There is a famous study of young children and the determining factors of their future success, called the marshmallow experiment. The subjects of this experiment are offered a choice of one marshmallow immediately, or two marshmallows after a few minutes. The findings reveal that one of the best determinants of a child's future is the ability to delay gratification. So, in general, the pre-schoolers who chose to eat the one marshmallow without delay, as a group, were less prosperous than the kids who chose the postponed, but greater, reward.
The good news about the marshmallow experiment is that children can be taught to suspend their immediate wants, and thus any child can do well. The bad news for teachers, especially secondary educators like me, is that this lesson is not one that can be easily taught by us. It comes down to parents of young children not giving into to their child's every whim and desire. It requires being a Tiger Mom and telling your precious little one that good enough isn't good enough, or that your baby needs to try harder and persevere even if things are no longer fun. Like everything else, the earlier it is taught, the more easily it is adopted. As a teacher, my anecdotal ratio of short-term vs. long-term minded students is 20 out of 30 middle schoolers. Trying to impress upon this amount of 11- to 13-year olds such a vital life lesson, in between my official math duties, is an impossible feat. I have had, in my nine years in the classroom, exactly one student who turned things around, and the parents, not I, take credit for this. For the rest of the 500 or so students I've been charged with, if they come through my doors in September not caring, there is nothing I can do to change their attitude. I know that this is not a great sound bite for the politicians, and there is no neat little quantifiable statistic. Nor is there any other way, that I know of, that this can be addressed by the education system. It is the responsibility of the parents. And no one wants to hear that.
Citroën DS19 1/16 - part 2
1 day ago