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Think You Are Not Smart? Think Again.

Sceince of teaching

Date : 08/01/2022

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Uploaded by : Zhe
Uploaded on : 08/01/2022
Subject : Psychology

What if I tell you that you can be as smart as you wish to be? Would you believe me? I know, I am starting to sound like some clich YouTube-ads trying to sell you some online courses. Before you reach for the quit icon, here me out, as I am going to tell you a study which might change your view on your own perceived intelligence.

Dweck and her colleagues carried out a simple yet elegant study. She rounded up a group of low-performing primary school students and gave them a workshop about studying techniques. But here comes the twist: For one group, she only gave a presentation about memory. For the other group, she explicitly talks about how the brain changes as we carry out effortful learning. In other words, our intelligence is malleable and can be improved by deliberate practice!

As the unknowing students carried on with their academic year, the impact of differential treatment is discernible. Students who are taught that intelligence are malleable, became much more aggressive learners and high achievers than students from the first group, holding the conventional view, that intelligence is fixed. The difference in the outcome is explained by two different mindsets: growth mindset and fixed mindset.

Growth mindset vs fixed mindset

Growth mindset (defined by Dweck) would be the belief that one s intelligence is largely within their own control. For example, if you didn t do well in the test, you would simply blame the lack of effort instead of blaming your lack of intelligence . Conversely, fixed mindset would be the belief that their intellectual ability was fixed at birth and it s no longer malleable.

Still not convinced? Well, let me give an oversimplified explanation of what I meant by how the brain changes as we carry out effortful learning . Memory is formed by firing a set of interconnected neurons (cells residing in our brains) simultaneously. Thus, if we DELIBERATELY activate it, using say active recall, the chain of neurons will be much stronger. In other words, the more we practice retrieving a memory, the easier it is to do so. This means that our brain is malleable, and so is intelligence! (Rejoice!!)

Now what do you should do with this message? If you are still a student (we all are), do not compare yourself to geniuses out there. Know that everyone can be able to store a huge amount of information with the effortful learning and practice. For educators out there, why not start your first lesson, telling your students about the wonders of our brain and its limitless potential stop praising students to be smart and start praising them for their effective learning practices. Perhaps, our students will start to realise their potential and innate capability to change their intelligence and their future.

This resource was uploaded by: Zhe

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