The book

The author

  • David Shenk is the national bestselling author of five previous books, including The Forgetting ("remarkable" - Los Angeles Times), Data Smog ("indispensable" - New York Times), and The Immortal Game ("superb" - Wall Street Journal). He is a correspondent for, and has contributed to National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, Gourmet, Harper's, The New Yorker, NPR, and PBS.

    More info here.

    Contact David.

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    Speaking inquiries here.


« Rethinking Education | Main | Where does persistence come from? »

February 21, 2007


srinivas gunturi

Finally, we should find a way out on this. "How to make the kids take care of the studies by their own?" - is the MD question. If we can find an answer to this, we can avoid bad experience of being harsh to the much beloved kids for their faring well in thier studies. I know this is an ideal situation but do not really know how to get to it.


Yes, very interesting topic. I think even for adults we try to find a "smart" way to get the "best results".
From educational point of view on kids, I think the first step is to encourage them to put their effort, then gradually let them thinking a better way to do it.

Dan tdaxp

The wisest, but most intense for the parent, praise strategy is to praise for degree of improvement in task performance. Degree of improvement is a function of both effort and results.


What about praising kids for results? How well does that motivate them? Have any studies been done to analyze this? I can contruct an experiement: Take 100 kids and randomly divide them into 2 groups. They all take a test. Children from group 1 are praised for good results. Children from group 2 are not. They then take another similar test. Would group 1 outperform group 2? What if group 2 is praised not for their results, but for their effort? How would they then compare with group 1? What if group 2 is not even told of their results, but merely told they "tried hard" or "they did well." I'd be interested to see what kind of results would come from such tests.

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