“You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne

Winnie the Pooh’s advice is smarter than we may think when it comes to encouraging young readers. What’s better than reading intervention and working memory training?  Reading intervention and working memory + education about intelligence.

If students believe they are not intelligent or bad at school, that negative mindset is likely to sabotage even well-planned educational programs. Students who believe that they become more intelligent step-by-step by persistence and hard work, are significantly higher achieving in reading and working memory, but also math and science. Now researchers are discovering that some studies that didn’t discover significant improvements in working memory training may have been due to this mindset factor. Students who perceived intelligence as a fixed condition were more likely to disengage and not follow through after 4 weeks of intervention. [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlZPSECunng[/embedyt]

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[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl9TVbAal5s[/embedyt]


Working Memory Test – Alice has a growth mindset and Marta has a fixed mindset about intelligence

A Tale of 2 Pupils – Learning Fixed vs. Growth

Compare the effects of Alice (growth mindset) and Marta (fixed mindset) in the area of working memory after a 4 week period of training.

Now look at reading achievement outcomes for the two students in the area of reading decoding speed (below). Immediately post test, there wasn’t a significant difference between the girls, but in the post-test period,  Alice performance rises dramatically compared to Marta’s.
Reading Decoding Speed
We shouldn’t be surprised. But that means that we as parents and teachers need to know our students’ pre-conceptions about intelligence and how they view themselves. Many interviews with highly successful adults start off with the same story of self-doubt and low self-esteem, until something changed. We need to make sure that change happens.

Check out some of the free resources below as well as the research paper about Alice and Marta.