#EduRead: Raising a Moral Child

This week's article, Raising a Moral Child was submitted by @jrykse for this week's chat. While the article is aimed at parents, quite a bit of it would apply to our classrooms as well.

Quotable Quotes:

  • Praise is more effective than rewards
  • When parents praise effort rather than ability, children develop a stronger work ethic and become more motivated.
  • Praising their character (rather than behavior) helped them internalize it as part of their identities. The children learned who they were from observing their own actions: I am a helpful person. 
  • When our actions become a reflection of our character, we lean more heavily toward the moral and generous choices. Over time it can become part of us.
  • If we want our children to care about others, we need to teach them to feel guilt rather than shame when they misbehave.
  • The most effective response to bad behavior is to express disappointment. 
  • parents raise caring children by expressing disappointment and explaining why the behavior was wrong, how it affected others, and how they can rectify the situation.
  • The beauty of expressing disappointment is that it communicates disapproval of the bad behavior, coupled with high expectations and the potential for improvement: “You’re a good person, even if you did a bad thing, and I know you can do better.”
  • Children learn generosity not by listening to what their role models say, but by observing what they do.
  • People often believe that character causes action, but when it comes to producing moral children, we need to remember that action also shapes character.

My Thoughts

  • At the end of the year, I like to give an award to every student in my class. I try to pick something that shows I really noticed them but at the same time I try not to be negative because I don't want that to become a self-fulfilling prophecy
  • The most loved teacher at my school is the one who is always giving students guilt trips vs strict discipline. They understand that she knows they are good students who sometimes do bad things but are intelligent enough to fix them.
  • How much more can we as teachers turn to modeling rather than preaching and repeating ourselves? What behaviors we want to see in our students should be what we begin to model without speaking.
  • For example, I preach to my students about reading directions but how can I model myself doing that visibly?
  • Can I model my mathematical thinking through modeling or writing rather than verbally?
  • What does this look like in the classroom? "You're a quick thinker" vs "You finished your work quickly"?
  • Can our praise of effort and character as high school teachers make a dent in the terrible experiences and feelings about math that students have had in the past?
  • What behaviors have I modeled without knowing it?
  • A often believe that character causes action, but when it comes to producing moral children, we need to remember that action also shapes character.Photo

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