The Learning Myth: Why I’ll Never Tell My Son He’s Smart

Paul FennerLifestyle

Fascinating piece here by Salman Kahn founder of the Kahn academy.  For those of you not familiar with the Kahn Academy, it is a non-profit educational organization created in 2006 that provides “a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere”. The organization produces micro lectures in the form of YouTube videos.

  • Between the deep body of research on the field of learning mindsets and this personal experience with my son, I am more convinced than ever that mindsets toward learning could matter more than anything else we teach.
  • …most people adhere to one of two mindsets: fixed or growth. Fixed mindsets mistakenly believe that people are either smart or not, that intelligence is fixed by genes. People with growth mindsets correctly believe that capability and intelligence can be grown through effort, struggle, and failure.

Full disclosure, I have actually tried putting this practice into place with my own kids but I have encountered the following two problems;

  1. My impatience gets the best of me and I say the words for my kids or I physically do something that I should let them try
  2. Other people who help us take care of our kids do just the opposite and say how smart a child is when he or she does something

Time will tell as my kids age who are currently all under 5 if I will be able to overcome my two hurdles above and the reaction that I get