The Science

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.  Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Core Life materials are based on resiliency theory on what kids need to succeed.  Learning about the 18 attributes contributes to a child’s development of:

  • Resilience—the ability to bounce back from adversity.
  • Fortitude—the the strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.

The root  of a child’s resilience lies deep within their being.  To use the Merriam-Webster definition of resilience, it originates from “the mind or the constitution of the intellect rather than from experience,” but the degree to which it manifests itself depends on the child’s connection to positive people from birth, the opportunities they have to learn, and the environment in which they live.  Their resilience is the capacity they have for bouncing back from adversity or challenges that life might throw at them.  In addition to resilience, children (like all humans)  need fortitude or the capacity for withstanding adversity or challenges.  It is the intersection of fortitude and resilience that enables all humans to navigate life more successfully.

Several resiliency theories emerged between 1950-2000 that provided a rationale for promoting holistic health – physical, mental, and spiritual.  Asset Development was one of those that identified 20 internal and 20 external assets that kids need to succeed.  For more information on “What Kids Need to Succeed” or the 40 Developmental Assets, see:  https://www.search-institute.org/downloadable/Ann-Arbor-Handout-2.pdf

Teaching children character attributes like courage, empathy, gratitude, tolerance, and respect nurtures their resilience.   Developing good character attributes enables children to live successfully and cooperatively with their peers, with the adults around them, and with their environment.  Following are some documents that illustrate how Core Life promotes resiliency.

.  Overview