Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Growth Mindset

My sister-in-law, Jill (her link is to the right) is a teacher, and she emailed the link to this article: The Secret to Raising Smart Kids. The article talks about how children view intelligence. Some children view intelligence as stationary. You get what you get, and that's it. If you're dumb, you're dumb. Other children view intelligence in relation to how hard you work. If you don't know something, then you can make an effort and learn it. This article talked about changing the way we praise our children to help them learn that they CAN learn! I loved this article, and I really recommend reading it. I've always heard Success is a journey, not a destination. I believe it. I believe that we can do anything if we work hard enough at it. However, I also believe in ingrained intelligence. Different people are good at different things. Different types of personalities like different things, and people have their own talents. For instance, I am creative, and I love music. I attribute my musical abilities to both my innate sense of rhythm and the time and effort I've spent practicing. I know people who have practiced and practiced but figuring out the rhythm just doesn't make sense to them. Are these the people who just aren't talented, or do they feel like they can't learn? It's an interesting idea. I will however try to teach my child that efforts are worth something. You don't have to do something perfect to have done it well, and through doing things we get better at what we have done.


Jill Skouson said...

I'm glad you liked the article, Ellie. I do agree with you that we shouldn't stop praising intelligence completely. This article has already made me think twice about how I praise students and kids I'm around when they do something right.

Robert said...

I have long wondered about what helped me become the student I did. I think, while it irritated me, it helped a lot that my Mom always wanted to know if I understood what I missed. If I got a perfect score, she wanted to me sure it was the highest possible. It made me strive for more in many ways. I did, later in life, learn that perfection is not necessary to get through life and broadened my perspective beyond the necessity of great grades, but I think my academic success had a lot to do with the perpetual desire to make sure I did my best.