Creative Kids, Creative Futures

Praise-dependent or powerful?

In recent professional learning forums with Australian teachers and parents, I see many looking quite sheepish when I raise the matter of how praise-dependent their kids are. Teachers often blame the home and feel hamstrung to change anything, but they may not be helping their students by piling on the compliments. New research is asking hard questions about the downside for our kids of too many accolades and too little self-management. It seems the self-esteem industry has been too successful by half. So how do we prepare young people for high-flying futures? Read my recent paper on praise-dependency here.  Read More…

Personally Significant Learning

Why our kids need a powerful disposition to be self-managing learners when they finish their schooling, why they are unlikely to have it, and what we can do about it.

Erica McWilliam and Peter Taylor

 For some time now it has been obvious that middle class kids are becoming more vulnerable. This is so despite the fact that they may be living in nice homes with supportive parents and attending well resourced schools and having comforts that their Third World counterparts can only dream of.  They are vulnerable because learning is not personally significant to them.  Kids who learn to avoid the discomfort of unfamiliar ideas, who do not welcome the instructive complications of error, who think learning is a boring necessity because it is basically about preparing for tests, who are reliant on parents and teachers to tell them what to do, or to do it for them, who expect university degrees to be passports to employability and financial security – such kids are now in real trouble.

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