Some response from around the web to my article in the New York Times Magazine on character education at KIPP and Riverdale Country School. The magazine published a few letters to the editor here. On this blog, part of the Times’s Learning Network, 536 high-school students weighed in with their comments. And on the Classroom as Microcosm blog, a writing teacher in Montreal known, pseudonymously, as Siobhan Curious writes that the article gave her some ideas about how to better instruct failure-averse students in her class:
According to Tough and some of his subjects, the key ingredient is grit, the ability to persist in the face of obstacles and even failure.
GRIT! I thought. This is what I’ve been saying all along! If I can face down my limitations, if I can labour to be, not perfect, but better – I will be … happy? Is grit something we can learn? If so, how can we teach it? …
Teaching them how to write a commentary is all very well, but what is it for? Maybe the main thing is for is to help them practice grit: Yes, it’s hard. Just keep going. If you fail, fail as well as you can, and then try again.
We need to spend less time talking about literary techniques and more time talking about grit.
Curious’s blog post has so far collected 219 comments.