Interesting (and important) reading

This is a very interesting article – read it and we will use it in class some time (but not this Monday):

How Not to Talk to Your Kids

Don’t worry – the article isn’t about parenting, it is about learning.

Also, check this out – A brief history of grades. Finally, read this: Misery Poker.

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One Response to Interesting (and important) reading

  1. Sean says:

    That is actually quite interesting. I agree with the first one, having a bit of first-hand experience with it; and though there are likely several causes for this “laziness” in those who are praised for intelligence, I know of one in particular myself. That is Fear.

    Those who are constantly being told how intelligent they are become very afraid that if they are not perfect, that if they do not become or are not the single most brilliant person in the world, that they will have let down all of those people who thought them smart (which ends up being just about everyone). Also, they come to believe that their intelligence is the most important and the only important feature that they have claim to. What then, do they have if they fail and are proclaimed unintelligent? They have nothing, they ARE nothing. Most would rather be considered lazy.

    By taking the cop-out, a person is not considered to be dumb, they are considered to be lazy. Well, a smart person does not care if he is lazy because he was never expected to be hard-working. He only cares that he is still smart, and by choosing to be lazy he has reduced his chances of losing the smart label.

    This is the issue with consistent praise of intelligence, and this is precisely the reason that the control group was given the line of praise regarding their work ethic. Even in those that it does not produce the effect or “laziness” it still produces other negative effects such as a dread of schoolwork due to the fear that it gives them. Others detest school because of the fact that it means that they must be, and are expected to be perfect.

    Noone is perfect, but these students are unwilling to acknowledge this. They must be perfect, it is all that they are and it decides everything for them. Many will end up breaking under the pressure; indeed, I believe that there has been other research done that shows that there is a high level of mental illness and a large suicide rate among those who have these expectations imposed on them. (The Asian mindset and school systems come to mind; quite a few of my friends on and off this campus that have spent time in these school systems have told me about the emphasis placed on intelligence and the accompanying high suicide rates in Asia.)

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