February 15-16, 2018

Covering Education for Character and Citizenship

Beyond Academics

The intensive focus in many public schools on basic academics has sparked concerns that the U.S. education system is neglecting a fundamental responsibility: to foster in young people the character traits and social-emotional skills needed to be successful students and engaged citizens. Empathy, collaboration, and self-efficacy, for instance, are essential in a democratic society. They also are important for success in a fast-changing job market.

Boosted by a growing body of research and public attention, some schools are increasingly taking an active role in educating the “whole child.” A focus on social and emotional development, including traits like grit, self-control, and a growth mindset, is on the rise at the K-12 level. Efforts to build the formation of moral character — honesty, integrity, and responsibility, for instance — into the very fabric of the school experience are taking hold in some quarters. Other campuses are employing “restorative justice” practices as an alternative to traditional student discipline strategies.

Amid a climate of deep political polarization in the U.S. that often seems more conducive to name-calling than finding common ground, advocates see the need for schools to educate students to be informed, engaged, and empathetic citizens as more urgent than ever.

At this journalists-only seminar in New Orleans, reporters will explore in-depth the renewed push to educate students for character and citizenship. The event will feature educators, experts, and students, as well as reporters who have produced outstanding stories that bring these issues to life. Reporters will come away with new ideas, sources, insights, and knowledge to inform their understanding of an under-covered dimension of public schooling. This event is open to journalist members only.

EWA offers scholarships to eligible reporters that can cover transportation, lodging, and registration.