Greater Expectations is the book that exposed the low standards that children are confronted with in our homes, our schools, and throughout our culture. It exploded many of the misconceptions about children and how to raise them, including the cult of self-esteem, "child-centered" learning, and other overly indulgent practices that have been watering down the education and guidance that we are providing our young people. It disclosed how the self-centered ethic is damaging our youth. Greater Expectations started America talking about these issues and about how young people need to be provided with challenges and a sense of purpose if we want them to survive and thrive in life.
Provocative and challenging, Greater Expectations was a wake-up call, a must-read for anyone concerned about the growing youth crisis in America and what we can do about it.
The moral development of children presented in Damon's The Moral Child is further examined in this insightful study of misconceptions about children and the damaging child-rearing practices that result. Characterizing the crisis of today's youth as a ``failure of spirit,'' Damon attacks many of the theories of a child-centered culture that disregards the value of classical curricula and provides easy rewards that delay the maturing process. Instead, he says, research shows that children are eager to be of service to others, crave intellectual challenge and respond to the discipline of religious and moral principles. Countering much of the contemporary conventional wisdom, the author shows how ``age-old'' standards meld with present-day knowledge in this constructive approach to child-rearing. Damon directs the Center for the Study of Human Development at Brown University.