Monthly Article Archives: April 2014

Nouns vs. Verbs and Other Studies about Teaching Children Moral BehaviorsRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

Last month I wrote about the inordinate stress and pressure that is placed on children and adolescents to succeed, especially as measured by grades, extra-curricular activities as a way to pad one’s college application, and admission to so-called elite colleges. In keeping with this theme, I was delighted to read a recent article published in the op-ed pages of The New York Times by columnist Frank Bruni titled “Our Crazy College Crossroads.” Bruni’s piece is intended for the thousands of seemingly qualified students who were rejected for admission by elite colleges. Similar to my March article, Bruni cites an observation offered by Malcolm Gladwell in his new book David and Goliath that in some instances getting into one’s “dream school” may actually backfire in terms of long-term success and happiness. Bruni advises those who have been turned down for admission by their top school(s), “About money and professional advancement: Shiny diplomas from shiny schools help. It’s a lie to say otherwise. But it’s as foolish to accord their luster more consequences than the effort you put into your studies, the earnestness with which you hone your skills, what you actually learn. These are the sturdier building blocks of a career.

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