The Developmental Psychologists’ Back-to-School Shopping List 心理学家开发出来的回学校的单子

By Gabrielle Principe Ph. D

难以置信现在已经到了安排您孩子回学校上课的时候了。他们需要带午餐的盒子,双肩包,笔记本,铅笔和钢笔。如果他们在这个夏季又长高的话,衣服和裤子都要买了,而且适时的运动鞋也是必须的,…… 还有那些通常不会写字购买开学所要买的物品清单上的其他返回学校所必须的东西,可能是比您孩子的多用途笔记本、多功能计算器、和智能笔更重要。不像学校发出的上学必需品,我要说的东西是根据科学家的研究结果而的出来,对您的孩子学习极为重要的东西,可能您也知道一些。

1.             称赞孩子的努力不要称赞他们的聪明

我们绝大部分家长总是喜欢称赞孩子们的聪明。我们之所以这样做,是因为我们的孩子很阳光,而且我们认为这样称赞他们,他们的感觉一定很好,因此就会更有自信,也更有兴趣地来完成学校里的功课。

所有这些都是好家长对吗?其实不然。称赞孩子们聪明并不会使他们在面对新的挑战的时候会更加有自信心,也不会在遇到挫折的时候坚信坚持努力一定会成功。心理学的研究发觉,单纯地称赞孩子们聪明,有可能反而阻碍了他们的学习。

“什么?”您可能在想,“称赞一个孩子聪明怎么会是一件坏事呢?”这是因为连续不断地称赞他们聪明就等于告诉他们聪明是天生固有的。这样的话就会让孩子们觉得努力并不是必须的。他们会觉得“我那么聪明,所以不必努力”,而且他们甚至会认为只有笨孩子才需要努力。那些常被称赞为聪明的孩子也就不会愿意做那些疑难的题目,而且在难题面前反而会打退堂鼓。对他们来说,为了表现出自己的聪明,就对有可能让自己出丑的事情采取逃避,以免被冠上一个笨孩子的不雅之号。

不断地称赞孩子聪明也妨害了他们面对将来。当您对您女儿说,“你得了满分,真聪明”的时候,她同时也听到了,“你如果得不到满分,就是不聪明”。当“聪明”的孩子得了不理想的成绩的时候,他们就会觉得一定是他们在这方面没有聪明才智,所以成绩才不理想。实际上,一系列研究表明,当“聪明”孩子遇到困难的时候,他们反而常常会找借口,不肯老老实实承认这是很难的功课。特别是过分地称赞那些在低年级的时候感到功课很简单的孩子,到中学课程需要努力学习的时候,就会暴露出更大的问题。当他们做不出题目的时候,他们不会不懈地努力学习,因为他们认为成绩好是因为聪明,而不是由努力带来成功。所以他们的结论是他们在这一方面没有聪明才智。到这个时候,那些“聪明”孩子,就在学术上被抛在后面了。

相反,那些经常被鼓励要努力学习的孩子,觉得聪明才智是可以通过努力来塑造的。这样的孩子觉得他们是否成功是由他们自己掌握的,因此他们不惧怕挫折。他们认为挫折仅仅是告诉他们要更努力,或者是告诉他们应该换一种方式来试试。事实上,那些经常被鼓励要努力的孩子,对于所规定的任务和工作,总以初生牛犊不怕虎的闯劲来研制策略。长话短说,这些孩子就是喜欢迎战挑战性的题目,对于困难能够坚持不懈地努力对待,显出对挫折不折不饶的斗争精神。

所以当您称赞孩子聪明的时候,其实并不是对他们好。一次又一次地称赞,“你真聪明”好像没有坏处;但是真正教育孩子的关键是称赞他们的努力、他们的辛勤劳动、他们的坚持不懈、和他们的策略。当您的儿子在下一次得满分的时候,不要称赞他多么聪明,而要称赞他努力尝试了,问问他是怎样预备的,或者告诉他下学期应该去修一些更难的课程。如果老实说,他的成绩不是那么理想,不要说他是个那么聪明的孩子应该得个好成绩,而要鼓励他去寻找用什么方法努力才能进步。

2.             让学习更有意义,而不是用奖品来刺激学习

如果您曾经以奖励一份点心、或者允许她一段看电视节目的时间、或者其他什么奖励来刺激她做完回家作业、或者完成科技比赛的项目、或者写完暑假里的读书报告,您知道这样的物质刺激的诱惑可以把事情做好。但是您可能不知道这样就改变了孩子们学习的动力。

其实,孩子们从出生开始就有学习的愿望。事实上,孩子们的求知欲是如此强烈,有人认为这样的求知欲就像人要吃、要喝那样的人类本性的欲望。您可以清楚地看到孩子们的求知欲,婴孩和少儿都不断地在观察、探索、试验,而且不断地问问题。小孩子之所以有这样的行为,与我们尽情地享受那松软的巧克力蛋糕有一样的美好感觉。用心理学的话来说:学习是出于人体内部的欲望。孩子们“认知的突飞猛进”是他们通过新的发现、学到新的东西和掌握新的技术,这就促使他们去作更多的探索、试验和提问题。这样的话,他们就会学到更多的东西,也使他们满足了他们的自豪感。

当孩子们的认知程度与日俱增,一旦达到一定的深度,他们的学习不仅给他们带来喜乐,而且达到精通的地步。这样他们就可以根据他们所掌握的技术和技巧的来尝试一些新的事情。因此这就给他们提供了机会来创造更好的手术技巧、能源的不同形式、新技术的消息,甚至可能使豆腐的口感和味道如同咸肉一样美好。学习应该会循环地发扬光大,那就会越学越想学,这样的好习惯将受用终身。但是如果对孩子施行看来没有什么坏处的物质奖励,就可能把本来该有的循环给打断了。

你怀疑,“物质刺激反而的会妨害孩子的学习?”是的!几十年对行为的研究显示了任何有物质刺激来带动行为,就会使本来应该自发的行动减少了动力,而成为必须依赖外部的刺激才会有行动。这是因为内在的自豪被外部的奖励所压制,这些外部的奖励就如奖品、金钱、甚至就是糕点之类。孩子们就会更关心受到什么样的奖励,而不再注意完成一项工作的自豪感。这样的改变就把人体内部的动力用外部的奖励和表面的行为代替了。当你把孩子们本来感兴趣的事情,比如求知欲,用奖励来刺激就是用外部的动力阉割了他们内在的动力,以至于没有刺激就不学习了。

我作为一个从事研究发展的心理学家,同时我也是一个妈妈。所以我深知出现这个问题的一部分原因是因为老师所要求的一些东西并不能激励孩子们的求知欲,就像一合廉价的奶油蛋糕不能满足我的食欲一样。我觉得诸如记住地形图的特征、读沙子的物理属性、绘画美国内战时的战役,都不能提起孩子们的求知欲。

但是对一个家长来说,也不能因为那些枯燥的项目和好像是无用的回家作业就有理由给孩子们奖励。相反,这是我们的责任,要告诉孩子们让他们知道这些题目正是培养他们在现实生活中的技巧和技能。要知道学习的动机并不是来源于学习的过程,而是来源于学习的结果。但是对孩子们来说,如果没有家长的帮助,他们有时并不是那么容易就看到那个结果。

那么我们该做什么呢?让您的孩子们明白他们所学会的技能和技巧对现实生活的好处。请这样来考虑问题:对一个一年级的孩子来说,让他学写那些深奥的字,每一个字写上好几遍,然后按笔画次序排列这些字,真的会让他感到莫名其妙。但是如果他的父母经常为他读一些故事书、路名、商店广告招牌、糕点的食谱、和餐厅里的菜单,他就不仅会明白为什么老师要他学这些字,而且会感到读这些字是很有趣的。同样,学习数学,诸如四舍五入啦、估计8+9 是不是比20大啦、计算一个盒子的体积啦、得出一个五边形的周长啦,都不是那么令人兴奋的。但是这些知识都是与您的日常生活所需要的,比如要决定是不是有足够的钱来过生日,同时买玩具房子和家用商务车、与你的朋友平分胶质软糖、判断新买的水枪是不是可以藏在床底下、决定沙箱里要放几袋沙子,这些都要用到数学知识。

3.             提倡少量回家作业

回家作业是见好事,对吗?回家作业是为了巩固在教室里学到的知识,也是为了培养好的学习习惯。回家作业还是为了显示忙碌学习,而且为了做回家作业给整个家庭都带来压力?

近来,在很多家庭里所显示的结果反倒是后者。至今没有明确的观察证据显示回家作业对少年儿童的学习有帮助。事实上,当给孩子们太多的回家作业,反而事与愿违。在初中阶段,回家作业对提高学习成绩只有部分的作用。只有到高中的时候回家作业就清楚地显示出对提高学习成绩的作用了,但是过量的回家作业反而达不到好的效果。

我注意到现在的小学生每天玩海绵宝宝的时间比做回家作业的时间还要多。虽然老师们认为给孩子们布置了整套的回家作业一定会对他们的学业有建树,而且家长们也一致认为是这样的。但是,我惊讶地发觉找不到小学生的回家作业对他们的学业有任何帮助的证据。人们对回家作业的看法已经根深蒂固,要改变是很困难的。其实在中学以前的回家作业,只有微乎其微的作用,那为什么要布置回家作业呢?不能把所有的学习都放在他们在学校的七八个小时里吗?我认为,放学以后的时间让孩子们玩耍是一个更有智慧和适当的方法。

如果您是那种不肯休闲的家长,那怎么办?我有什么建议吗?为他们煮一顿美味的家庭晚餐。密西根大学桑德拉Ÿ.霍法特经过大量的研究发现,对从三岁到十二岁的孩子来说,与好的学习成绩和减少坏习惯最有关系的是全家在一起吃饭。在家一起吃饭比上学的时间、去教会的时间、参加有组织的体育运动、参加艺术活动和做回家作业,更对孩子有正面的作用。

请记住,没有回家作业不是说放学了就不学习了。正如上面所提到的,哪怕是最简单的活动,比如小孩子在一起玩耍,都有绝对大量的证据证明这样的活动提高了他们非常重要的社交技巧和技能。


来源: 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-childhood/201208/the-developmental-psychologists-back-school-shopping-list


讨论问题:

1.     您对这篇文章有什么看法?

2.     您觉得这篇文章有是好的地方?

3.     在这篇文章里您觉得哪些观点是前所未闻的活着您不赞同的?

4.     在您所居之处,您觉得有哪些是对学生来说是至关重要的?

Ready or not, it’s time to gear up your children for back to school. They need the basics—lunchboxes, backpacks, notebooks, pencils, and pens. If they’ve grown a bit over the summer, a few new tops and bottoms, along with the must-have sneakers of the season…Then there are other back-to-school items. Those that don’t make the usual shopping lists but … are much more important for your children than any multi-subject notebook, scientific calculator, or smart pen. …. Unlike the lists you receive from the school principal, my list is made up of things you already have and that are grounded in scientific research for improving children’s learning. …

 

1. Praise Children For Their Effort, Not Their Intelligence

Most of us parents praise our children their smarts. We do it constantly. We do it because our children are bright and we think that telling them so makes them feel good and gives them the confidence to attack their schoolwork with gusto.

…This is good parenting, right?  Wrong. Telling children they’re smart does not give them the confidence to take on new challenges or the self-esteem to persevere when they fail. Research suggests that telling children they’re smart might actually interfere with their ability to learn.

“What?” you’re thinking. “How can telling junior that he is smart do any harm?” It’s because repeated praise for being intelligent sends the message that intelligence is an innate and fixed trait. This leads children to discount the importance of effort. They reason, “I’m smart, so I don’t need to try hard” and they often believe that putting forth effort is only something that “dumb” kids have to do. Children who are praised for their intelligence also become less likely to take intellectual risks and are more likely to give up when the going gets tough. It is more important for them to appear smart than to chance making mistakes and getting labeled as “dumb.”

Praising children for their intelligence also stymies their ability to deal with failure. When you tell your daughter, “You got an A! You’re so smart!” she also hears, “If you don’t get an A, you’re not smart.” So when children are labeled as “smart” fail, they reason they’ve failed because they mustn’t have the intellectual goods to cut it. In fact, some studies show that when “smart” children struggle, they are more likely to lie about their performance than to admit that they had trouble. Too much praise can be especially troubling for children who have had an easy time in the early grades but then run into subjects in middle school that require some effort. When they begin to make errors, they don’t try harder or study more diligently because they believe that talent alone and not effort creates success. So they conclude that they must have been unintelligent all along. It’s at this point that many “smart” children throw in the academic towel.

In contrast … children who are encouraged for their effort come to believe that intelligence is a malleable quality that can be improved through hard work. These children feel that their success is in their control and therefore they are not thwarted by failure. They interpret failure merely as a signal to try harder or do things differently. In fact, children who are encouraged for their effort often are game to take on demanding tasks and work to develop new strategies. In short, these children tend to go at challenges eagerly, persevere when the going gets tough, and show resilience after failure.

So when you tell your children they’re smart, you’re not doing them any favors. A little “you’re such a smarty” here and there likely won’t do any lasting damage, but the key is to praise children for their effort, their hard work, their persistence, and their strategies. Next time your son comes home with an A, instead of telling him how smart he is, praise him for trying hard, ask him how he studied, or tell him he should take a tougher class next semester. If he comes home with a lower grade than expected, be honest. Don’t tell him that he deserved a better grade because he is smart. Instead, encourage him to think through ways that he could improve.

 

2. Make Learning Meaningful, Not Rewarded

If you’ve ever promised your child a cookie, some TV time, or another reward for finishing her … homework, working on her science fair project, or writing her summer vacation book report, then you know that bribes can get things done. What you might not know is that they also squash children’s drive to learn.

Children are born with a deep desire to learn. In fact, children’s drive to learn is so strong that some consider it a universal human drive, like hunger and thirst. You can see this drive most clearly in infants and young children who are constantly observing, exploring, experimenting, and asking questions. They engage in these behaviors for the same reason we indulge chocolate truffle cake. It feels good. In psychology speak: learning is internally motivated. The “learners high” that children get from making new discoveries, learning new things, and mastering new skills spurs them to do more exploring, experimenting, and questioning so that they can learn even more things and get rewarded with even more good feelings.

As children’s knowledge and abilities become increasingly sophisticated with age, their learning brings them not only joy but also mastery. Mastery gives them the capacity to do new things and take certain risks with their know-how. It gives them the goods to create better surgical techniques, alternate forms of energy, new information technologies, and a flavor of tofu that actually tastes and feels like bacon. Learning is a straight up reward cycle that if allowed to thrive, will persist for a lifetime. But it is possible to break this natural cycle by doing something as seemingly harmless as doling out rewards for children’s learning.

“Can gold star stickers really undermine children’s learning?” you’re thinking. Yep. Decades of behavioral research has demonstrated that rewarding any behavior that is internally motivated with external incentives reduces our natural drive to carry out that behavior. The reasoning goes that when an intrinsically rewarding behavior is reinforced with external incentives, like prizes, cash, or cupcakes, we begin paying more attention to the incentives and less attention to the pleasure that comes from doing the behavior. This shift in attention brings about a shift in motivation to extrinsic incentives and ostensibly disables the existing intrinsic motivation. When children are rewarded for doing something they enjoy, like learning, the reward alters their locus of motivation from internal to external and they come to expect rewards for learning..

…In addition to being a developmental psychologist, I am also a mother. So I realize that part of the problem is that much of the learning that some teachers ask our children to do doesn’t satisfy their drive to learn any more than a cardboard cheesesteak satisfies my drive to eat. I realize that memorizing the qualities of landforms, reading about the physical properties of sand, and mapping the major battles of the Civil War doesn’t even come close.

But as a parent, boring projects or seemingly lame homework is not an excuse to offer up rewards. Rather it is our job to get our children to realize the real-world benefits of the skills these assignments are developing. The thing is, the motivation to learn doesn’t come from the process of learning. It comes from products of learning. And sometimes these products are difficult for children to see without our help.

…So what can you do?  Make sure that your children understand the real-world benefits of the skills they’re developing. Think of it this way. It is surely tough for a first-grader to understand why he’s being asked to memorize how to spell a set strange words, write them four times each, and then sort them into alphabetical order. But if his parents regularly read storybooks, street signs, store marquis, cupcake recipes, and restaurant menus with him, then he’s likely to understand not only why his teacher is asking him to learn new words but also that reading can be good fun. Likewise, the motivation for learning math is not the excitement of rounding up whole numbers, estimating whether 8 + 9 is more than 20, determining the volume of containers, and finding the perimeter of a pentagon. It is driven by the real-world benefits of being able to figure out whether you have enough birthday money to buy both the doll house and the family minivan, divide your jellybeans equally among your friends, know if your new water gun is too big to fit under your bed, and estimate how many bags of sand you’ll need to fill the new sandbox.

 

…3. Push for Less Homework

Homework is a good thing, right? It reinforces the skills learned in the classroom and it fosters good study habits. Or is it busy work and getting it done can cause a whole lot of family stress?

There’s growing evidence that the latter is the case in many families. There is no solid empirical evidence that homework actually improves young children’s learning. In fact, when children are asked to do too much homework, it has the opposite effect. Homework only has minimal benefits for achievement in middle school. It’s not until high school that there are clear academic benefits to homework, but again, they start to decline if children are too overloaded.

Now I realize that many elementary-schoolers are spending more time daily with Sponge Bob than doing homework. But I find it striking that we have no evidence that there is any academic benefit to elementary school homework, yet educators feel compelled to assign it and parents continue to think it helps students. Homework is going to be a hard habit to break, but considering that it is not linked with academic achievement until at least middle school and then only marginally, why assign it? Can’t teachers squeeze all the learning children need into the seven or eight hours a day they already have them at school? It seems to me that all of the other pastimes outside of school that are good for children are a much more wise and fun way for them to spend their afterschool time.

But what if you’re one of those parents who just cannot do nothing? My suggestion? Cook a family dinner. In a large study, University of Michigan’s Sandra Hofferth found that the single strongest predictor of better achievement scores and fewer behavioral problems among three- to twelve-year-olds was more family meal time together. Family meals beat out all the usual suspects, like time at school, attending church, playing organized sports, engaging in art activities, and doing homework.

Keep in mind, too, that no homework doesn’t necessarily mean no learning after school. As alluded to above, there is overwhelming evidence that the simplest of activities, like children’s free play with peers, boosts important social and cognitive skills.

Source:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-childhood/201208/the-developmental-psychologists-back-school-shopping-list


Vocabulary:

stymie

indulge

thwart

malleable

ostensibly


Discussion Questions:

  1. What are your thoughts about his article?
  2. What are some good points that the author made?
  3. What are some ideas that you find strange or don’t agree with from the author?
  4. Can you think up a list that would be important for students to have from your region?
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