Here is a continuation of my notes on Paul Tough’s research regarding “grit, curiosity, and the hidden power of character” as it pertains to children:
Grit p. 74
“Duckworth realized self-control has limitations. She believed that a passionate commitment to a single mission and an unswerving dedication to achieve that mission are more relevant when it comes to inventing something new or creating an award-winning (movie)/project. She called this characteristic grit.”
She created a 12 (now 10) question survey that turned out to be a remarkably accurate predictor of success.
It was more accurate a predictor of graduation rates for West Point than their own assessments.
Levin, Randolph, Seligman and Peterson narrowed a set of strengths that were indicators of life success and happiness:
They then created a “character report card”
Much confusion among educators regarding “character” – is it moral? Is it “performance character?”
Wealthy families may have “helicopter” parents (parents who hover over their kids as they do homework, sports, etc) but that does NOT mean they are spending quality family time together. In fact, many high-achieving, wealthy families are not closely bonded.
Madeline Levine, psychologist in Marin County, says that wealthy parents are more emotionally distant than any other parent from their children
Intense feelings of shame and hopelessness in their kids
Levine was inspired by Suniya Luthar, psychology professor at Columbia Univ who did a comparison study between low-income and high-income households.
Found 22% of wealthy kids suffered elevated rates of depression and clinically significant symptoms
35% of affluent kids tried all four substances (alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana and harder illegal drugs
15% of poor kids tried all four
Dan Kindlon, assistant professor of child psychology at Harvard, also found an emotional disconnect between wealthy kids and their parents
These parents were overly indulgent in their children’s bad behavior
Parents making more than $1 million said that they were far less strict than their own parents
A little hardship – discomfort – is good for children!
This is an issue in private schools – telling parents they are not parenting properly means you are criticizing your employers (clients)
A school like Riverdale (expensive, private – graduates include Chevy Chase, Carly Simon, etc) is not meant to help raise the ceiling, but to raise the floor = give kids a high probability of nonfailure.
They do not develop grit
Discipline p. 86
KIPP used to practice a lot of disciplinary action (some of which Levin regretted)
SLANT – stand up, listen, ask questions, nod, and track – taught at KIPP 5th grade
Code-switching – you must learn and practice proper behavior for the museum, college interview and nice restaurants
Rich kids at Riverdale wear casual clothes and slouch
Kids at KIPP are taught to have good posture and track teachers…formal speech
The administrators of both schools disagree on this point – what should students be taught?