Learn Anything!

This may just be an ad for Khan Academy, however, it really sums up one little thing that NGL has taught me. 

I still may be stumbling about my sewing machine (probably because I’ve spent more time researching and engaging with my COP than actually sewing!). However, I really believe with NGL we can learn anything. 

I was reading this article by Salman Khan that was shared by a friend on Facebook. It’s entitled “The Learning Myth: Why I’ll never tell me son he’s smart”. This got me really thinking. I have three boys. My eldest started Kindergarten this year and received a “D” on his report card for reading last semester. He was devastated. I really didn’t think he’d understand what it meant. At school, students get told the “D” is for “developing”  – which it is, however, that “D” for him stood for failure. He thought he was dumb. He gave up trying. My son is very creative. He could make you a whole city out of toilet rolls, a spaceship and a whole new planet out of a breakfast cereal box. But in his mind, he is stupid. 

This broke my heart.

He’s five. He should love school. Every day should be an exciting adventure with his friends as they learn new things about our amazing world. But instead he’s given up already. 

So instead of praising his accomplishments, I began praising his efforts. After reading this article, it challenged me to start praising his “Brain growing”, as Khan so nicely puts it. 

He references Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University and her work on mindsets. She found that those people with a “fixed mindset” tended to focus their efforts on tasks they knew they had a higher likelihood of success and avoided tasks where they may find a struggle, thus limiting their learning. I’ve been doing this with blogging! (But that was the last post!)

Apparently, Dweck and others have developed “growth mindset interventions” such as praising someone’s process instead of praising someone’s innate trait is a way to help grow their mindset. 

With so much information around, why haven’t we as a society utilised this? 

When utilising NGL with my students, this article has shown me how important it is to not only get excited for what they are producing, but even more so for the way in which they are building their knowledge and struggling through things which may be hard for them.


3 thoughts on “Learn Anything!

  1. Hi Eleisha
    So sad that your son has encountered the discouragement that formal education can be. Mindset is crucial. As a psychologist I am constantly seeing how our mindset helps or hinders us. He is lucky to have you to help his nderstand the value an triumph of struggle.
    Cheers Tracey


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