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Who Do You Want Your Child To Be?


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#1 mum mum mum

Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:12 PM

Did anyone see this on SBS last night?
http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/20740...our-Child-To-Be

Two things that particularly interested me were:
* Primary schools paying cash to disadvantaged kids if they were good (grades and behaviour) at school
* That children should be praised (in general, especially by family, not necessarily at school) for their effort, not apparent intelligence or being clever

WDYT?

edit: clarification

Edited by mum mum mum, 26 April 2012 - 05:41 PM.


#2 SarDonik

Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:23 PM

QUOTE (mum mum mum @ 24/04/2012, 01:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Did anyone see this on SBS last night?
http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/20740...our-Child-To-Be

Two things that particularly interested me were:
* Schools paying cash to disadvantaged kids if they were good (grades and behaviour) at school
* That children should be praised for their effort, not apparent intelligence or being clever

WDYT?


No to both. The first is a complete failboat for many reasons, the second, I understand the reasoning behind it, but it's pretty high to quantify effort as opposed to achievement. I did well in school, but only when it counted, in year 11/12. Before that I was lazy and couldn't be bothered. Our school had a grading system for our school reports A - E for achievement and A - E effort. I was always getting really poor marks for achievement but high for effort... but I was putting in zero effort... the teachers have no idea really how much effort you really are putting in.


#3 lucky 2

Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:33 PM

WDYT OP?

#4 mum mum mum

Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:44 PM

QUOTE (SarDonik @ 24/04/2012, 12:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No to both. The first is a complete failboat for many reasons, the second, I understand the reasoning behind it, but it's pretty high to quantify effort as opposed to achievement. I did well in school, but only when it counted, in year 11/12. Before that I was lazy and couldn't be bothered. Our school had a grading system for our school reports A - E for achievement and A - E effort. I was always getting really poor marks for achievement but high for effort... but I was putting in zero effort... the teachers have no idea really how much effort you really are putting in.

I've edited my OP to clarify the 2nd point but it's more that one should say 'well done, that's a great effort' rather than 'that's great, you're so clever'.

Re 1st the idea is that disadvantaged kids need to see the benefit of going to school.  One poignant comment by a student when asked what he was going to do with all the money earnt was that he was going to save it for college.  What are your reasons against it?

QUOTE (lucky 2 @ 24/04/2012, 12:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
WDYT OP?

I think they're great original.gif

Edited by mum mum mum, 24 April 2012 - 12:52 PM.


#5 Sweet like a lemon

Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:03 PM

QUOTE (mum mum mum @ 24/04/2012, 12:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've edited my OP to clarify the 2nd point but it's more that one should say 'well done, that's a great effort' rather than 'that's great, you're so clever'.

Why? Is being clever a bad thing now, or only highlighting to someone that they are clever? That's just rubbish. I tell my DD that she's clever all the time, because she is clever and I really need her to believe it and embrace it.

#6 Guest_tigerdog_*

Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:13 PM

QUOTE
Re 1st the idea is that disadvantaged kids need to see the benefit of going to school.


All kids need to see the benefit of going to school but many don't - it's a combination of youth and lack of experience as well as growing up in a society dedicated to instant gratification.

But then I can see why disadvantaged kids may need this more, they don't see in their world the benefits an education can bring (eg. seeing parents studying or working to achieve those benefits) as they may be trapped in intergenerational poverty and welfare dependence.

Edited by tigerdog, 24 April 2012 - 01:16 PM.


#7 magpie99

Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:17 PM

It sounded as though it would have been interesting. I'm sorry I missed it but I think there are places you can download the programme.
For those who did watch it what are " the three little words that can ruin a child's chance of success for good"

#8 BadCat

Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:26 PM

As is so often the case with these sort of things, it seems wonderful for the average and below average student.  

Praising effort is all very nice but means squat to the brainiac in the corner who got the best test score effortlessly.  There is no point praising his effort when he really didn't even need to try.  He needs to be praised for his brilliance just as much as the kid who is crap at maths needs to be praised for effort and improvement.  It doesn't have to be one or the other.

As for paying disadvantaged kids for grades I think it's nice for the disadvantaged kid but sucks for the kid from a reasonable home who is behaving hmself  and getting the same grades.  How sickening for him to see his mate from the family down the road who are on welfare get $50 for her A and all he gets for his A is a big fat nothing, or perhaps some praise for effort.  As an adult one can see the reasoning behind the idea but as a kid in the same school you can bet most of those not getting cash think it sucks.  I would also lay money on the fact that any number of the kids who get cash go straight out and spend it on cigarettes, booze, drugs, buying friends etc.

Based purely on the points raised by the OP I am not a fan.



#9 SarDonik

Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:36 PM

QUOTE (mum mum mum @ 24/04/2012, 01:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Re 1st the idea is that disadvantaged kids need to see the benefit of going to school.  One poignant comment by a student when asked what he was going to do with all the money earnt was that he was going to save it for college.  What are your reasons against it?


It just sounds like a very naive and idealistic program that will no doubt be abused, be a nightmare to control and administer and probably only benefit a very small minority. I can imagine people with good intentions, sitting round a table and discussing the merits of this, how it will enable disadvantaged kids to save for uni or buy a computer to help with their studies etc etc But in all honesty how many kids are going to do that with the money? It's just something that sounds great in theory, but in practice is going to fail.

Edited by SarDonik, 24 April 2012 - 01:39 PM.


#10 FeralBob!

Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:37 PM

Or use the money on day to day living expenses.

Or getting mugged on the way home by their classmates.



#11 Guest_Telmatiaeos_*

Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:11 PM

Not sure about the first one but I agree with the second one.  I've heard it before.  Their point was that if you say "you're so clever", then the child thinks that they must always be clever.  It's not something that they can really change and is counter-productive.  Whereas if you say "wow that's great, you must have put in a lot of effort", then you are praising the effort, which they can change.

They explained that in experiments kids that were consistently praised for effort rather than end result were able to achieve more.  Whereas kids who were told "you're so clever" were afraid to fail.

Edited by Telmatiaeos, 24 April 2012 - 02:12 PM.


#12 BadCat

Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:21 PM

OK, waded through the whole show and I don't really buy any of it.

The idea that saying "you're so clever" to your child ruins their chance of success is ludicrous.  Apparently it makes a difference to how some kids operate but to apply that to every kid is silly.  You can tell a child they are clever while still teaching them that they are not likely to be good at everything.

I think it's mindless praise of any sort that does the damage rather than specific and directed praise that suits the occassions.  A mindless "wow what a lot of effort you must have put in" to a kid who breezed through a project is as pointless and potentially harmful as a "wow, you're so clever" to a kid who tried their hardest and came up mediocre.  Either way you are praising the wrong thing.

#13 tothebeach

Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:04 PM

When you have a child who picks many things up effortlessly, it is hard to praise them for effort.  In fact, it is counterproductive to praise for effort because they will find something that they need to put effort in to learn and they will find it too hard if they think that they have always achieved other things through effort (when in fact, it has been effortless for them.)

We know this through personal experience with DS1.  Because many things are so easy for him, he has to 'learn to learn' for things that don't come naturally.

#14 Fr0g

Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:23 PM

True, tithe each - we have a son who has been told he's clever, smart, 'gifted' etc for years. Now, at 11, he's plateaued - not everything comes easily - we have had a child who is mortified of failure and fiercely adamant he's not as clever as all his teachers think.

The message he gets from us is try your hardest and that's what counts. He's 11, not in matrix and in the scheme of things, the fundamentals of effort are more important in our family.

He now struggles on occasions, like most others, and because we've consistently praised the effort not the result (it's the social worker in me! :/ ), he's learning to fail and learn it's OK.

I like to reinforce the smarts, but not focus on them - because there's little margin to account for failure, IME.



#15 beachflower

Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:35 PM

QUOTE
Why? Is being clever a bad thing now, or only highlighting to someone that they are clever? That's just rubbish. I tell my DD that she's clever all the time, because she is clever and I really need her to believe it and embrace it.

I see where you are coming from.

I didn't watch this but I can say from an early childhood perspective it's important for a child's self worth and a child's self identity that we are very clear with what we are praising. eg. "You have worked really hard on that project, it's really interesting". This is being very specific about what it is that they are achieving and it is giving them a clear picture of what their abilities are. Saying you are clever also gives them a boost...nothing wrong with that.
"Effort" should be aknowledged too.
My view is that we need to support children and show a clear and honest interest.

The idea of money being given to students for good grades is just missing the point. These children need to be supported and shown how to acheive their goals and learn about self respect and self worth.
It's just not giving them the right message. Their motivation should be intrinsic - to be proud and rewarded by their outcomes.
I don't smile at my bank balance when I get home from work - how could cash payments have a long lasting benefit?

#16 Smoosho

Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:58 PM

Sadly many gifted kids underachieve once they are teenagers, which I think is linked to being overly praised for being clever all their lives.

The pressure is on them to always be clever and high achievers to attract any praise or positive acknowledgement..

My own child continued to work to her potential throughout her school life (now at uni), partly because (we think) we always spoke about effort and attitude being important. Even the most intelligent child will eventually find something they don't naturally excel at. If their self-esteem is tied to achievement rather than effort, the teenage years can be worse than they have to be.

I agree praise for effort from someone who isn't close to the child (so doesn't really know how much effort went into a task), is unhelpful. You really need to know your own child well enough to know they have put in the hard yards (not always measured by time spent on task).

[No, I missed the tv show, but it sounds interesting..) original.gif

#17 treetop

Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:39 PM

I read an article on this many years ago. Article
Basically, it agrees that many people see intelligence as innate and, if praised only for their intelligence, become afraid of even trying since failure means they're not worthy of being praised after all.  

I always tell my kids that everything takes practice.  Poor DS tends to feel that everyone in the house is better at everything than he is - I keep telling him DD is better because she's older and has had more chance to practice, and I am better than DD because I am much older and have had much more time to practice!


#18 mum mum mum

Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:54 AM

QUOTE (BadCat @ 24/04/2012, 02:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it's mindless praise of any sort that does the damage rather than specific and directed praise that suits the occassions.  A mindless "wow what a lot of effort you must have put in" to a kid who breezed through a project is as pointless and potentially harmful as a "wow, you're so clever" to a kid who tried their hardest and came up mediocre.  Either way you are praising the wrong thing.

QUOTE (tothebeach @ 24/04/2012, 05:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When you have a child who picks many things up effortlessly, it is hard to praise them for effort.  In fact, it is counterproductive to praise for effort because they will find something that they need to put effort in to learn and they will find it too hard if they think that they have always achieved other things through effort (when in fact, it has been effortless for them.)

I agree with both of you here, but whilst one shouldn't praise effort when there isn't any/much, it is also not necessary to applause apparent innate intelligence.
It should come across that the means or intent is at least as important as the end result, if not more so.
A less intelligent child who makes the effort and does well (reaching/using potential) should be preferred to a more intelligent one who make no effort but still does just as well (under-utilising potential).
Smart kids should be challenged and stimulated to make an effort.
Similarly, compliments and criticisms should be about their behaviour (what they do) rather than themselves per se (who/what they are).

QUOTE (taranicole @ 24/04/2012, 06:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do however think it's ridiculous not to reward genuine achievement. At my son's sportsday they all recieved ribbons that said "Well done" and the actual "winner" was never acknowledged. I was concerned about what this says to the child who won the...that it's not okay to be a winner? That it's not fair to be good at something? That you shouldn't be proud of your strengths because it might make someone feel bad?

+1

QUOTE (tigerdog @ 24/04/2012, 01:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
All kids need to see the benefit of going to school but many don't - it's a combination of youth and lack of experience as well as growing up in a society dedicated to instant gratification.

But then I can see why disadvantaged kids may need this more, they don't see in their world the benefits an education can bring (eg. seeing parents studying or working to achieve those benefits) as they may be trapped in intergenerational poverty and welfare dependence.

+1

QUOTE (BadCat @ 24/04/2012, 01:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As for paying disadvantaged kids for grades I think it's nice for the disadvantaged kid but sucks for the kid from a reasonable home who is behaving hmself  and getting the same grades.

All kids participate and are eligible to be paid.

QUOTE (SarDonik @ 24/04/2012, 01:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It just sounds like a very naive and idealistic program that will no doubt be abused, be a nightmare to control and administer and probably only benefit a very small minority.

How so?

QUOTE
I can imagine people with good intentions, sitting round a table and discussing the merits of this, how it will enable disadvantaged kids to save for uni or buy a computer to help with their studies etc etc But in all honesty how many kids are going to do that with the money? It's just something that sounds great in theory, but in practice is going to fail.

We are talking about only up to $100 per fortnight and how they spend it is not important but rather that they earn it in the first place.

QUOTE (beachflower @ 24/04/2012, 05:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The idea of money being given to students for good grades is just missing the point. These children need to be supported and shown how to acheive their goals and learn about self respect and self worth.
It's just not giving them the right message. Their motivation should be intrinsic - to be proud and rewarded by their outcomes.

The points are reward for effort, staying in school, being good and doing well.
Disadvantaged kids seem to need a tangible reward that is given sooner rather than later after their effort.

QUOTE
I don't smile at my bank balance when I get home from work - how could cash payments have a long lasting benefit?

Perhaps you aren't being paid enough original.gif

#19 beachflower

Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:48 AM

QUOTE
Perhaps you aren't being paid enough original.gif


Hehe - I don't, I'm a Kindergarten teacher.

QUOTE
But then I can see why disadvantaged kids may need this more, they don't see in their world the benefits an education can bring (eg. seeing parents studying or working to achieve those benefits) as they may be trapped in intergenerational poverty and welfare dependence.


I understand this point but are you underestimating their ability to observe their world and how it works? Yes it might not be evident in their own homes but children from a very young age understand wealth and benefits of success.

QUOTE
Disadvantaged kids seem to need a tangible reward that is given sooner rather than later after their effort.



I worry for where their drive is coming from. Your self image is reasonably delicate until about 25 years of age. I still believe we need to focus on intrinsic rewards rather than extrinsic.

A memory I have when I first started in the workforce, was a manager who'd walk past me and say "Good job".  It still left me feeling empty, but vaguely satisfied that I was getting paid.
Praise and reward is so much more effective if it is supported with an explanation of what it is you are contributing. It is a measure of how your own hard work is valued and how useful you can be.
I don't understand how giving a child (who is still in the education system) money can instill these vital messages.

After a think over breaky, I can now see the hardship some of these teachers must face. Maybe a bank account would be more effective? with an aim on personal achievement. Perhaps a part of getting paid could be completing a self evaluation, and setting personal goals with a focus on self worth.  

Interesting debate original.gif

Edited by beachflower, 25 April 2012 - 09:13 AM.


#20 mum mum mum

Posted 26 April 2012 - 05:45 PM

QUOTE (beachflower @ 25/04/2012, 08:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hehe - I don't, I'm a Kindergarten teacher.

The programme also covered how learning via self-discovery/play is better than via instruction and mentioned how they are trying to expand this practice from kindergartens into primary schools.

QUOTE
I understand this point but are you underestimating their ability to observe their world and how it works? Yes it might not be evident in their own homes but children from a very young age understand wealth and benefits of success.

I worry for where their drive is coming from. Your self image is reasonably delicate until about 25 years of age. I still believe we need to focus on intrinsic rewards rather than extrinsic.

I agree but the issue is more of time and being able to wait for the reward - delayed gratification.

At university, whilst I knew that studying would help me achieve good grades which in turn should provide better career opportunities, the fact that the course was for a few years meant that it was difficult to focus on studying when there were more immediately enjoyable/beneficial distractions original.gif

QUOTE
Praise and reward is so much more effective if it is supported with an explanation of what it is you are contributing. It is a measure of how your own hard work is valued and how useful you can be.

Yes - of course the students don't participate and earn money without an explanation original.gif

QUOTE
Perhaps a part of getting paid could be completing a self evaluation, and setting personal goals with a focus on self worth.
  
Might be difficult for primary school students original.gif

QUOTE
Interesting debate original.gif

Indeed original.gif





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