Teens rank achievement over caring, according to Harvard research
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Today's teenagers believe personal achievement is more important than caring for others. And it's a point view they've internalized from parents and teachers, according to recent research conducted by a team at Harvard School of Education.
The solution? Close the "rhetoric/reality gap" says the research team. Adults often unwittingly reinforce the primacy of achievement by their actions, negating what they may say about compassion.
Community service programs can help, providing opportunities to practice caring. But too many schools, like well-meaning parents, send mixed messages about the value of service, reducing it to a "task" that must be completed after the real work of school is done. Or worse, community service becomes a vehicle for greater personal achievement, with little impact to others.
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