Jun 20, 2008

You're so smart

In Losing Our Minds, there was a quote I found fascinating on p. 273. "Some children think that others admire or respect them for how quickly and well they can do their work. If there is a chance that it will be too hard, they can become paralyzed with fear that they will lose the acceptance and admiration of others, and they don't dare risk it. These children need to be eased into a steadily more challenging and interesting learning environment."

I've read this before, that students who are often told how smart they are will deliberately choose not to be challenged because they interpret smart to mean they know all the answers, and they don't want to lose the compliments.

I know that I try to praise not just the right answers, but also the attempts. I also try to lower the affective filter as much as possible in my class. It isn't so much about knowing the right answers as having some fun and if learning occurs so much the better. (Learning always occurs when students are having fun in a foreign language.... so I am betting on the house.)

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