Thursday, June 30, 2011

Trouble With Talent Responses

Trouble With Talent raises some interesting questions, such as, how has this idea of smart versus hard working affected me in my own life, or the lives of others? Do I agree or disagree with this article and the ideas presented? How has this article maybe changed my thinking on student praise in the classroom?


  1. I found "Trouble with Talent" to be a very enjoyable article because it talks about student motivation and the difference between setting performance goals and learning goals. As teachers, setting learning goals for our students as well as teaching them to set their own learning goals is so important. I agree with Krakovsky that those who set out to achieve learning goals have a growth- mind set about education and intelligence. As an educator I truly hope to teach my students the value of learning and reaching goals through constant effort as well as trial and error. Student motivation is so important because it drives the child to succeed and to believe in themselves. It is common for students to compare themselves to others and develop a self image of what type of student they may be. As teachers and role models we have the ability to help shape the child's viewpoint of education. If we teach them that everyone possesses the ability to reach their goals and that learning is an ongoing process for all individuals it can really make a difference in the way they view themselves as students.

    As a student myself, I have learned the value of effort and hard work. I have been blessed to have wonderfully supportive parents who have always made me believe I can accomplish my goals through hard work and perseverance. I have also had so many amazing teachers who have reinforced these ideas and inspired me to work hard and put forth my best effort.

  2. I found this article to be very interesting and eye opening. I feel that praise in the classroom is critical to give to students, however, with the correct message behind the praise. Based on the article I found that children need to understand that they are being praised for the work and effort they put forth in the process of coming to a solution, for example, which in turn allows for them to be successful. Simply getting praise, for example, for their talent is ineffective, and shows the student that their talent is what is valued and not their efforts. I agree with the ideas the article presented about ways in which children can persist in the face of failure and succeed, and why some students invite a challenge and others shy away from it and remain static in order to avoid failure and uphold a self image. I found it very intriguing that the article mentioned students who would prefer to only engage in activities that they know they would be successful and shine in, and this hinders their ability to grow. This is due to the fact that they are not allowing themselves to be presented with a challenge in order to come to a solution or go about a trial and error way to problem solve. I also found it very interesting that the article discussed ability and the difference between students who want to show off their ability and students who want to increase their ability. Those that stay static are those students referred to above who only engaged in activities that they are sure to succeed at, lessoning their chance to grow in the face of a challenge.

    In terms of the idea of smart versus hard working, my life has been affected because I personally feel that I have only obtained success through my hard work and effort, not because of my intelligence. Many things have presented a challenge for me and the only way I got through them was because of my persistence and drive, therefore my ability to succeed surpassed my lack of knowledge based ability. I sought out the necessary information to complete the tasks, and although often times doubtful of my ability to succeed, I feel I was blessed to be praised for my efforts. Because of my experiences I feel as though in my own teaching career I will reinforce the need for my students to put forth their best effort in order to be successful, and reiterate that success does not always come on the first attempt, but their trial and error and ways to get to the conclusion will be honored. I feel it is important for educators to realize what we present to our students and let them know that effort leads in a direction towards growth.

  3. I really enjoyed this article and I completely agree with the ideas that are presented within the article. I feel that many students often times give up or get easily discouraged once they have failed at a task or a problem or, they feel that they are just not good at a certain subject. As teachers we need to make sure to encourage are students to continue to try to understand a particular subject or problem even if they fail at first. As Krakovsky states “we need to train are children to persist in the face of failure—and to succeed” As educators we need to make sure to emphasize to our students that certain subjects or problems may come easily to some students while it may take more time and practice for other students to learn or understand the same information. We also need to point out to our student’s that if they do not understand a particular topic or subject at first it does not mean that they are not good at the subject all together. For example, I feel that many students just think that they are not good at math so they do not try at all, they just give up and label themselves as “ just bad at math” but, these students often times are not just bad at math, they have just given up on their attempts to try to understand math. We need to get these ideas out of our students heads a praise them in the classroom by continuing to encourage them to be persistent with their learning efforts even if they fail at first.
    In my own life I often excelled in school without having to try very hard, school just came easily to me and I was a quick learner. But, when I got to high school algebra was very difficult for me and I was one of the students that labeled myself as “not a math person” because it was a subject that was at first difficult for me. After receiving my first “C” grade ever in algebra I was really upset and I decided that I wasn’t going to let that happen again. So, in my next algebra math class I learned that I just needed to put more work and effort into learning the topics in the class and with hard work and extra studying I got an A in my algebra II class. As a teacher I want to make sure that my students don’t label themselves as “not good” at a certain subject and I want to make sure that I emphasize that any student can excel in any subject with hard work and persistence.

  4. This article is important top read and remember how we form our praise and talk within the classroom.
    I was the kid in the classroom that could get an a on any test but did not find value in working hard. I did just enough to get by and was satisfied with that. I was in a tracked classroom and the kids in my class did not change much as I grew. I was not in the smart class and I was not in the class with the kids who needed extra help. That told me that I was not expected to do much. This idea I carried with me for most of my life.

  5. This is one of my favorite articles because it reminds us as teachers that it is important that we instill work ethic and perseverance in our students and not just recognize them for the talents they already possess. When I was younger I always remember the teachers praising the "smart" kids, the ones who raised their hands often and always knew the right answer. I think it is extremely important that we encourage all students to believe in themselves and their abilities. Confidence and drive are two things that will take them far in life. Children need to learn early on that life is hard but if you work at it, you can do anything. It is always rewarding as a teacher to see a child learn to believe in himself. When I was growing up, no one ever told me I could be something or someone. My family was just ok with mediocre. Fortunately for me I gained confidence through my own successes and I taught myself to be resilient. Now I hope to pass this on to others.

  6. I think this article really opened my eyes to some of the things I say when praising kids, or my own children. It is very easy to tell children they are smart in an attempt to build their academic self efficacy. I find that I realized a strong work ethic is a key component of success when I was an undergraduate at SDSU. I had two children while I was an undergraduate and people would say things indicating that I must be really smart to finish college with two small kids. My response was that intelligence had very little to do with it. I was disciplined and worked hard. These are two main factors for those that succeed in life whether one is in college or an athlete , etc. I try to diligently pass this on to my students and praise those that demonstrate these attributes.