Some comments on past articles warning against telling children that learning is easy and that rewards are "bad" led me to write this. At the core of this article is the question of how beliefs affect performance and how we can change beliefs.
It is at the same time obvious and subtle. In the heat of the teaching moment, some teachers and parents may forget to monitor and nurture the optimistic beliefs in children. In this post we'll cover some research from the aclaimed book "Mindset" as well as concepts from the fields of motivation, behaviourism, personality, and learning.
We start with a simple concept, rather an observation: Many people would like to fly, yet we see very few people galloping with flapping arms like clumsy albatross. Take a second to ponder why. Most of us could come up with the right answer, which is that people cannot fly by flapping their arms. It just can't happen, and we know it. Therefore we don't try. How simple.
Yet this simple bit of knowledge has profound consequences for children. It can mean the difference between stunted intellectual growth and a mind free of restraint.