“Nagging is love,” I used to tell my daughter. “I am a much-loved child,” she’d reply. And so it is: if you care about a kid, you tell her what she’s doing right and what she’s doing wrong. You stick with her when she makes mistakes. You honor her successes. You nag. In Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner-City Schools and the New Paternalism, David Whitman finds that idea replicated in education. To give disadvantaged students a shot at college and mainstream success, he argues, schools must teach “not just how to think but how to act according to what are commonly termed traditional middle-class values.”The review is in City Journal, which suggests she's preaching to the converted. All the same, instilling the Habits of Effective People is cheaper than all the other educational reforms we've been offered, something to keep in mind in straitened financial circumstances, with evidence of the failure of the more expensive therapeutic approaches all around us.
QUOTE OF THE DAY. Joanne Jacobs reviews Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner-City Schools and the New Paternalism.