Teaching Children They Can Learn

Is IQ the only factor in a child’s learning? Is a child’s ability to learn something that is preset and fixed? For years, we were taught to accept that fact. Recently, though, a number of books have come out saying something different. If we reinforce our children’s ability to develop learning skills, we can help them develop skills they will use their entire life.

How does it work? It boils down to how we word praise that we give. Saying something like “you got it right” only concentrates on a result, and not what has to be done to get that result. The child cannot transfer a skill, because that child does not know what skill was used. Saying something like “you remembered that when you use the < and > signs, the open part faces the larger number, you worked hard to remember that and now you did” reinforces what skill was used and compliments the child for the effort they put into the learning.

This is an area I am still learning more about myself, as I was brought up more in the “you got 85%, good job”  and “you only got 75%, you should do better than that” mindset than the “you got 80%, I bet if you took his home and worked on the ones that were hard, you could get an even higher mark tomorrow” one. With that in mind, I found this article to be quite informative. It describes Dr. Carol Dweck’s  research on “Fixed Mindset versus Growth Mindset” :


The article mentions Dr. Carol Dweck. Here is a paper she wrote about how a student’s mindset can affect his/her learning of mathematics and science curriculum:


Her ideas can be used by adults with other adults,say in a work place, and with children.



What Surveys and Relationships Have in Common Over the Telephone

If someone calls you and you pick up the phone but say nothing, wait silently for a bit, then hang up – the caller doesn’t know for certain what just happened. The caller doesn’t even know if someone hungup the phone, or if there is something wrong with the phoneline. If the caller is polite, they will call back at another time.

If you don’t answer the phone when somebody calls – the caller has no idea why that is so. The most logical assumption, though, is that you either were not home or were unavailable somehow when the phone rang. If the caller is polite, they will call back at another time.

If you tell someone that this is a bad time, but call back – the caller will probably call you back! (If you say you are tied up at the moment, someone wanting a relationship will possibly also form strange thoughts, too!)

If you are talking to someone on the phone and you tell them you have no time right now but call back, or just that you are a little busy right now – your words are suggesting to that person that you might be available to speak to them at another time. If the caller is polite, they will call you back.

If you pick up the phone and a conversation starts, and and your words suggest to the caller that you seemed in no way upset to receive the call, but then phoneline goes deadfor that caller – then the caller has no way to know what just happened and will likely call back.

If someone calls you and gets your answering machine, whether they leave a message or not – they will probably call you back at a later date.

If someone calls you and you tell that person you are not really interested in talking to them, so please don’t call back again, guess what? They probably won’t call you back! Just a few words, yet the caller stops calling you back.

Isn’t it amazing what happens when you just tell someone “I’m not interested, please don’t call back” when that’s what you mean? Communicating – such a great way to deal with unwanted relationships and telephone surveyors, and it takes only about ten seconds of your time.