Reading How Children Succeed has gotten me interested in how teachers could teach, build, assess, and grade students on their character skills.
The first step is to get the original list of 24 skills down to a manageable size. I’m hoping you could help me with this task.
Here they are:
- social intelligence
- love of learning
- appreciation of beauty
Which ones do you vote for? Which character skills do you find most important and related to students’ academic success?
From that list of 24, KIPP chose seven to include on its Character Report Card:
- zest (approaching life with excitement and energy, feeling activated)
- grit (finishing what one starts despite obstacles)
- self-control (regulating what one feels and does, being self-disciplined)
- social intelligence (being aware of feelings of other people)
- curiosity (taking an interest, finding things fascinating)
- optimism (not on the list of 24)
- gratitude (being aware and thankful of the good things that happen)
What about that list? Do you think KIPP made good choices from the original 24?
For me, I’d like to get the list down even further, maybe to three or four. Here is my current thinking.
In general, I like what KIPP has done. Zest is one of my favorites, and I think optimism and curiosity both fit into zest nicely. Grit is great because it captures having a goal and not giving up, even over large periods of time. The concept of self-control is crucial, but I prefer the term discipline. And social intelligence is important, too, but it seems too long and not powerful enough. Maybe empathy instead? Finally, I’d like to add integrity from the original list of 24.
So this is my working list:
What do you think? Any I’ve missed? Should I go fewer? Any better (and perhaps four-letter) synonyms for these terms? I appreciate all feedback!
Next step: Where does this go in my grading scheme? And how to assess it?