September 22, 2011
Many people have been reading the September 18th NY Times article, What if the Secret to Success is Failure?, and passing it along to their friends who are parents and/or who work in education. How many of us recognize ourselves in the article? Am I the parent who insists that my child performs well in all subjects from math to music to PE? Do I sit with my child each night to make sure the homework is done with perfect excellence? Do I, as a teacher, communicate the importance of risk-taking and failure to my students and their parents?
All parents and teachers probably agree that one of the main goals of education is to support a child’s growth to become a successful and happy adult. At Walden, we practice child-led inquiry and inspire students to ask questions and seek knowledge. Walden works hard with each student to uncover that student’s gifts and talents. We teach the student how to speak with their own voice, how to tell their story.
According to the article referenced above, Christopher Peterson, psychology professor at University of Michigan, identified a set of strengths that were, according to his research, especially likely to predict life satisfaction and high achievement: zest, grit, self-control, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism and curiosity. A team of researchers working with two schools in New York then developed a two-page evaluation to statistically test the “grit” of students as a predictor of future happiness and success.
How would you measure success? What is important to you and your family when pondering your children’s future? We would love to hear from you and encourage you to leave a comment.