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5 August 2016

posted 4 Aug 2016, 18:54 by Carolyn Brett   [ updated 4 Aug 2016, 18:54 ]
Thanks so much for making it to any of the 3 Parent Writing Workshops this week. You will now have a bit more knowledge of how writing is taught. For some of our children (and us) it may not always come easy. It may be one of those learning areas where perseverance and tenacity is required, making mistakes welcomed and taking a risk a necessity.

I have picked up a book which has been on the shelf for a while these last couple of weeks titled "How children succeed" by Paul Tough. http://www.paultough.com/the-books/how-children-succeed/

"Inner resilience, a sense of curiosity, the hidden power of confidence - these are the most important things we can teach our children, because it's these qualities that will enable them to live happy, fulfilled and successful lives."

Neuroscientists, educators, psychologists, economists have pulled their combined expertise and believe qualities including persistence, self control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit, self confidence', what we may think of as 'character', need to have central focus in learning. I know many of you watched the "Why Am I?" series recently - yes, the Dunedin Study features in Paul Tough's book, along with Walter Mischel's infamous marshmallow test around self control.

If we look at Thomas Edison and the light bulb, his teachers apparently said he was "too stupid to learn anything". (Well, we wouldn't dream of saying that these days for a start!) He was fired from his first two jobs for being "non-productive". As an inventor, he made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps." So here's a great example of huge persistence, self control, conscientiousness, grit and self confidence. 

We may not all end up making groundbreaking discoveries, but by supporting the development of what may be termed 'non-cognitive' qualities in our children, we may start to see some potential barriers to learning being removed. If you attended the Writing Workshops this week, you can probably draw a straight line to some of the key themes of the writing programmes across the school - the idea of the writer's notebook, quick writes, helping circles..... it's all about encourage risk taking, teaching children to be curious, developing inner confidence.......

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall."
~ Confucius

We aim for our children to be able to pick themselves up when they fall and not always do the picking up for them.