The article “The Words That Unlock Your Child” (BBC News Magazine, 19 April 2011) has some good advice.
Think how often you hear children saying “I just lack the brain for numbers” or “I don’t have the coordination for sports”. These are direct manifestations of the fixed mindset, and they destroy motivation.
Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, do not regard their abilities as set in genetic stone. These are the youngsters who approach tasks with gusto. “I may not be good at maths now, but if I work hard, I will be really good in the future!”
BBC © 2011
Nick Vujicic can tell you about that! Wow…
But I hope they are not saying to not call anyone intelligent! If someone is intelligent, he is. Period. The point is to learn how to use your mind, how to use your rational faculty. The problem is false philosophic ideas about knowledge: tell someone he is intelligent; teach him that knowledge is Platonic insight; and you have a recipe for disaster. The solution is a proper view of knowledge: knowledge is perception-based and is primarily inductive. And induction takes work and an active mind.
The Raptor Resource Project has a camera showing us the birth and growth of three fledgling eagles in Decorah, Iowa. Fun, fascinating and interesting. The RRP has a blog where they are (sometimes) posting about the growth, trials and tribulations of the eaglets and parent eagles. Enjoy!
No wonder Dan Meyer is a heralded educator: he’s a pragmatist who would have our kids’ minds be crammed into and restricted to the immediate moment.
Would he have us look at the universe, look at broad abstractions and large contexts, a la the Greeks and Galileo? No! Heck no! He says to look at the local basketball court — where you can find an application of math no one cares about and no one uses. Such examples are easily dismissed as artificial, since no one ever uses algebra and parabolas to shoot a basket — first-hand experience in the class room tells me so. And such examples are as narrow as the book examples Mr. Meyer is trying to oppose. And such examples do not naturally lead to further thought and investigation.
He responds to Platonism by giving us Pragmatism — but they are two sides of the same false coin. We need a rational approach, a la Aristotle, Archimedes, Newton, Galileo and Gauss.