July 31, 2006

Scientific American: The Expert Mind

Scientific American: The Expert Mind: "The preponderance of psychological evidence indicates that experts are made, not born. What is more, the demonstrated ability to turn a child quickly into an expert--in chess, music and a host of other subjects--sets a clear challenge before the schools. Can educators find ways to encourage students to engage in the kind of effortful study that will improve their reading and math skills? Roland G. Fryer, Jr., an economist at Harvard University, has experimented with offering monetary rewards to motivate students in underperforming schools in New York City and Dallas. In one ongoing program in New York, for example, teachers test the students every three weeks and award small amounts--on the order of $10 or $20--to those who score well. The early results have been promising. Instead of perpetually pondering the question, 'Why can't Johnny read?' perhaps educators should ask, 'Why should there be anything in the world he can't learn to do?'"

1 comment:

Lobo said...

I have been dealing with this issue but I have focused not so much on the teacher and school but on students and parents. Students need to be motivated, but they also need good study and learning strategies to grasp ideas and know how to put them together so they make sense.

I've worked on some books for students from Jr. High thru University students to teach them to learn ideas and concepts. There are books for parents too so parents can work at home with their teens. You can find them at www.slssystem.com.

If you have any questions, ask at the book site or atealvarado@slssystem.com

Rewards are good but good study skills are more important to grasp ideas - we have a lot of students struggling to 'get it' and give up since they are frustrated. There's no one way to learn so thes books mentioned have many different ways to grasp ideas.