The education field has been criticized for focusing too narrowly on a set of academic skills and disciplines, reinforced through standardized assessments, accountability measures, and other policy levers, but with the rise of the pandemic this spring and the national fight for racial justice, schools were forced to evolve quickly. At the same time, young people have been encountering death, food insecurity, trauma, and unemployment in their own homes all while getting a front seat to how democracy is—or isn’t—working for them. What has this meant for their educational experiences?
Many of those young people are displaying inner reserve, resiliency, self-regulation, leadership, service, and citizenship in ways that no one could have anticipated. In the essays and videos below, educators, students, and researchers explore how students have carved their own paths in recent months.
Coverage of character education and development is supported in part by a grant from The Kern Family Foundation, at www.kffdn.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.