Reflection of: Why Don’t Students Like School? By Daniel T. Willingham
The cognitive principle: Children do differ in intelligence, but intelligence can be changed through sustained hard work. (pg. 170) As teachers and administrators in public schools, it is imperative to model good work ethic, show how to gain knowledge by sharing experiences, allow/plan for classroom experiences, have good focused classroom discussions, teach study skills early and be persistence in expecting good effort in the classroom and most importantly praise the effort.
We can be successful with our students by praising work ethic, effort in the learning, adding to discussions, sharing experiences and explaining that we learn by our own successes and failures.
In my resource room, after reading this section, I tried the more praising of effort than quality/quantity of work and the amount of good work achieved was impressive. My students and I discussed the idea of learning by our mistakes and using our successes to do more and to be better students of life. It really worked!! My students worked harder than I have seen in the past two years and when they did make mistakes I saw less pouting and more questioning and redoing and less complaining because of poor grades. At the same time, the older students have been caught by their general education teachers using better study skills, questioning more and asking for help more in the classroom. By praising their effort, their quality of work and effort have improved.
This section was powerful for me as a special education teacher. To see growth is important and to keep it is hard to do. With this section, it has changed my way of praising and I am seeing success with my tougher/older students.
I found this book to be a positive experience. It was good to be refreshed in good practical strategies that can be used with all students and in any grade level. I really enjoyed this book and Willingham’s ideas, strategies and the research to support them.