What if the Secret To Success is Failure?

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Many schools today have incorporated some sort of character development program to teach the qualities of good character. The question is, what constitutes good character? How do you define character? How do you develop character? What is the affect of character on education? These are all questions that many educators struggle with as they attempt to implement these programs. Recently the word “character” was the whole reason for the disbandment of our District’s National Honor Society. As “having good character” is one of the requirements of National Honor Society there was much controversy in the selection of members because without an objective measurement of character decisions were based solely on subjective opinions.

I found a link to the article “What if the Secret to Success is Failure” through reading a separate Educational Leadership journal article. As I have always been interested in the “hidden curriculum” of “character building” in schools, I found this article to be extremely interesting and informative in regards to finding answers to the above noted questions but has also cause more questions to develop.

“What if the Secret to Success is Failure”

This article focuses on Dominic Randolph’s, the headmaster of one of New York City’s most prestigious private school, Riverdale Country School and David Levin’s, the superintendent of the KIPP schools in New York City, quests for the implementation of a character building program and character testing system that rates and predicts the future success of students.

For many years Randolph and Levin searched for the elusive definition and make-up of the word “character”. The two met at a meeting with an author and university professor who together had created a b...

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...ny issues with student character such as high amounts of cheating, stealing, lying, behavior issues and social issues. I almost feel like as educators and parents, we have set up our students to be like this because of the way we have raised and taught them from the beginning.

In conclusion, it definitely was an interesting and thought provoking article on a topic that plan on sharing. It helped with some of the questions as to what constitutes character and how we can measure character more objectively. However, even though some questions were answered there were even more that were created that I would be interested in exploring further.

Works Cited

Tough, P. (2011, September 14). What if the secret to success is failure?. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/what-if-the-secret-to-success-is-failure.html?pagewanted=all

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