Full name: Student id: midterm test reading – writing 4 time: 90’ I. Writing (50pts)

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Đề-mid-2022, 2022 Sư phạm - Đáp án, Colorful-Creative-Social-Media-Brainstorm-Presentation
Passage 3 (14pts): 
Better people make better students
Hilary Wilce explains the importance of teaching 
pupils to be brave, resilient, and kind. 
Character matters. In fact, it matters more than 
anything else when it comes to doing well in school 
– and life. Yet parents and schools are actively 
preventing children from developing their inner 
resources, either by being too neglectful, or by 
never allowing them to fail. 
But its main concern is with poor children. It looks 
at why so many educational interventions fail to 
help disadvantaged students do better and 
demonstrates that it is things like perseverance and 
determination that ultimately help children succeed. 
This old-fashioned message would have been 
common once but appears to have vanished from 
the modern world. 

This was not because I disagreed with its thesis but 
because I was deep into researching what seemed at 
first glance to be the same subject. US social affairs 
reporter Paul Tough had produced How Children 
Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of 
Character. The working title of my book was 
Backbone: What Children Need, Aren't Getting and 
How to Give it Back to Them. 

Drawing on neuroscience, economics, psychology 
and child development, Tough shows how qualities 
such as self-mastery and optimism are what make 
children succeed, and how, in the light of this, good 
parenting and character-based schooling can make 
all the difference. It's a persuasive argument, and 
for anyone involved in creating educational policy, 
it should be forced reading, so they can see how 
fiddling with school structures can never, by itself, 
help pupils do better. 

On the way, it looks at the research showing how 
children are becoming more self-absorbed and less 
able to deal with setbacks, and outlines how this in 
turn is making them less equipped to work with 
others and bounce back from disappointments. All 
this sprang out of the growing unease I felt as I 
spent time in schools. As a journalist, I was usually 
there to write about 'development' in education - a 
revamped curriculum, or inventive method of 
teaching - yet it seemed to me that pupils' attitudes 
were too often sabotaging the very things designed 
to help them. And not, alas, in any exhilaratingly 
rebellious way. 

One said each new intake seemed less willing to 
share or even hang their own coats on their own 
pegs. Another complained about the staggering 
sense of entitlement many pupils now demonstrated 
- if he gave them poor marks for a piece of work, 
they felt it was never because they could have done 
better, but only because he was 'picking on' them. 
(And often, he said, their parents agreed.) 

All this matters desperately because in a 
competitive world, tomorrow's adults will have to 
draw deeply on their personal resources to navigate 
life's constant changes. A good life demands 
courage, resilience, honesty, and kindness. This is 
the true spine of success, without which we are all 
jellyfish. And since no one wants their child to be a 
jellyfish, our prime job as parents and teachers has 
to help our children build the backbone they need. 

For questions 1-6, choose which of the paragraphs A-G fit into the numbered gaps in the article. There is one 
extra paragraph which does not fit any of the gaps. 

Rather, children seemed distracted, or else worryingly devoted to getting things ‘right’. And when I 
started to ask teachers about this, I released a tsunami of anxiety about the everyday behaviour they 
were seeing in school. 

Reaction to both these publications was diverse, and it wasn't just parents who responded. And while 
they had much in common, there was one aspect of his research that seemed dubious to me. 

But when I got over myself and settled down to read his work, I realized we were approaching the same 
important territory from different angles. His is a brilliantly readable account of the growing evidence 
that inner resources count more than any amount of extra teaching when it comes to overcoming 
educational disadvantage. 

Meanwhile, universities were raising the alarm about how today’s ‘satnav’ students seemed less able to 
think for themselves. A toxic combination of teaching to the test at school and parents hovering over 
their lives, was starting to mean that even those headed for the most prestigious universities were 
helpless when they first had to fend for themselves. 

This is the message of a new education book that has been topping the best-seller charts in the US. It 
has caused great debate by pointing out that over-assiduous parenting is associated with rising rates of 
anxiety and failure. 

My book, by contrast, is being written specifically for parents to show what strength of character 
consists of. It identifies six key values that, when knitted together, give a person deep-rooted focus, 
integrity, and resilience, and suggests an outline for encouraging children to grow the ‘backbone’ of 
these qualities. 

But, as this book shows, character is badly in need of a comeback, and some pioneering schools are 
already starting to put it at the heart of their curriculum. It's a timely message, yet last summer, when the 
book was first published, it had me grinding my teeth in fury. 
7. Do How Children Succeed (Tough’s book) and Backbone (the author’s book) talk about the same 
subject? Briefly explain in your own words. 
~~~ THE END ~~~ 

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