Great Minds and How to Grow Them (Selected Notes) (Conversation (Take…
Great Minds and How to Grow Them
Top 10 things OECD say children need to be able to do
Solve complex problems
Co-operate with others
Demonstrate emotional intelligence
Be confident in judgement and decision-making
Be service orientated
Be skilled in negotiation
Show cognitive flexibility
The attitude to learning matters the most
Practice of new things you find difficult until you master them
If you think your achievement is affected by your ability, and that ability is set, then you may view a setback as final
Don't laugh at a child who upends a board game because he is losing and you find it amusing. Teach him how to lose gracefully
Reinforce that a struggle is not permanent, and that your child can win a struggle because he is a good learner
Don't be fatalistic and say "I told you so". That kind of approach to a child/teenager who is at a low point in their life can confer disappointment in them that can last a life time and prevent them from recovering their self-belief. Avoid it. Just because they haven't delivered the high performance now, doesn't mean they can' in the future.
Not doing well in exams (or any massive failure) can be the wake-up call that most recalcitrants need. Encourage your child to understand they can succeed at any age.
Intelligence isn't fixed - most people can get cleverer
High performers are made, not born. They work for it.
Anyone can teach themselves to fail. It's all in the mind.
Any house can be a home to success. It's not all in the genes.
Take interest in your child and what he think - he may be the most interesting person you ever meet
Avoid comments about your child like "What a clever boy you are. You are so much cleverer than all your friends." Do this often enough, and he'll have a self-concept that 'being clever' is the reason he can do things - and when they hit something they can't do straight away, they feel disempowered and helpless.
Curiosity is at the heart of all learning - anyone with an insatiable curiosity is usually willing to work their hardest to make sense of the world, so they investigate and practise and strive and get better at what they do
Most children are capable of high performance, but only if deliberately and regularly exposed to the opportunity to develop advanced ways of thinking and behaving
As your child gets older, talk to him about his hopes and aspirations, and support him in reaching for them
Use practical explanations. When asked why the water in a puddle is brown but water from a tap is clear, put the mud through a coffee filter paper and watch the clear water separate
Don't do things for your child that they can learn to do for themselves with effort, or they'll never know what they have in their power to do
Count anything when there's a chance - grapes on your plate, doors in your house, steps to a shop, leaves on the floor, etc.
"Can you tell when the house was built?"
"What is similar / different to modern day houses?"
"What do we now about the family who lived there?"
Use outings to encourage your child to observe and ask questions - to be open-minded and think creatively, like a scientist
The key is to pique their interest so they actually look forward to outings and learn from them. Doing a little prep in advance is always a good idea.
We all get better at conversation when we do more of it - especially when we take real interest in what others say
Talk to your child about events in the news, in the family and ask for their opinions. Debate with points of view.
Talk about your own work and encourage your child to ask questions about it
Talk about school - ask you child what they
today. (Don't ask him what they
as it elicits the response of "Nothing".)
Never make disparaging remarks about your child's ability, like "He's no good at maths but what can you expect, I was always useless at maths."
Take cues from news to start conversations
Don't send them up to their room to do an hour's homework on their own without a chat about what they have to do
Ask them to talk about what their homework is and check in with them afterwards to find out how it went - perhaps discuss what they enjoyed or found interesting, or what they didn't like
The bigger the vocabulary, the more likely a child is to be successful at school - linguistic ability goes hand in hand with cognitive ability, so talk to your child with proper words. Eg. Don't call a horse "horsey".
Perhaps label household appliances with post-it's
"Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." - Roosevelt
Encourage sharing and kindness
Children can make unkind comments about the appearance of someone who looks or behaves differently. Start young and explain why people can be different and why that isn't a nice thing to say - this develops empathy.
By 5 years old, you can ask your child how they would feel if someone took a toy away from him, or how a friend might feel if their toy was taken, and he can begin to appreciate the point of view of someone other than himself.
your child makes to achieve something, not simply the thing that he's done
Praise the effort whether he is a child or teenager - he needs it
Praise the effort when he fails at things too - that way he'll find the resilience to make the effort to try again
Meta-Thinking: Self-awareness that allows your child to understand and use his intellectual toolbox
Meta-Cognition: Awareness of possible thinking approaches that might be useful in any given context and then knowingly using the one of your choice
"How could you do this?
"Have you done anything similar before, and what did you do then?"
"What approach could you use?
Self-Regulation: Ability to monitor your own progress, evaluate what you are doing and correct yourself where necessary
"What do you need to be able to do this?
"How can you check you're on track?"
"How can you tell whether you're doing it right?"
Strategy Planning: Ability to approach new learning experiences by actively attempting to connect them with something you know how to do already
"How would you plan to do this?"
"How would you divide it up into sections so everything gets finished"
"Does it remind you of anything similar you've done before, and how did you tackle it then?"
Intellectual Confidence: Ability to explain your personal views clearly, based on evidence you can articulate, and can defend these views to people who disagree
"What do you think?"
"Why do you think that?"
This could be something contentious, like problems of overpopulation or environmental or scientific
Linking: Associating things your child has learned, and the basis for individuals to construct meaning and understanding
Generalisation: Ability to see how what is happening in a particular instance could be applied to other situations
"What is similar?
"What is different?"
"Do you think that could work this time? Why?"
Big Picture Thinking: Ability to work with big ideas and holistic concepts - ability to see the significance of what they are learning and how it connects to the wider world
"What would happen if...it never got dark / the rivers ran dry / everyone ignored the law?"
"Why...is the sky blue / does the wind blow?
"Where...do snowflakes come from / do we come from?"
"Are we alone in the universe?"
Abstraction: Ability to move from a concrete to an abstract thought quickly
"Tell me every stage you go through...brushing your teeth / getting dress / painting a picture / scoring a goal?"
Imagination: Ability to take prior knowledge and apply it to solving problems while thinking beyond the obvious
"How would you weigh a girafee / rhino / bridge / house / star?"
Alternative Perspective: Ability to take on the views of others and deal with complexity and ambiguity - different answers can be correct in different circumstances
"Was Goldilocks a good girl?"
"Should we reintroduce wolves to the countryside?"
"Should we spend money exploring space when people are starving on earth?"
Connection Finding: Ability to use connections from past experiences to seek possible generalisations
"What does that remind you of?"
Talk about how a fish is connected to a tree, a table to a boat or any other pairing of diverse and random things
Analysing: Thinking logically and carefully, and knows how to think for himself
Critical / Logical Thinking: Ability to deduct, hypothesise, reason and seek supporting evidence
"Why do you think...we wear seatbelts / bread goes mouldy when left outside but not in the freezer / babies cry / leaves fall when autumn comes?"
Think of things that interest your child and find something that will get him deducing
Precision: Ability to work effectively within the rules of a domain
"Are you sure that's right?"
"Have you checked this to make sure it's your best work?"
Problem Solving: Ability to break down a task, decide on a suitable approach and then act
"What do you need for school tomorrow?"
"What do we need at the supermarket?"
"What do we need to take on holiday?"
Creating: Helps your child cope independently and offer possibilities for solving problems we cannot even yet anticipate
Intellectual Playfulness: Ability to recognise rules and bend them to create valid but new forms
"What if you did it differently?"
"How could you do it differently?"
Get them to play around with things they already know and change them, like their own version of Monopoly
Flexible Thinking: Ability to abandon one idea for a superior one or generate multiple solutions
"How do you know that? What evidence do you have? What might someone else think"
"How could you argue the opposite?"
When an idea hasn't worked out, discuss why it hasn't worked and come up with a new idea
Fluent Thinking: Ability to generate lots of ideas, to understand that your best idea may not be your first, and to keep thinking until you've reached your best idea
"How can you..."
"What happens when..."
"Can you think of any other ways to do it?"
Realising: Ability to learn to do some things so well that they can do them automatically without thinking
Automaticity: Ability to use some skills with such ease that they no longer require active thinking. Automaticity frees up cognitive resources.
Speed and accuracy: Ability to work with accuracy at speed. When your child makes a mistake, he learns from it and adjusts what he does in future accordingly
Encourage your child to learn how to share
Encourage your child to explain what they're doing and why
Encourage your child to ask questions about what you're doing
Encourage your child to comment and provide feedback on what you're doing
Don't bribe your child to practice. He needs to do it without treats of extra screen time, cash or sweets. This builds resilience.
Retaining open-mindedness in adolescence may be even harder than at other ages because decision-making may be affected by emotional and social factors
As your child gets older, he can get less communicative, particularly during adolescence when they are forging an identity independent of you. But this doesn't have to be the complete case if you've kept the psychological doors open from the beginning
If your child isn't engaged at school or homework, first check that something isn't wrong
Is he being bullied and it's putting him off?
Has he fallen into a group that's turned off school?
Has he fallen out with a good friend?
Can he see the board properly or hear the teachers?
Is he struggling to understand some things? Missing work through illness, for example, can trigger this
It can be very frustrating to be the parent of an adolescent because their moods can be inconsistent, they can indulge in unsuitably risky behaviour, and they seem to find it hard to see the perspectives of other people
Closeness to parents
Children tend to do well at school if they get on well with their parents
Children also do well if their parents are more involved with their lives and provide out-of-school learning activities
Visiting the library together
Attending a concert or play together
Visiting an art gallery, museum or historical site together
Going to the zoo or aquarium together