This is a heart-warming segment from the PBS newshour. But it is more than heartwarming. It is also very instructive. It suggests that the same principles that work in the “Knowledge is Power Program” or KIPP schools work for adults as well as children. As I wrote in “Magic Ingredient 1: More K-12 School” and quoted again in “The Coming Transformation of Education: Degrees Won’t Matter Anymore, Skills Will”:
“The secret recipe behind the “Knowledge is Power Program” or KIPP schools (which have been very successful even with highly disadvantaged kids) is this:
- They motivate students by convincing them they can succeed and have a better life through working hard in school.
- They keep order, so the students are not distracted from learning.
- They have the students study hard for many long hours, with a long school day, a long school week (some school on Saturdays), and a long school year (school during the Summer).”
Abstracting a bit from the specifics, the recipe is
- Give them hope
- Use tough love
- Make them work hard
By this recipe, they can gain skills that will turn their lives around.