What does it mean to say we want our kids to be “successful”? In some neighborhoods, that word translates as making higher grades and test scores than other people’s children . . . so they’ll be accepted by elite colleges... so they’ll get high-paying jobs... so they can... well, what? Erich Fromm once observed that “few parents have the courage to care more for their children’s happiness than for their success.” Indeed, research shows that affluent, high-achieving students are more likely to suffer from depression — and less likely to value learning for its own sake. Alfie Kohn invites us to rethink basic assumptions about competition, school achievement, and the relationship between how we’re raising our kids and how we hope they’ll turn out.
Lexington Community Education will sponsor Alfie Kohn next Thursday at 7 p.m. (admission is $10.00)