Evidence That It Works
One study suggests that when people practice social courage by presenting new ideas and sharing concerns in a group setting, they contribute to the overall success of the group.
Furthermore, research tells us that teens show greater moral courage—a willingness to speak up in the face of injustice—when adults provide opportunities for them to voice their opinions regarding important decisions.
Why Does It Matter?
Academic courage features perseverance and risk-taking despite one’s fears or anxieties. For example, students practice academic courage when they speak up even if they are nervous about how they will be perceived by others.
For many students, asking questions or making comments in class can be challenging. This is particularly the case in adolescence, a developmental stage characterized by heightened self-consciousness and a strong desire for peer acceptance.
This practice may require more courage for some students than others. According to researchers, an action may require greater courage simply because of the way someone views a potential challenge (like speaking up in class)—along with the fear they may associate with performing that action. When students take risks by asking questions in class or voicing their opinions, they can experience greater intellectual growth and academic success.