You may be holding on to a misrepresented belief, just like many educators, that intelligence is fixed.

Talents such as intellect are quantifiable and unchangeable. However, holding onto this idea could be detrimental to your kid, affecting his self-confidence in STEM education, robotics for kids and coding for kids.

Misunderstood Belief

This false belief leads you to think that your kid’s performance is a measurable indicator of their intelligence. When one performs well, it indicates talent; when one performs poorly, it indicates incapacity.

This understanding of the rational self affects effort. When people believe that their intelligence is fixed, they work to impress others and avoid showing signs of weakness compared to others.

More recently, psychologists have expressed that intelligence is made up of a continuously growing set of mental habits—habits of mind—that may be taught, fostered and cultivated.

When you embrace this belief and encourage your child to adopt the same, they are more likely to put forth the effort to learn something new, deepen their comprehension, and increase their mastery when faced with complex tasks.

Kids with a fluid belief about intelligence are more likely to concentrate on assessing the work, gather resources from within and outside the learning environment, use self-regulatory and metacognitive skills, and develop and implement alternate problem-solving solutions.

Habits of Mind

Habits of Mind go beyond intelligence. Your kid may have information and skills, but they also need to be aware of opportunities to put those skills to use, possess an inclination to use those techniques when they make sense, and be able to think back and assess how well they worked.

Therefore, using habits of mind entails having the necessary aptitudes and talents and the inclinations and dispositions to do so in situations that call for their application.

Habits of Mind include the following:

Value: Deciding to use a particular set of intellectual activities over an alternative, less effective patterns.
Propensity: Feeling a tendency or urge to use specific intellectual behaviours.

Alertness: Recognising opportunities to use the behaviour pattern and determining when it is suitable to do so

Capacities: Possessing the fundamental cognitive abilities and capabilities necessary to carry out the activities.

Commitment: Considering how one’s intellectual behaviour performs and working hard to improve it.

Their Significance

Studies in effective thinking and intelligent behaviour suggest that effective thinkers have observable traits. While these traits can be observed in mathematicians, scientists and artists, they can also be found in successful mechanics, teachers, business owners, salespeople, and parents—people from all spheres of life.

Even though all human beings are capable of high-level thinking, these traits offer the fuel to activate strategic thinking. A person needs to be inclined to lessen impulsivity, show empathy, be curious, and be persistent in problem-solving, decision-making, or knowledge-generating skillfully.

What are these Habits of Mind

Habits of mind are developmental skills that can never be fully mastered. They apply to adults and children and transcend all subjects typically taught in schools.

The following are some habits of mind, although an infinite number of them could prove beneficial to your kid in the STEM field and science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

1. Persistence: Focusing on a task and seeing it through to completion.

2. Controlling Impulse: Being calm, deliberate, and thinking things through before acting

3. Listening with empathy: Helping another person by giving mental input. It involves putting one’s thoughts on hold to understand another’s perspective and feelings.

4.Flexibility in thought: The capacity to shift viewpoints, produce alternatives, and weigh options

5.Metacognition: Being conscious of one’s ideas, plans, feelings, and behaviours, as well as how they affect other people

6.Making, imagining, and innovating: Coming up with fresh, innovative concepts fluently.

7.Aiming for precision and accuracy: A desire for accuracy, truthfulness, and craftsmanship.

8.Posing questions and problems: Having a questioning mindset, understanding the data that are required, and creating questioning techniques to create knowledge

9.Applying knowledge from the past to New Contexts: Utilising prior information and extending knowledge beyond the context in which it was learned.

10.Clarity and precision in Thought and Communication: aiming for accurate written and spoken communication; avoiding exaggerations, omissions, and distortion

11.Collecting information using all senses: obtaining information through the gustatory, olfactory, tactile, kinesthetic, auditory, and visual sensory pathways

12.Responding with surprise and awe: Thinking the world is amazing and enigmatic. Seeking out and finding beauty and phenomena fascinating.

13.Taking calculated risks: Being daring and operating at the limit of one’s capabilities

14.Finding humour entails seeking out the absurd, bizarre, and unexpected and being able to laugh at oneself.

15.Collaborating with and picking up knowledge from others in situations where there is mutual benefit.

16.Remaining open to lifelong learning: staying humble and proud when acknowledging ignorance; avoiding complacency

Studies about evaluations of human performance have repeatedly found the above qualities in profiles of outstanding performers and traits of influential people. Peak performers possess these qualities whether they work in households, schools, the military, governments, or businesses. These behaviours foster ongoing learning and productivity at the workplace.

The term “gifted” refers to a condition of being. It operates under the premise that nothing one does will ever result in obtaining it if they don’t already have it. One either has “it”, or one doesn’t.

When children are consistently encouraged to ask questions, accept difficulties, find solutions that are not immediately obvious, explain concepts, defend their reasoning, and seek information, they acquire cognitive strategies and effort-based attitudes about their intellect.

Children interpret accountability for this intelligent behaviour as an indication that other people find them smart, and they eventually accept this opinion. The paradox is that kids grow to be smart by being treated as though they are already intelligent. Therefore, releasing and developing these mental habits and the accompanying abilities should be your aim.

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