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Praise versus Encouragement

Praise versus Encouragement
Most of us believe that we need to praise our children more. However, there is some controversy regarding this point. If we always reward a child with praise after a task is completed, then the child comes to expect it. However, if praise is not forthcoming, then its absence may be interpreted by the child as failure. According to Naomi Aldort, "Children who are subjected to endless commentary, acknowledgment, and praise eventually learn to do things not for their own sake, but to please others." But the avoidance of all praise is not a solution either. One of the main differences between praise and encouragement is that praise often comes paired with a judgment or evaluation, such as "best" or "highest" in these examples. According to Bolton (1979, pg 181): Evaluative praise is the expression of favorable judgment about another person or his behaviors: "Eric, you are such a good boy." According to Ginott (1965): According to Taylor (1979): "Mr. "Bravo! "Splendid! Sam: It's scary. Mr. Mr. Related:  New Learning Skills

How being called smart can actually make you stupid | Neurobonkers A few months ago I posted a piece which has become my most popular blog post by quite a landslide. The post covered various techniques for learning and looked at the empirical evidence for and against their efficacy based on recent research. This post is my follow up, in which I look at the case for one tip for learning that it seems really could have a big impact. A growing body of evidence from the last two decades suggests that our attitude towards our own potential for intelligence has a considerable impact on our lives, furthermore we are incredibly vulnerable to having this attitude or "mindset" moulded for better or worse, by how people praise us in a way that is both shocking and problematic. Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck has presented a range of startlingly fascinating findings on the topic which have been broadly supported by further research. References: Blackwell L.S., Trzesniewski K.H. & Dweck C.S. (2007). Kamins M.L. & Dweck C.S. (1999).

How 30 Minutes a Day Can Increase Your Intelligence If you ask me, where humans go wrong is with their lack of patience. That, and their recent acquired taste for instant gratification. The reality is that things take time. That said, it’s actually pretty easy to improve yourself. Because most people don’t bother. The majority of people don’t do a single thing to improve themselves. So I’ve come up with a new theory: The Half Hour Theory. I love it because it’s actually pretty easy to integrate into your life. This could take the form of half an hour’s reading every day. You may even want to improve the speed of your reading so you can learn faster. This theory could even rely on you taking a half an hour every day spending time on the Internet, researching into something that really interests you. The point is that by dedicating a small amount of time every day to something that will expand your intelligence or improve your life in some way, you will (after a while) notice a large result. Here’s how to implement The Half Hour Theory:

How The Memory Works In Learning How The Memory Works In Learning By Dr. Judy Willis, M.D., M.Ed. Teachers are the caretakers of the development of students’ highest brain during the years of its most extensive changes. As such, they have the privilege and opportunity to influence the quality and quantity of neuronal and connective pathways so all children leave school with their brains optimized for future success. This introduction to the basics of the neuroscience of learning includes information that should be included in all teacher education programs. Teaching Grows Brain Cells IQ is not fixed at birth and brain development and intelligence are “plastic” in that internal and environmental stimuli constantly change the structure and function of neurons and their connections. It was once believed that brain cell growth stops after age twenty. High Stress Restricts Brain Processing to the Survival State Memory is Constructed and Stored by Patterning Memory is Sustained by Use The Future References Ashby, C.

Formula for success in learning If you have found this place in the vast cyberspace of the web, you are probably not the one to convince that knowledge is power, and that solutions to most problems facing humanity could be found if we were armed with more understanding of how the world works. While knowledge is power, information can be overpowering. An increasing proportion of the population suffers from Information Fatigue Syndrome, i.e. from stress related to being overwhelmed with an unmanageable glut of information. This text introduces you to simple steps toward managing information and toward rock-solid knowledge. No cheap miracles. I have been working on the problem of effective learning for 16 years now since, as a student of molecular biology, I first understood how I could greatly change the quality of all my actions were I able to improve the recall of what I studied for exams (and not only). You may find the first three points obvious. This is the shortest path to empowering knowledge: Further reading

How your brain likes to be treated at revision time If you're a student, you rely on one brain function above all others: memory. These days, we understand more about the structure of memory than we ever have before, so we can find the best techniques for training your brain to hang on to as much information as possible. The process depends on the brain's neuroplasticity, its ability to reorganise itself throughout your life by breaking and forming new connections between its billions of cells. How does it work? Information is transmitted by brain cells called neurons. Your hippocampus is forced to store many new patterns every day. So what's the best way to revise? Forget about initial letters Teachers often urge students to make up mnemonics – sentences based on the initial letters of items you're trying to remember. The mnemonic is providing you with a cue but, if you haven't memorised the names, the information you want to recall is not there. Repeat yourself Pathways between neurons can be strengthened over time. Take regular breaks

The Science of “Chunking,” Working Memory, and How Pattern Recognition Fuels Creativity by Maria Popova “Generating interesting connections between disparate subjects is what makes art so fascinating to create and to view… We are forced to contemplate a new, higher pattern that binds lower ones together.” It seems to be the season for fascinating meditations on consciousness, exploring such questions as what happens while we sleep, how complex cognition evolved, and why the world exists. Joining them and prior explorations of what it means to be human is The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning (public library) by Cambridge neuroscientist Daniel Bor in which, among other things, he sheds light on how our species’ penchant for pattern-recognition is essential to consciousness and our entire experience of life. To illustrate the power of chunking, Bor gives an astounding example of how one man was able to use this mental mechanism in greatly expanding the capacity of his working memory. Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr

What schools need: Vigor instead of rigor - The Answer Sheet This was written by Joanne Yatvin, a vet­eran public school educator, author and past president of the National Council of Teachers of English. She is now teaching part-time at Portland State University. A version of this was originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. By Joanne Yatvin Though my years in the classroom are long past, at heart I am still a cranky old English teacher who bristles at some of the neologisms that have crept into public language. Even so, I remain politely quiet when others commit such grammatical transgressions. Part of my reaction is emotional, having so often heard “rigor” paired with “mortis.” Now, more than ever, “rigor” is being used to promote the idea that American students need advanced course work, complex texts, stricter grading, and longer school days and years in order to be ready for college or the workplace. Since I believe it is time for a better word and a better concept to drive American education, I recommend “vigor.”

Buzzword: Micro-learning I was introduced recently to a new buzz word making its way across the learning & development industry: Micro-learning. If you’re like me, you’re probably starting to get a bit tired of people adding their particular spin to learning – all in search of the holy grail that is the “right way” to make learning happen. It doesn’t exist. But having got that out of the way, it is worth looking at these ideas to see if there’s anything we, as learning professionals, can learn from them. As a term, “micro-learning” has been around since about 2004, when it was put forward in a PhD thesis by Gerhard Gassler. Basically, micro-learning describes a method of learning, whereby concepts and ideas are presented (or retrieved) in very small chunks, over very short time-scales, often at the point of need, or at the point of maximum receptiveness. Examples include: As can be seen from the examples above, micro-learning is generally pulled rather than pushed. ie. the learner dictates when they learn.

Teaching Expert Learners Harrisburg Presentation Resources Here are some resources from my presentation in Harrisburg. Defining and Exploring Gamification from Karl Kapp Here is some additional information. Articles and Blog Entries of Interest 8 Types of Stories to Effect Change Storytelling and Instructional Design Eight Game Elements to Make Learning More Intriguing Games, Gamification and the Quest for Learner Engagement Gamification, […] Continue Reading → 2014 DOE Symposium Conference Resources Here are my resources for the 2014 DOE Symposium Conference. Continue Reading → Great fun at ITEAA Conference & Introduction of Exciting Game-Based Learning Modules Last week I had a chance to attend the ITEAA Conference which is the conference of the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. Continue Reading → Instructional Games and Narrative Instructional games work best when there is a narrative that provides the learner with the proper context for the learning that needs to take place.

How to Ace Your Finals Without Studying I’ve never been that keen on studying before an exam. I rarely study for more than a half hour, even for big final exams worth more than half my grade. When I do study, I usually just skim over the material and do a few practice questions. For some of my math classes I have yet to do a single practice question for homework. Most people study by cramming in as much information before walking into the test room, whereas I consider studying to be no more than a light stretch before running. Despite what some might point out as horrible studying habits, I’ve done very well for myself in school. It’s very easy to look at my successes and apparent lack of effort and quickly deem that it is an innate gift, impossible to replicate. Webs and Boxes The system I use for learning I’m going to call holistic learning. People who learn through compartments, try to organize their mind like a filing cabinet. Holistic learning takes an opposite approach. Very few people are purely compartmental learners.