by Sandra Doran
A recent article published by National Public Radio boasts something Adventists have known all along: “‘Children Succeed’ With Character, Not Test Scores.” Not surprisingly, author Paul Tough asserts that “intensive mentoring” by caring adults who teach “character-building experiences” is what gets kids over the rough spots in life and assures success. His latest book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, argues for less emphasis on memorizing facts in the formative years and more time spent on the deep traits that will last a lifetime.
What matters most in a child’s development…is not how much information we can stuff into her brain in the first few years. What matters, instead, is whether we are able to help her develop a very different set of qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit, and self-confidence. Economists refer to these as noncognitive skills, psychologists call them personality traits, and the rest of us sometimes think of them as character.
We, as Adventists, would lend a hearty “Amen!” Florida Conference operates 12 early childhood centers, 28 elementary schools, and two academies in the state of Florida. Our goal is not only to provide the best academics, but to fit our students with what the world at large is finally realizing matters most: a character that will ground them for everything life might throw their way.
Learn more by contacting the Florida Conference Office of Education at (407) 644-5000 x139 or http://www.floridaconference.com/education/