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Let's get right to the point. Students are most interested in what they are interested in. In any classroom, the range of interests is infinite and changes whimsically. However, there are two things nearly every student is interested in: movies and music. That means movie scripts and song lyrics can be amazing reading resources in many ways.
A foundational ability of humans is the willingness to try things to see how they work out. This might be the most important talent we have developed.
A colleague and I have been looking at progress and outcome measures for a number of students using different interventions. After much plotting and discussion, we came to a remarkably insightful conclusion that I would like to share with you.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that any reader in possession of a good book must be attentive. If those words sound familiar, then you know what I am talking about. If they are new to you, then you have a very important work of literature to include on your “I'd better read this” list.
When we think of the growth mindset, the two characteristics most often mentioned are intelligence and effort. What is just as relevant, but often overlooked, is intellectual curiosity. Sophie von Stumm and her colleagues have described it as “the hungry mind” and “the third pillar of academic success,” which are perfectly appropriate.
In the field of psychological testing, a difference exists between typical and maximal performance. When personality is measured, we hope to identify typical characteristics. When abilities are measured, we try to get subjects to do their best so we can understand what their maximal performance is.