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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

40 Developmental Assets (TM)

I have been reading a fascinating book entitled Chess for Success by Maurice Ashley who is the first African American International Chess Grandmaster. His books has convinced me that I made a right decision, for once, to begin a chess club at my high school, Oklahoma Centennial.

I will write more about what he said pertaining to chess, but I just finished a chapter where he discusses research done by the Minneapolis based Search Institute whose mission is to provide leadership and knowledge into promoting healthy children. Their research has lead them to identify 40 predictors of healthy growth in young people which they call the The 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents. Young people who have 31 or more of these assets are less likely to engage in high risk behavior and choose instead more productive purposes for their lives. However, their research has shown that American youths average only about 18 of these assets, and as youths grow older, their assests diminish.

Mr. Ashley claims that chess is an ideal way to build more of these assets into chldren. In any case, I find the list to be a very practical way to measure how well we are helping young people to reach their full potential.

Here is the list in Pdf format

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