Elite schools prioritizing strong character alongside good grades see improvement in students' self control

Source: The New York Times Magazine, September 2011

Researchers and educators from elite east coast primary and post-secondary schools grew disappointed that academically prepared (and financially supported) high school graduates were not completing college at higher rates.
Working with educational researchers, they began assessing students’ character based on seven traits linked with success and fulfillment: zest, grit, self-control, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism and curiosity. The educators were successful in integrating the new character language into most school initiatives and improving students’ ability to control their reactions to situations, discipline their personal weaknesses, and consider everyday failures in a larger context (skills traditionally linked to a more happy, meaningful and productive adult life.)
The educators conclude that more opportunities for failure must be built into American education if students are to develop the grit and self-control needed to succeed in life.