Thursday, February 22, 2007


From New York Magazine, The Power (and Peril) of Praising Your Kids:

Students turn to cheating because they haven't developed a strategy for handling failure. The problem is compounded when a parent ignores a child's failures and insists he'll do better next time. Michigan scholar Jennifer Crocker studies this exact scenario and explains that the child may come to believe failure is something so terrible, the family can't acknowledge its existence. A child deprived of the opportunity to discuss mistakes can't learn from them.

My family has always been afraid and ashamed to talk about failure. Jodi's family attacks failure from all sides, before and after it happens.

As a teacher, I've always had a soft spot for "naughty" kids, and I think it comes from this: naughty kids "fail" all the time, and learn to respond to failure through their interactions with teachers and friends.


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