When it comes to writing about education issues, it is probably difficult to find someone who has been as consistently clueless as NY Times columnist David Brooks has been. If you doubt me, please check out my previous posts about those ridiculous columns.

On the other hand, sometimes, when he writes about other issues, he can be quite insightful.

Today, The NY Times shared an excerpt from his latest book, where (as the textbox above highlights), he discusses his belief that we are either “diminishers” or “illuminators.”

Obviously, though, none of us are one or the other – it’s really a question of which one we tend to be.

In some ways, this perspective is similar to author Adam Grant’s perspective that we are divided into “takers, matchers, and givers.”

Brooks’ excerpt shares some of what he thinks are the characteristics of both kinds of people.

I’m thinking that this could make for a good SEL lesson – sharing his perspective by having students read an excerpt; listing what he says are the qualities of both kinds of people; and then having students write to a simple prompt asking if they agree or disagree and, if they agree, having them share which one they think they tend to be and if they are happy with being that way or if they want to change.

I’m adding this post to Best Posts On Writing Instruction.