Helping children succeed in school and in life

Helping children succeed in school and in life

– It is known, from a neuroscientific perspective, that adversity makes it difficult for kids to succeed
– Activation of the fight and flight response is a biochemical reaction not a moral reaction which language such as “character implies”
– environment shapes traits/habits of behaviour
– Kids must know how to manage failure
– Five big personality traits OCEAN [openness; Conscientiousness; Extroversion; Agreeableness; Neuroticism]
– Angela Duckworth Believes grit & character (this has a moral valence) is a facet of conscientiousness
– carol Dweck – focus on the facets
– skills development is important, & so are what he calls “non-cognitive capacities”
– psychological mindsets
– to succeed in school you need academic behaviours (certain behaviours leads to certain outcomes)
– showing up to school
– engage in class work / exercise self-control
– persevere through difficulty
– work hard
– resilience
– being passionate about something
[these qualities are not measured by grades, but GPA is still important]
– study done by an economist which shows there are 2 types of teachers:
– one who reliably improves student test scores
– one who improves attendance, behaviour, & general grade progression
– his idea: to create climates which makes kids want to behave, while encouraging independence [balance control/compliance with autonomy]
– punishments / consequences to be used sparingly
– pushing kids can lead to compliance, but not intrinsic motivation
– note: succeeding in school has strong correlations with succeeding in life
– class clowns & rebellious kids have positive qualities – identify, but how to harness? Impress them with the need to have knowledge about the world, business skills
– the US have “deeper learner” schools which is all about finding passions, using ambitions, identifying skills
– positive psychology: PERMA Model
– happiness & achievement link?
PERMA stands for:
P – positive emotions
E – Engagement
R – Relationships
M – Meaning
A – Achievement
– goal: give kids opportunities to feel good about themselves (when there re stresses at home & school)
– raises the idea of making things seem like fun – at home & at school
– humour is a good way to manage adversity
– environments that engender happiness & fun – best for learning? With belonging, challenge & hard work
– kids need to learn in a broader, more engaged way, to prepare or the future

The psychology podcast | 2 June 2016


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