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August 21, 2019

Asheville School Welcomes Renowned Social Psychologist Jonathan Haidt for Convocation Talk

On Thursday, September 26, Asheville School will welcome Jonathan Haidt, one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of morality. Haidt will address the school community and discuss themes in his 2018 New York Times Notable Book, “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.”

Haidt earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in 1985 and his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He then did postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago and in Orissa, India. He was a professor in the department of Psychology at the University of Virginia from 1995 until 2011, when he joined the NYU Stern School of Business.

Haidt has excelled as a teacher and public speaker. He won three teaching awards from the University of Virginia, and one from the governor of Virginia. His three TED talks have been viewed more than 3 million times. He has presented his work at the World Economic Forum, the Aspen Ideas Festival, the British Academy, and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts. He was named a “Top 100 Global Thinker” by Foreign Policy magazine in 2012, and one of the 65 “World Thinkers of 2013” by Prospect magazine.

Associate Head of School Jay Bonner says that Haidt’s talk will serve to prompt important discussions within the school community. “We are excited to have Professor Haidt joining us since his recent book addresses trends that face us in our work with adolescents,” said Bonner.

“What happens on college campuses filters to secondary schools, and there are concerns about the lack of respect for critical thinking, vigorous debate, and free expression at the college level addressed in ‘The Coddling of the American Mind.’ In addition, his book addresses the increasing trends of anxiousness and depression afflicting young people today—and his suggestions about how to surmount these trends seem worthy of discussion: at the broader social level and within the family environment of a boarding community.”

Haidt will speak to students and faculty members on September 26 in the Walker Art Center’s Graham Theater. The talk is closed to the public. Read about past Asheville School speakers here.