More on Character Skills

comments Commentstotal1
The Jubilee Centre at the University of Birmingham in the UK is very active on the issue of character and its teaching. See here:

Personally I think the word 'character' is a bit confusing and also a bit old fashioned. I prefer 'non cognitive skills' reflecting our growing understanding of the psychology of skills development. But there is confusion too about what skills are and which ones are important. Talking to one group in China this week the following 'skills' were mentioned: creativity, cultural thinking, career orientation, collaboration, communication, cross cultural awareness and computer literacy. But how many of these are actually skills? Arguably not many.

Meanwhile an American group offered: grit, zest (i wonder what that is exactly), optimism, social intelligence, gratitude, curiosity, and self control. Again something of a rag bag of both skills and attributes.

So confusion reins -- which is to be expected in a new field. For me there are only two skills worth focusing on: resilience and self management. These we can both notice and measure and through feedback improve. The next set of skills could be built on top of this base.

But what do you think?

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