Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Small interventions can make a big difference

A recent article on New York Times, "Education Is All in Your Mind" embodies what I have been searching for when I started this blog. Several experiments quoted in the article showed that it does not necessarily take a lot of money to produce better students. A simple way is to just convince the students that they can be better. It is all in their mind.

"In two separate studies, Mr. Aronson and others taught black and Hispanic junior high school students how the brain works, explaining that the students possessed the ability, if they worked hard, to make themselves smarter. This erased up to half of the difference between minority and white achievement levels."

"If simple interventions can have big effects, one might assume that bigger interventions would always be even better. But the truth is that some big interventions in education have had only minimal effects. Head Start, which places 3- and 4-year-olds in supposedly enriched classroom settings, and Early Head Start, which works with 1- to 3-year-olds, for example, have been found to have only modest effects on the children’s academic achievement, and these often fade by early elementary school."

It is important to always have positive interactions with your children or your students. Results are most evident when they believe in themselves. It takes a lot of thought and patience, but does not cost a penny.

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