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“Why schools should not grade character traits”

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Why schools should not grade character traits is my newest piece in The Washington Post.

I think it was a good piece to begin with, but, thanks to John Norton‘s editing skills, it really turned out great.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. It’s inevitable (and propoer) that schools be concerned about students’ behavior, so I guess it’s understandable that they look behind the behavior and try to influence “character.” But really, all schools can do is notice and reinforce good character being demonstrated; they can’t “teach” good character (and wouldn’t be able to even if they agreed on what good character looks like). Beyond that, most lists of character traits that I’ve ever seen include some that are inborn, some that are formed before children get to school, and only a few that could be introduced and/or taught in the elementary years. The exception, to my mind, is that certain very specific activities can help students modify their behavior (not necessarily their character) in the direction of being better able to remain calm when stressed or provoked by peers.

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