Teaching Failure At Two Schools

Should both high-poverty and fancy private schools try and help kids develop skills like curiosity, zest, grit, and resilience?  And what happens when they do?  That's the focus of this new Paul Tough article in this weekend's NY Times Magazine (What if the Secret to Success Is Failure?).  The story uses a fancy New York City private school (Riverdale Country Something) and a no-frills charter network (KIPP) to illustrate the universal desirability of these traits and the difficulties of teaching them.  Failure is a powerful teacher, no doubt, and KIPP has set the standard among reformers in admitting to it. But how can schools encourage kids to explore its lessons when so many of the adults involved in education don't seem to be able to confront failure themselves?  It's nine pages long online (roughly 6,800 words), so you will need some grit to finish it.  If you don't make it all the way through, I'm sure there's something to be learned from that failure.

Leave a comment