teaching kids to become high achievers. For example, research suggests that when parents praise effort rather than ability, children develop a stronger work ethic and become more motivated.

Yet although some parents live vicariously through their children’s accomplishments, success is not the No. 1 priority for most parents. We’re much more concerned about our children becoming kind, compassionate and helpful. Surveys reveal that in the United States, parents from European, Asian, Hispanic and African ethnic groups all place far greater importance on caring than achievement. These patterns hold around the world: When people in 50 countries were asked to report their guiding principles in life, the value that mattered most was not achievement, but caring…

People often believe that character causes action, but when it comes to producing moral children, we need to remember that action also shapes character. As the psychologist Karl Weick is fond of asking, “How can I know who I am until I see what I do? How can I know what I value until I see where I walk?”

Adam Grant, “Raising a Moral Child” 4/11/14

When you think about all the rating, ranking, and sorting of students and teachers that is demanded by the Common Core, can’t help but wonder….

Does too much emphasis on student achievement, data-driven instruction, proficiency levels, independent mastery, and testing of students actually stifle and suppress academic, social, and emotional growth?

Does telling elementary and middle school students they are not “college ready” increase or decrease the likelihood that they will be ready for college by graduation?

Rather than repeatedly testing students to see if they are ready for college and careers shouldn’t we provide numerous learning activities and vocational pathways for students to actually practice their college and career skills?

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4 thoughts on “Care To Learn

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