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Teach: Courage Tools

The tools on this page can be adapted to teach courage, bravery, daring, or valor.
• If you would like to request those tools which were created by the Project on Positive Leadership, please click here.
• Please tell our community about how you use these tools and ask people for advice about how they use the tools on our LinkedIn groups page.
• If you have tools that you like to use when teaching courage, and you are willing to share them with us, please let us know by sending a message to ppl@louisville.edu.


Cowardice, Courage, and Recklessness Stories

Free tool available upon request from the Project on Positive Leadership.

  • Author: Ryan Quinn
  • Date: 2020
  • Series: Virtues and Vices
  • Pages: 6
  • Summary: This is one of the tools that makes up the Project on Positive Leadership’s “Virtues and Vices” series of instructional tools. It contains four stories of courage, cowardice, or recklessness. A tool with multiple stories enables students to examine what is required to exhibit ideal courage across different settings, and to account for the differing perspectives of multiple stakeholders. Each story includes carefully-crafted reflection questions to provoke the students’ learning, to prepare them for class, to prepare themselves to practice courage, and to motivate them to be more mindful about their approach to leadership.

The Red Badge of Courage

  • Novel
    • Price: $0 – $22.73
    • By Stephen Crane
    • Create Space Independent Publishing Platform
    • Date of Publication: 2019
  • Summary: This classic novel is useful for fostering a discussion that dives deeply into the question of what courage is. Students do not need to come to the same conclusion as the protagonist. The novel raises enough issues to foster discussion without insisting on agreement.

Flint Water Crisis

  • Case study
    • Price: $4.25
    • By Marie McKendall and Nancy Levenburg
    • NARCA – North American Case Research Association
    • Date of Publication: 2018
  • Summary: This case is useful for juxtaposing courage against social psychological phenomena, such as the escalation of commitment, groupthink, and so forth. It is also useful for probing about how certain circumstances may have been different. This focus on circumstances is especially useful for considering positive leadership as a social process that occurs within events, episodes, or within limited periods of time. This case is also useful because  other virtues, in addition to courage, are easily made relevant, so instructors can talk about how multiple, distinct virtues, practiced simultaneously, can help individuals approach ideal virtue in a given circumstance.

Mirvac: Building Balance

  • Case study
    • Price: $4.25
    • By Zoe Kinias and Felicia A. Henderson
    • INSEAD
    • Date of Publication: 2020
  • Summary: If using this tool to teach positive leadership, it is useful to break down the events leading up to the decision at the end of the case, and the challenges that are likely to follow the decision. Then students can evaluate where the actions and decisions fall on the scale between cowardly, courageous, and reckless, and why. They can also discuss who the stakeholders are, what virtues they think are relevant, and how other virtues should influence Lloyd-Hurwitz’ efforts to act courageously.

Anu at Tech-edu

  • Case study
    • Price: $4.25
    • By Roy Chua and Havovi Joshi
    • Singapore Management University
    • Date of Publication: 2020
  • Summary: People often think of courage as something that people exhibit when the options are clear but the outcomes are not. However, sometimes people also need courage to figure out what is going on. This case helps readers to examine courage in an especially ambiguous situation. It is likely to be particularly useful to students from a courage perspective if students are given a chance to consider parallel cases as well, such as times when they have been unable to figure out what was going on, or times when they might struggle to figure out what is going on. Then they can discuss what to do, not only in Anu at Tech-edu, but also in other circumstances, which are likely to be different from Anu’s in subtle ways. Acting courageously can be subtle, and can involve trying to mitigate risks while taking risks.
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