Teaching Grit vs. Empathy

Laura Weber-Davis, WDET

Picture this scenario… a child in a classroom can’t sit still or pay attention while a teacher is talking.

The child acts out or misbehaves, and other kids become judgmental.

That kid is viewed as “bad” by his or her peers, and pushed by teachers and kids alike to become more mature. To toughen-up and focus, or get left behind.

But what if the issue isn’t the way the one child acts in class, but rather how that child is perceived by everyone around him?

So often we hear of programs for youth designed to teach grit and grizzled determination, especially for kids raised in difficult life circumstances. But how often do we hear about other students being taught empathy for their disadvantaged peers? Would that turn be effective in helping all students in the classroom?

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson is joined by Tyrone Howard, Associate Dean for Equity & Inclusion and Professor at UCLA, and Virgil “Al” Taylor; executive director of the Peace Project in Detroit.

To listen to the conversation, click on the audio player above.  

Laura Weber-Davis, WDET



Image credit: Alan Alfaro/Creative Commons

About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.


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