I was thinking, "What character trait/life skill would I make most important to instill, if I ran the educational zoo?"
My own kids went through school when 'self-esteem' was ridiculously stressed. And we see its effects everywhere.
But how about this one as a primary guide: teach them 'How to learn from your mistakes'
Lots of goodness would come from this emphasis, I think.
It obviates the whole (fragile, they think) 'self-esteem' concern, because it teaches that it is not BAD to make mistakes
(EVERYONE makes them - don't feel bad about it), only bad to not learn from them
It springboards into teaching the Scientific Method, logic, rational thinking, problem solving, Deming Quality Control, etc.
It teaches humbleness, appreciation for other ways of doing things, etc.
And, it helps one to make the best of whatever genetic cards one has been dealt.
It sure seems that it is NOT even on the radar screen these days. BHO the prime example.
Thesis: A racial group is a taxonomical subspecies.
Antithesis: A racial group is a biologically nonexistent social construct!
Synthesis: A racial group is a partly inbred extended family.