Evidence That It Works
Educators can support the development of students’ understanding of courage by helping them identify the characteristics of courage and the ways that they can foster it. In fact, in their cross-cultural classification of 24 different virtues (or values). positive psychology researchers link four specific character strengths to the development of courage—zest (or vitality), bravery, honesty, and perseverance. And studies demonstrate that when we share stories or examples of courage, we can reflect on common values while potentially increasing our empathic responses to one another.
Why Does It Matter?
Courage comes in many forms—from showing the bravery to take an academic risk to standing up for others and speaking honestly in the face of injustice. In fact, studies suggest that when young people feel empowered to act courageously, they experience decreases in their anxiety and stress, achieve greater academic engagement and success, and contribute to creating kinder and more altruistic classrooms.