Practice, practice, practice! There are some who believe that innate intelligence is the explanation for student success; these individuals quantify scholastic achievements or failures in terms of abundance of talent or lack of ability. However, as the above whitticism suggests, innate talent must be combined with focused effort in order to achieve noteworthy results. Researcher Carol Dweck of Stanford University agrees that talent alone does not result in educational achievement; rather, effort, persistence and resiliency each play a critical role in the lives of the most accomplished people.
Effort in academia translates into a willingness to tackle a difficult algebraic problem set or to wrestle with a complex world issue. Dweck noted that the highest achieving students were those who valued, appreciated and acknowledged the inherent rigor required of academic study. This cohort considered a low test score as an indication that additional work was needed; they did not interpret a poor grade as a reflection of their overall level of intelligence, talent or ability. Resilient students viewed mistakes as opportunities; they targeted their errors and refined their skills.
Successful students embrace the opportunity to learn; these are the children who truly love learning for its own sake and consider getting good grades to be secondary to mastering a subject. This is the mindset we foster at The Rhoades School, resulting in notable accomplishments in the classroom and beyond.
Also published in The Coast News
Last week, close to 100 Rhoades School parents joined together in the Kittle Auditorium to attend the screening of the documentary film Most Likely to Succeed. After the film, we discussed the benfits of project based learning and many participants questioned the need for changes in the college admission process. Just this week, in a report released by Harvard Graduate School of Education entitled, Turning the Tide researchers called for a revolution in the college admissions process.
Read the New York Times article Rethinking College Admissions at:
Read the Executive Summary of Turning the Tide at:
Education expert, Frederick Hess, makes a case for a school like Rhoades. America's future depends on gifted students whose needs are not being meet in our current educational system. Gifted students need like peers who are intellectually curious and an academic program that challenges them to reach their full potential. The Rhoades School has provided gifted children with the education they need for the past 36 years! Read more here
The six characteristics of creativity according to Stanford University Professor Tina Seeling include; Knowledge, Imagination, Attitude, Habitat, Resources and Culture. In this video clip watch Dr. Seeling explain her model which she calls the "Innovation Engine." At the Rhoades School, we proudly create an environment and culture that promotes and teaches creativity and innovation as defined by Dr. Tina Seeling.
A growth mindset is a belief that we can develop our intellignce and abilities. As adults, we try to get better at what we do thoughout our lives. When we work on our own growth mindset we learn valuable lessons that we can share with our children. Click to read more.
In her new book How to Raise an Adult, former Dean of Freshman at Stanford University, Julie Lythcott- Haims tells readers "Our job as parents is to put ourselves out of a job." At The Rhoades School, we often say that it is important to let kids fail and fail often because it is through small failures and mistakes that we learn and grow. Lythcott -Haims cautions parents, "When children don't know their homework assignment - that's not your problem to solve. The best way for a kid to learn is to have that uncomfortable feeling, to experience consequences that are tiny in the grand scheme of things." To read more see recent LA Times article here. To see Tedx click here.
In a 2014 op-ed piece entitled "How to Get a Job at Google" readers learned from Thomas Friedman that Google looks for five hiring attibutes in its employees. Four Rhoades School graduates are currently working at Google and have shared with us that The Rhoades School helped them to develop the five necesary attibutes that Friedman discussed in his article: ability to process on the fly, ability to pull together disparate bits of information, knowling when and how to lead, intellectual humility, and curiosity. Click here to read the article.
In the September 22, 2015 issue of Education Week, Carol Dweck revisits the Growth Mindset. She reminds readers that a growth mindset isn't just about effort. While effort is important for student achievement it is not the only thing. "Students need to try new strategies and seek input from others when they're stuck. They need this repertoire of approaches - not just sheer effort to learn and improve. We also need to remember that effort is a means to an end - the goal of learning and improving."
A quck tip on how to foster a growth mindset:
What you should say: That feeling of math being hard is the feeling of your brain growing."
What not to say: "Don't worry, you'll get it if you keep trying."
There are five cognitive processes that students must engage in order to understand mathematical concepts: problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections and representations. Students who are cognitively advanced in mathematics tend to quickly grasp new material and often understand concepts without direct instruction, due to an intuitive awareness of mathematical functions and principles. These divergent math thinkers have an innate sense of number and are interested in much more than the computational aspects of mathematics; they seek opportunities to delve deeper into complex, big-picture mathematical thinking and open-ended problem solving. Rhoades School students who demonstrate advanced mathematical skills are afforded differentiated instruction matched to their abilities, not their grade level class placement. In addition to providing students with ability-based group instruction, our faculty integrate supplemental curriculum to enrich far beyond the textbook. As a result, Rhoades students have numerous opportunities to cultivate higher order thinking skills while gaining automaticity of math facts and mastering important core concepts. Our teachers create dynamic learning situations that enable students to actively engage in mathematics and to directly apply mathematical concepts to real-world topics and their coursework in science, technology, design and engineering. At Rhoades, the pace, depth and breadth of students’ mathematics instruction reflects their cognitive abilities; we offer students the opportunity to study Pre-algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Pre-calculus and AP Calculus AB in our K-8 school setting.
Read this interesting article from Education Week where John Gerdy articulates the pluses of music as an educational tool for the 21st century. John Gerdy is an athlete and musician. More information on Gerdy can be found here.