What’s most important when it comes to educating our children?

What’s most important when it comes to educating our children?

Positive education. Positive children. A positive future. 

This will, essentially, be my motto when I talk to a room full of primary school heads tomorrow (Wednesday) in Fremantle, West Australia. 

Which is why I'm really happy to share with you this great article from teh NY Times in which it's declared, in a new book, that teaching reading and wrting and maths etc, although obviously very important as it always has been, are probably not THE MOST IMPORTANT things we can teach our kids. 

Rather, promoting real and meaningful happiness, via the building of character and grit, will set children up for a better life in so many way. 

Here's an exerpt…

In “How Children Succeed,” Tough argues that simply teaching math and reading — the so-called cognitive skills — isn’t nearly enough, especially for children who have grown up enduring the stresses of poverty. In fact, it might not even be the most important thing.

Rather, tapping into a great deal of recent research, Tough writes that the most important things to develop in students are “noncognitive skills,” which Tough labels as “character.” Many of the people who have done the research or are running the programs that Tough admires have different ways of expressing those skills. But they are essentially character traits that are necessary to succeed not just in school, but in life. Jeff Nelson, who runs a program in partnership with 23 Chicago high schools called OneGoal, which works to improve student achievement and helps students get into college, describes these traits as “resilience, integrity, resourcefulness, professionalism and ambition.” “They are the linchpin of what we do,” Nelson told me. Nelson calls them “leadership skills.” Tough uses the word “grit” a lot.

What I like about what I read in this review is that the author is not just talking about the superficial type of "happiness" so many confuse for positive psychology. Instead, he seems to get it right in talking about what I'd refer to as real and meaningful happiness which doesn't dismiss positive emotions but focuses just as much on building resilience and character and values and more. 

You can read the full and original article HERE but what I'd also love is to see your thoughts and ideas about what you think would go towards the most positive type of education. What do you believe is most important in the education of our youth? Share your thoughts or pose your questions HERE on The Happiness Institute's Facebook Page.