Cotter’s Blotter: Introverts, Civility, and the Power of “And”

by Cotter Donnell

Welcome to the latest installment of Cotter’s Blotter, a recurring blog post where I share some of the education resources, interesting ideas, and captivating questions we’re thinking about at R.E.A.L.® Here’s a quick roundup of some of the ideas that have been on my mind and some of the things we’ve been talking about at R.E.A.L.® this week.

Introverts and the Power of Humility in Leadership

One of the driving forces behind R.E.A.L.® was the need and desire to build a curriculum that meets the needs of our introverted students. Many of our readers and friends are familiar with the work of Dr. Susan Cain, author of Quiet and one of the leading researchers and writers helping to deepen our understanding of the unique strengths and qualities that introverts possess. 

This week we came across a blog post by one of Dr. Cain’s colleagues at The Quiet Revolution, our friend Dr. Heidi Kasevich. Through her work at The Quiet Revolution and The Kase Method, Dr. Kasevich seeks to expand our definition of leadership and build stronger communities through appreciation of diverse personality styles. In her post on the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute blog, Dr. Kase explores the power of humble leadership and reflects on how we can cultivate a healthy balance between the yin and yang of leadership and followership in our students. Her insights speak to the importance of nurturing the skills that are at the heart of the R.E.A.L.® program.

Cultivating Civility in the 21st Century

If you haven’t had a chance to get to know Grant Lichtman’s work, check it out. A leading thinker and presenter on innovation in education, Lichtman has written several books and spoken widely at schools and education organizations. He is currently engaged in Wisdom Road, a project to travel to communities throughout the United States and Canada to discover the wisdom of past generations that has been passed down over time.

Based on his work on Wisdom Road, Grant has been thinking about and sharing about the importance of civility. A recent post on his blog details his thinking on the importance of sharing ideas with others, listening, discussing, and disagreeing with civility – all values that are central to our mission here at R.E.A.L.® For some inspiration about the importance of what Grant calls the “overlooked but most important 21st Century skill”– as well as some inspiring insights from his travels – check out Grant’s blog and books. We are looking forward to continued work with Grant!

The Power of “And”

If you’re here, you likely follow Dr. Angela Duckworth’s work on grit and character development. Dr. Duckworth’s work at the University of Pennsylvania, Character Lab, and as co-host of the podcast No Stupid Questions explores how we can leverage scientific discoveries about learning and character development to help students thrive. Not surprisingly, she is a nearly infinite source of engaging and inspiring resources.

When Dr. Duckworth shares a post and calls it “the best little blog post I’ve read, maybe ever,” you read it. This one is about the power of “and.” Enjoy!

Have a great week,


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