How Children Succeed (Con’t)

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It’s Sunday and that means…research update!

Page 91, Paul Tough’s book, How Children Succeed

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (or CBT) involves using the conscious mind to recognize negative or self-destructive thoughts or interpretations and to (sometimes literally), talk yourself into a better perspective.

CBT is just one example under the big umbrella of “Metacognition.” Talking about character, evaluating character are metacognitive strategies.

However, just knowing about strategies is not enough.

Gabrielle Oettingen (NYU Psychologist) says people tend to use one of three strategies when setting goals and only one is very effective:

  1. Envisioning achieving the goal – this feels so good when you do it. It feels motivating and it can trigger a dopamine surge. But studies show that just doing this is NOT sufficient.
  2. Pessimists dwell on obstacles to their goals and of course, this is ineffective.
  3. Mental Contrasting is effective – it’s kind of a combination of both: focus on the positive outcome but at the same time, acknowledge the obstacles. The necessary next step is to create a series of implementation intentions:

If/then statements – “If I get distracted from my work, then I will…”

This is setting rules for yourself.

Rules overcome drawbacks of willpower which redirects our attention from the obstacle or challenge and helps us become automatic in practicing positive behavior.

According to Duckworth: “Habits are character.”

Group identity (stereotypes) can have both positive and negative effects on achievement.

Before a challenging math test, female college students need only be reminded that they are female for them to do WORSE on the test than female students who do not receive that identity cue. (p. 96)

Telling students that intelligence is malleable has led to better academic performance.

A study of low-income 7th grade students in Texas were divided into two groups:

  1. heard a growth mindset message
  2. heard an anti-drug message

The first group performed significantly better – girls who used to lag behind boys in math closed the gap completely.

16. Report Cards

 

Dual-purpose instruction – when teachers deliberately work explicit talk about character strengths into every lesson.

Optimism, self-control, social intelligence are a few examples

“Character strengths can become character weaknesses.” For example, someone with too much grit might then be weak in empathy towards others. There is a balance that needs to be reached.

17. Climbing the Mountain p. 101

KIPP School – tracking students in college

“…it’s the character piece that has held some back (procrastination). Depression is also an issue.”

The impact of poverty catches up even with children who are resilient.

Character can function as a substitute for social net that the middle and upper class kids enjoy.

To succeed, they need more grit, social intelligence and more self-control than wealthier kids.

But KIPP students who graduate do not have just a diploma. They have the knowledge that they climbed a mountain to get it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “How Children Succeed (Con’t)

  1. Thanks
    For this insightful info -‘and presented so succinctly 💜
    At first I was reading while thinking of ancomment to leave but it kept getting more interesting and so I chilled and just read –
    Ahhh
    😊🐣

    Liked by 1 person

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