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  1. #1
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    Talking Talent and Intelligence

    Though this is about general intelligence and centers around school children I felt it was not only applicable to my feelings on learning art but dead on. After all why is it fundamentally any different than learning anything else?

    - And regardless, a good article:
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=...ids&print=true

    Snip-its:

    "Several years later I developed a broader theory of what separates the two general classes of learners—helpless versus mastery-oriented. I realized that these different types of students not only explain their failures differently, but they also hold different “theories” of intelligence. The helpless ones believe that intelligence is a fixed trait: you have only a certain amount, and that’s that. I call this a “fixed mind-set.” Mistakes crack their self-confidence because they attribute errors to a lack of ability, which they feel powerless to change. They avoid challenges because challenges make mistakes more likely and looking smart less so. Like Jonathan, such children shun effort in the belief that having to work hard means they are dumb.

    The mastery-oriented children, on the other hand, think intelligence is malleable and can be developed through education and hard work. They want to learn above all else. After all, if you believe that you can expand your intellectual skills, you want to do just that. Because slipups stem from a lack of effort, not ability, they can be remedied by more effort. Challenges are energizing rather than intimidating; they offer opportunities to learn. Students with such a growth mind-set, we predicted, were destined for greater academic success and were quite likely to outperform their counterparts."

    "As we had predicted, the students with a growth mind-set felt that learning was a more important goal in school than getting good grades. In addition, they held hard work in high regard, believing that the more you labored at something, the better you would become at it. They understood that even geniuses have to work hard for their great accomplishments. Confronted by a setback such as a disappointing test grade, students with a growth mind-set said they would study harder or try a different strategy for mastering the material."


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  4. #2
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    This was a great article. This one line really stood out for me.

    "The students who held a fixed mind-set, however, were concerned about looking smart with little regard for learning."

    That line also reminds me of a question I once heard. Do you really enjoy creating art, or do you only like the idea of being an artist?

    Too many people care about what others think of them that they worry more about the image rather than the substance. I really wish I learned this at an earlier age, and this article hit a home run as far as I'm concerned. I'm gonna print this out.
    Last edited by Costau D; December 6th, 2007 at 12:27 AM.
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    This was a good article. I'mma read it again when I get home from work.
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    right on... good read.. already been sending it to some people

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    This is great! I'm somewhere in between the 'growth' and 'fixed' mind-set (believe that people can change & improve with enough effort, but also bash myself mercilessly when I make mistakes), so this is a good reminder to just work, work, work, and eventually things will get better.
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    Just to clarify; I think the bits about telling your child this or that are a bit silly. But the bits about how our perceptions can either prohibit or accelerate our progress is ace. Glad you guys are enjoying the article.

    Min: ... you didn't mock me for once?! edit that post!

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    I didn't read the entire article, way too long. Don't people already know this stuff?
    Working hard is the American ideology, 'If you work hard and apply yourself, you can accomplish anything', we hear that all the time. "One way is by telling stories about achievements that result from hard work", tons of examples of that, Rocky for example, various sports people who were poor but because of their hard work they were able to be successful.
    The real problem, in my opinion, with school is that kids don't know how to apply the information they're learning. The things they learn are useful only in tests, but outside of school a kid hardly ever encounters the need to use algebra, or Shakespeare, etc.

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    Thanks, what a cool article ! some good pointers for my introspection and understanding of my childhood. I was definetely in the "fixed" thingie as a kid, and it made a lot of harm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    Don't people already know this stuff?
    Exactly.
    Already read this posted on another forum. Must be a popular article.

    "Practice makes perfect", everybody knows that, but most people are just way too lazy to perfect their skills in interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    Don't people already know this stuff?
    I didn't read the entire article, way too long.
    Not exactly, but then again you didn't read it all!
    I know that I at least did not know this at one point and the epiphany has made all the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by HunterKiller_ View Post
    "Practice makes perfect", everybody knows that, but most people are just way too lazy to perfect their skills in interest.
    (rote)Practice doesn't always make perfect, if you draw a million hands in the same manner, method and process you will learn very little. If you draw one hundred hands and with each hand you experiment and analyze the results both dynamically and retrospectively, what were once mislabeled as mistakes become the key to a solution or progress.

    What you are perhaps mistaking as lazy - is just what this article centers on - misconceptions that prohibit motivation - this mystical talent. Again I can only speak from my own experience but I too was lazy - but understanding that mistakes are the catalyst of progress makes the learning process that takes place with each painting a joy.


    Apologies if I don't make any sense, it's sleepy time.

    m@: I'd be interested to hear more dude, that's somewhat surprising from the rockstar badass you are. PM would be more appropriate perhaps?
    Last edited by Idiot Apathy; December 6th, 2007 at 04:56 AM.

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  16. #12
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    Good article Tom, found it inspirational actually *bookmarks*

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    I don’t have time to read the full article now, but I’m right there with M@: I’m still making up for lost time. I was “fixed” through most of highschool in most subjects, even though I was an A/B student. Learning was a painful, depressing experience. It took me ages to figure out that I was in control of my own learning. That’s part of what drives me to teach: growth-orientation can be taught, is often not taught because it seems so bloody obvious to those who already have it, and the earlier it is taught, the better the outcome.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

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  18. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idiot Apathy View Post
    Not exactly, but then again you didn't read it all!
    I know that I at least did not know this at one point and the epiphany has made all the difference.



    (rote)Practice doesn't always make perfect, if you draw a million hands in the same manner, method and process you will learn very little. If you draw one hundred hands and with each hand you experiment and analyze the results both dynamically and retrospectively, what were once mislabeled as mistakes become the key to a solution or progress.

    What you are perhaps mistaking as lazy - is just what this article centers on - misconceptions that prohibit motivation - this mystical talent. Again I can only speak from my own experience but I too was lazy - but understanding that mistakes are the catalyst of progress makes the learning process that takes place with each painting a joy.


    Apologies if I don't make any sense, it's sleepy time.

    m@: I'd be interested to hear more dude, that's somewhat surprising from the rockstar badass you are. PM would be more appropriate perhaps?
    Very good point and absolutely true.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Chimp View Post
    This was a great article. This one line really stood out for me.

    "The students who held a fixed mind-set, however, were concerned about looking smart with little regard for learning."

    That line also reminds me of a question I once heard. Do you really enjoy creating art, or do you only like the idea of being an artist?

    Too many people care about what others think of them that they worry more about the image rather than the substance. I really wish I learned this at an earlier age, and this article hit a home run as far as I'm concerned. I'm gonna print this out.
    That's one of the main differences I think - Those who regard the doing of something as its own reward and those who do it for praise. How you turn the latter into the former is a real hard nut to crack.
    I have a friend who has this fear of failure due to a deep down insecurity and thereby need for praise. No matter how much I encourage and spend time with them, I simply cannot pull them off that roundabout.
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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    outside of school a kid hardly ever encounters the need to use algebra, or Shakespeare, etc.
    I don't agree with this.

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  21. #17
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    I posted this in another thread but it's a relevant discussion, regarding rote memory versus critical thinking:


    The Human Potential: From Mindlessness to Mindfulness, Part I-II


    Part I

    Part II

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    That's one of the main differences I think - Those who regard the doing of something as its own reward and those who do it for praise. How you turn the latter into the former is a real hard nut to crack.
    I have a friend who has this fear of failure due to a deep down insecurity and thereby need for praise. No matter how much I encourage and spend time with them, I simply cannot pull them off that roundabout.
    have a couple of friends like that too, but there is a way to change their mindset..you just need to inspire them.. listen closely to what they are interested in.

    if they arent interested in anything, SPARK their interest in something. and then, you need to FORCE them to pursue their interests... it worked for about 2/3 of those people I know.

    take them to exhibitions and let them meet the artists, if you find out they have a taste for art... if they are interested in film, try to get them onto a real set or just provide them with a story and a camcorder and make your own movies.. if they are into constructing things, create a project worth constructing, etc... once that spark is there, most wont turn back, i assure you.

    but the most important thing: you have to be brutally honest. only the best of friends find the courage to kick each others asses once in a while(when its justified). thats what friends are for.

    @Idiot apathy: great read.. i guess i'm gonna show that article to that 1/3 of my circle of friends whom i still havent convinced.

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    VirusArtist: This friend of mine (like the 3rd friend of yours) has proved immune to all of this. Or to be more accurate has got their ass in gear for a couple of days and are all fired up only to wind down shortly after if I'm not there to show an interest. That's the problem, they wind up doing it because the reward is my interest - if I stop pumping the bellows the fire goes out. Ultimately such people are not really interested by things unless the product of what they do somehow reflects on them.
    The Zen masters have it right: the teacher appears when the student is ready.
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    great article it is completely relevant to everyone!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    I don't agree with this.
    I agree with Elwell, though what I'm going to write now may seem to contradict it. Most often, the subjects (I'm talking high school now) are used as a material to develop your thinking, how to analyse things, critical thinking etc, even some of my teachers say this, that you are just learning how to think now while the material is secondary, yes the subjects are important and you do learn things, there is a subset of information most people should know, but as stated before, learning how to think is more important.
    And besides, algebra is math which is logic and it is a necessary skill. Shakespeare enrichens your culture, teaches you how they lived in those times and many other things which will contribute to your ideas and art, hopefully.

    I'm not married to any of these opinions so feel free to correct me.

    Sorry for this tanget. I enjoyed the article, and I think I was one of those fixed-mindsets. Still am in some ways but I'm working on it.

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    The problem isn't that the kid wont find the need to use algebra or his knowledge of literature. The problem is that when he is still at school, he does not know when and where will he want to apply that knowledge, so he doesn't get interested on it and just studies it to pass the exam. Also, the problem is when he finds the opportunity to apply that knowledge not only will he have forgotten it, but he wont even notice that opportunity is there.

    The solution to this is simple: less theory and more practice. 50% for each. This way he will know why this knowledge could be useful, and when the moment comes, he will know it because he has already experienced it at school.

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  28. #23
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    Thanks Tom for posting that. It was a really good and informative article. It Hit very close to home, as I'm sure it does for a lot of us.
    I got a Tiffany Epiphany!! DOY!

    No really though I was a fixed mind-set kid when I was younger for sure, and in all honesty I blame most of that on my parents. But then Again I can also thank them because they sent me to a learning center when I was younger and wow! did it help! I think My parents just didn't know how to 'fix the problem' with me. Sometimes I definitely go back to the fixed mind-set which sucks. I call that being stubborn or depressed, haha! But the 'growth mind-set' is something I strive for.
    Thanks again Tom when I get in that poopy mind-set I will think about this article and when I was younger, that should fix 'the Problem'. haha man my jokes are lame-o, but I'm learning...........hehe
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  29. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    The Zen masters have it right: the teacher appears when the student is ready.
    LOL i love it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Profil View Post
    I agree with Elwell, though what I'm going to write now may seem to contradict it. Most often, the subjects (I'm talking high school now) are used as a material to develop your thinking, how to analyse things, critical thinking etc, even some of my teachers say this, that you are just learning how to think now while the material is secondary, yes the subjects are important and you do learn things, there is a subset of information most people should know, but as stated before, learning how to think is more important.
    And besides, algebra is math which is logic and it is a necessary skill. Shakespeare enrichens your culture, teaches you how they lived in those times and many other things which will contribute to your ideas and art, hopefully.

    I'm not married to any of these opinions so feel free to correct me.

    Sorry for this tanget. I enjoyed the article, and I think I was one of those fixed-mindsets. Still am in some ways but I'm working on it.
    That's actually pretty much exactly what I meant.

    But I also think it's important to just know a whole lot of crap. The more information you have, the easier it is to make connections and incorporate new information.

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    Shakespeare enrichens your culture, teaches you how they lived in those times and many other things which will contribute to your ideas and art, hopefully.
    Just to bitch a bit, Shakespear is timeless, all his plays can be put in any time and any settings. Thats what makes his works so interesting, he didnt really made plays about events what happenend back then, he made plays about the drama we as the human race create during our normal lives. Thats why he is still popular and alot of theatre groups make modern day versions of his works, if you go to a shakespear play today, you can still relate to the story.
    "Master storytellers never explain. They do the hard, painfully creative thing-- they dramatize"

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    you all should read the I Ching it will change your life.
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    Well the article is great, but there's one thing that bothers me about the experiment.
    I've seen many of these psychological experiment on children and one of them is that the experiment take place when they were young, the experimenter tell the children stuff like "kids with blue eyes are naturally smart". The result is as predicted but they don't tell the children that it is not true after they finish with it. Later, there's an interview of the children when they are much older about this experiment, and they say this experience traumatized them fron that point on.

    I would be pissed if I were to be put in the "control" group of children in thier experiment, it's just seems morally wrong.

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    There are always ethical concerns taken into consideration with these sorts of tests, enrigo. The think is, they couldn’t have predicted these results. If they could have predicted the results, then there would have been no point in doing the experiment. Ultimately the experiment may have been harmful to one group of students, but the same sort of harm is already being done in classrooms and homes across the planet. The information gained from this experiment can be used to help counteract this.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

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    Practice does not make perfect...it just makes "the best you can do".
    I wasn't a fixed mind set as a kid but i wasn't challenged enough. The "my son is so talented look at what he can do" was far too constant in my teens.

    "Goals are much easier to achieve if you surround yourself with people who are constantly achieving YOUR goals."
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