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Cognitive Principle #8:<br />Intelligence can be changed through sustained hard work.<br />
Is intelligence nature or nuture? <br /><ul><li>Up until 1980s is was viewed 50/50.
Flynn effect shows large growth of IQ scores over last 50 years of industrialized nations…more change than could be accounted for by genetic changes (15 pts in 50 years)
“Genetic effects can make you seek out of select different environments”
IH your parents are successful professionals, you will be a successful professional</li></li></ul><li>Westerners view intelligence as a fixed quantity…part of a genetic lottery.<br />Eastern countries such as Japan and China view intelligence as more malleable. <br />Cognitive science has shown intelligence can be changed thru hard work.<br />“Students who believe intelligence can be improved with hard work get higher grades than students who believe that intelligence is an immutable trait”<br />To help slow learners “catch up” we must first be sure they believe that they can improve, and next we must try to persuade them that it will be worth it”<br />Always talk about successes and failures in terms of effort, not ability<br />Praise Effort Not AbilityTeach students that they can develop their intelligence through hard work<br />
For the Teacher….<br />Tell Students Hard Work Pays OffPraising process rather than ability send the unspoken message that intelligence is under the student’s control. Students must know that success comes with hard work and continued hard work.<br />Don’t Take Study Skills for GrantedDo all of your students really have the embedded skills to do what you ask them to do at home (don’t take these skills for granted)<br />ie…You have a quiz the next day and you tell your students to study. You think you are asking them to acquire the new knowledge, assuming they already have the proper study skills, but do they? Teach them how to organize their thoughts and learning to make best use of their time<br />
Treat Failure as a natural part of learningFailure means you’re about to learn something. <br />My experience: the learning resulting from a failure is the most enduring! <br />“Catching up” is the Long-Term Goal<br />Slow students learn less in the same time period of work, so if they work for the same amount of time as the more bright students, the gap between them will increase…so the lower students actually have to work harder.<br />To help make students feel they are making progress and stay motivated interim goals should to be set and improvement should be tracked.<br />Be wary of praising second rate work in your slower students. By praising substandard work you send the message that you have lower expectations for this student. Better to tell the truth, I appreciate you turned it in -- here is how it could be better.<br />
What About My Mind?<br />(the teacher’s mind)<br />
Cognitive Principle #9:<br />Teaching, like any complex cognitive skill, must be practiced to be improved.<br />
Teaching is very demanding of working memory.<br />Teachers need to have rich subject-matter knowledge.<br />“It is virtually impossible to become proficient at a mental task without extended practice. Your best bet of improving your teaching is to practice teaching.”<br />Practice compared to ExperienceExperience means you are simply engaged…practice means you are trying to improve performance. <br />Just doing something won’t make you better…you must actively try to improve.<br />“A great deal of data show that teachers improve during their first five years in the field, as measured by student learning. After five years the curse gets flat, and a teacher with twenty years of experience is (on average) no better or worse than a teacher with ten.” <br />
It appears that teachers reach a certain plateau at which they are satisfied. Improvement is hard and often times that interferes with other activities (kids, family) etc.<br />What aspects of my teaching work well for my students, and what parts need improvement?<br />In order to practice to improve teachers (anyone for that matter) need feedback<br />Without feedback you don’t know what changes will make you a better (or golfer or scientist)<br />It is hard to critically assess your teaching while you are teaching<br />People are naturally biased in favor of themselves…when something goes well we take credit and when something goes wrong it is externalized<br />
To improve at something also requires investing time in tasks that are not the target tasks but done for the sake of improving the target task.<br />Ex. Tiger Woods runs and lifts weights to build endurance. Playing 36 holes on a 100 degree day doesn’t tire him out as much as someone who hasn’t developed the same level of strength.<br />For a teacher that might be working on building student teacher relationship…in the hopes of raising achievement…getting better at working with parents to facilitate at home support/learning.<br />Summarize: Being a better teacher doesn’t come simply as the years pass.<br />You must practice and <br />consciously try to improve <br />seek feedback on your teaching <br />undertake activities for improvement even if they don’t directly contribute to your job<br />
Willingham recommends easing into peer evaluation since teaching is personal and taking criticism is difficult and takes time for someone to build trust of the person providing feedback.<br />Step 1: Identify Another Teacher (or Two) with Who You Would Like to Work<br />Step 2: Tape Yourself and Watch the Tapes Alone<br />Step 3: With your Partner, Watch Tapes of Other Teachers<br />Practice making comments<br />They need to be supportive<br />They should be concrete and about behaviors you observe, not about qualities you infer.<br />Step 4: With Your Partner, Watch and Comment on Each Other’s Tapes<br />Supportive<br />Concrete<br />Focus on behaviors<br />Teacher being observed should set the goal for the session. Observer is to look for and comment on only thing set by the teacher<br />Unless you are asked for additional input your role is as supportive careful observer<br />
Step 5: Bring It Back to the Classroom and Follow Up<br />Make a plan that during a specific lesson you will do one thing that addresses the issue with which you are concerned. Even if you think of multiple things to do, do just one…keep it simple.<br />After a certain amount of time teaching a teacher goes on autopilot and that is to be expected…but a teacher trying to improve will work to spend less and less time on autopilot.<br />He warns this kind of work can be draining and recommends small steps with these ideas:<br />Keep a Teaching Diary<br />Start a Discussion Group with Fellow Teachers<br />Observe (people of the age you teach…what makes them tick)<br />