Angela Duckworth & KIPP

Angela Duckworth, is a famous scientist from the University of Pennsylvania who is known for her book named “Grit”. Along with the founder of KIPP schools, she devised a Character Growth Card, which is just like a report card, but measures Character Growth in the students studying in KIPP. 

Her Famous TEd Talk on "Grit"

Grit is a term coined by Angela Duckworth, which means Passion and Perseverance for long-term and meaningful Goals. It is the ability to persist in something you feel passionate about and persevere when you face obstacles. 

KIPP Schools

KIPP is a chain of about 250 schools in the USA that is focused on children from low-income groups and is known for their academic success. Over the years, they have found that their children do well academically if the children, in addition to exceptional academic instruction, are also trained in improving certain character traits like Perseverance, Optimism, Social Intelligence, Self-control, gratitude, etc.

KIPP’s founders found that training these children in certain "performance character" traits helped children a great deal in their journey towards joining and finishing college.

KIPP T-shirt

This school was highly praised by Bill Gates in one of his famous TEd talks for its exceptional approach to teaching academics. The Character Growth card used in this school is a collection of simple questions which help in measuring if a child is doing well in inculcating a character trait. Teachers also rate the students on the same measurement scale. In this way, over time teachers get all the data about how each student is progressing in their character growth.

How KIPP teaches Character?

Start watching from 11.15 mark

In schools like KIPP, it is not just the Character Growth instruction that is considered important for Character Growth, the school focuses on many areas. The most important principle followed in KIPP for Character Training is that the teachers should follow what they teach because children are not very good at listening to the elders, but they are good at imitating them. KIPP's founder, Dave Levin, also says that character instruction should be integrated with regular classes. For ex: Instead of simply teaching English from a textbook, the teacher can tell an inspiring story on Perseverance which also fulfils the requirement for the English class. 

The whole of KIPP’s curriculum and the interior of the school are designed around the character traits that the children need to develop. There are posters stuck on the wall and children wear Tshirts which emphasise and motivate students toward Character Growth.

This makes Character Development the centerpiece of their education system. They use character training because they have found that it is critical to the success of students, which means KIPP’s success.

Character Growth Card

Character Growth Card

Martin Seligman - PhD guide of Dr. Angela Duckworth

Martin Seligman, is a professor at University of Pennsylvania, and author of self-help books. Seligman is a strong promoter within the scientific community of his theories of Positive Psychology and of well-being. Also, he is the PhD professor of Dr. Angela Duckworth.

Good Character leads to more Happiness?

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