Friday, February 23, 2007

Praise and Performance

After this brief debate on Parapundit, I enjoyed reading this article on how praise affects children's performance. If you are or plan to be a parent or teacher, read this article.
Thomas didn’t just score in the top one percent. He scored in the top oneof being standardized tested expected subjected to this shit but i know that rea percent of the top one percent.

But as Thomas has progressed through school, this self-awareness that he’s smart hasn’t always translated into fearless confidence when attacking his schoolwork. In fact, Thomas’s father noticed just the opposite. “Thomas didn’t want to try things he wouldn’t be successful at,” his father says. “Some things came very quickly to him, but when they didn’t, he gave up almost immediately, concluding, ‘I’m not good at this.’ ” With no more than a glance, Thomas was dividing the world into two—things he was naturally good at and things he wasn’t.

What 'intelligent' person can't empathize with this kid? I despise being called intelligent (I despite all flattery, and this one in particular is always insincere -- it feels like an accusation). It makes me uncomfortable for one major reason: it puts expectations on you.

And now I feel like my professors have this expectation of me. If I don't perform I'm immediately unintelligent. It makes me sick to my stomach. This is what Thomas felt.

fuck intelligence fuck school i wannna drop out and play video games im tired lly I have myself to blame for this "intelligence" fetish cause i spend so much time trying to cultivate an intelligent aloof superior attitude it's sickening someone please shoot me

(I'd like to say I do not consider myself intelligent, but that would not be sincere.)

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