Compared to some of the other social and emotional learning (SEL) strengths, there's limited research on courage. For some psychologists, however, what defines courage is clear: To be courageous is to identify a meaningful goal and make the choice to reach it, despite personal risk. But what's "meaningful"? Values vary widely, and some who might feel they're exhibiting courage instead exhibit what Cynthia Pury calls "bad courage," which she describes as "bravery in pursuit of goals that result in the destruction of oneself or of other people."
For our kids, it's important that they not only stand up for their convictions but also think critically about what's right and fight for equity and justice for all people. By being critical, courageous, confident and independent, kids can change their schools and the world, emerging as better decision-makers more prepared to face adversity and support and defend uncommon -- yet just -- views.
Check out these picks to help kids find and amplify their unique voices.