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    #215963 - 05/11/15 10:06 AM Gifted girls
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    Difficult Passage: Gifted Girls in Middle School

    Quote:
    What can you do to help?

    • Help gifted girls appreciate their innate abilities. Gifted girls need to be reminded that they are smart. This contradicts recent claims from "growth mindset," advocates, who imply that informing gifted children of their abilities will somehow destroy their drive to achieve. Yet, most research related to gifted girls has shown that they lack confidence, doubt their innate talents, and already attribute their accomplishments to hard work. They need to recognize their abilities, and also receive encouragement to challenge themselves, work up to their potential, and take risks.


    This article nicely encapsulates some of the ambivalence I've found about the growth mindset viewpoint. I understand that it's better to praise effort than ability, but I think there's a role for helping children to understand their own ability, too.

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    #215965 - 05/11/15 10:18 AM Re: Gifted girls [Re: ElizabethN]
    deacongirl Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/03/10
    Posts: 948
    Yes, this is well said.

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    #215967 - 05/11/15 10:21 AM Re: Gifted girls [Re: ElizabethN]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Yes!!

    Thank you so much for posting this, Elizabeth. Our own journey through adolescence with an HG+ girl has been bewildering in terms of battling her distorted, and even downright bizarre, sometimes crippling self-perceptions.

    Mostly she feels inadequate or even fraudulent-- and what is mystifying is where on earth such an attitude could possibly have come from in the first place. ???
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #215972 - 05/11/15 10:56 AM Re: Gifted girls [Re: ElizabethN]
    Mahagogo5 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/11/12
    Posts: 517
    also yes - as someone at the beginning of this journey this is what my gut tells me. I so wish someone would have taken me aside as a kid and told me I was really smart and maybe I just needed to study a bit differently. I think it would have been life changing for me.

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    #215974 - 05/11/15 11:21 AM Re: Gifted girls [Re: ElizabethN]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    No worries here, as I've been ignoring that particular bit of advice on the growth mindset for years. I've always felt that a fundamental belief in your abilities is a great counterweight to fear of failure.

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    #215978 - 05/11/15 12:45 PM Re: Gifted girls [Re: ElizabethN]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1450
    Loc: NJ
    I have made sure that my DD doesn't think that boys are naturally better at Maths. Also, one of the reasons that I encouraged her to play chess was so that she could beat boys at it and learn that they are not inherently smarter.

    I have also started to broach my DD's LOG with her to help her understand why she is different and is treated differently by her age and her grade peers. I absolutely want her to have faith that she is intrinsically smart and that having to work something out instead of just almost instantly groking it is ok and something to expect as stuff gets harder. Just another reason why I love what AoPS is doing for my DD.

    The need for bonding and fitting in (the physiological/biochemical stuff) is why we have put the family vacation money into a CTY camp for our DD this year.

    Hopefully my DD will come though adolescence with her sanity, self confidence and sense of humor intact LOL



    Edited by madeinuk (05/11/15 12:45 PM)
    _________________________
    Become what you are

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    #215983 - 05/11/15 02:00 PM Re: Gifted girls [Re: ElizabethN]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4299
    Originally Posted By: ElizabethN
    I understand that it's better to praise effort than ability, but I think there's a role for helping children to understand their own ability, too.
    This seems to be agreement with mindset.

    The quoted article in the original post mischaracterizes the linked material. For example:
    Originally Posted By: Difficult Passage: Gifted Girls in Middle School
    Gifted girls need to be reminded that they are smart.
    is in agreement with
    Originally Posted By: "growth mindset," advocates
    In particular, attributing poor performance to a lack of ability depresses motivation more than does the belief that lack of effort is to blame.


    While it is difficult to condense years of research and a book of nearly 300 pages, these two quotes summarize it well
    Originally Posted By: "growth mindset," advocates
    Our society worships talent, and many people assume that possessing superior intelligence or ability—along with confidence in that ability—is a recipe for success. In fact, however, more than 35 years of scientific investigation suggests that an overemphasis on intellect or talent leaves people vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and unwilling to remedy their shortcomings.

    The result plays out in children like Jonathan, who coast through the early grades under the dangerous notion that no-effort academic achievement defines them as smart or gifted. Such children hold an implicit belief that intelligence is innate and fixed, making striving to learn seem far less important than being (or looking) smart. This belief also makes them see challenges, mistakes and even the need to exert effort as threats to their ego rather than as opportunities to improve. And it causes them to lose confidence and motivation when the work is no longer easy for them.

    Praising children's innate abilities, as Jonathan's parents did, reinforces this mind-set, which can also prevent young athletes or people in the workforce and even marriages from living up to their potential. On the other hand, our studies show that teaching people to have a “growth mind-set,” which encourages a focus on “process” (consisting of personal effort and effective strategies) rather than on intelligence or talent, helps make them into high achievers in school and in life.
    and
    Originally Posted By: "growth mindset," advocates
    Some students reacted defensively to mistakes, denigrating their skills with comments such as “I never did have a good rememory,” and their problem-solving strategies deteriorated.

    Others, meanwhile, focused on fixing errors and honing their skills. One advised himself: “I should slow down and try to figure this out.” Two schoolchildren were particularly inspiring. One, in the wake of difficulty, pulled up his chair, rubbed his hands together, smacked his lips and said, “I love a challenge!” The other, also confronting the hard problems, looked up at the experimenter and approvingly declared, “I was hoping this would be informative!” Predictably, the students with this attitude outperformed their cohorts in these studies.

    Meanwhile this "teaser" introduction to the article does not summarize mindset well:
    Originally Posted By: The Secret to Raising Smart Kids
    HINT: Don't tell your kids that they are.


    This thread on gifted girls, their confidence, and self-esteem, flows well, I think, from the observation on foils from a recent post on another thread
    Quote:
    The KIDS may be great... and the parents may be another story if they feel that your kid is not a...'good foil' for his/her excellence...
    "Feeling threatened by the success of others" is a tendency of a fixed mindset, whereas "finding lessons and inspiration in the success of others" is a tendency of a growth mindset. (page 245, mindset )

    This thread is also reminiscent of the recent thread, Against the growth mindset.

    Some articles on mindset may be written to encourage audiences with children having lower IQs to not create self-imposed limitations based on those numbers. That audience of readers may be different than those who frequent this forum. However in the book mindset and the author's articles flowing from it, I've not seen a recommendation to withhold information from gifted children regarding their IQ (other than the teaser referenced earlier in this post); These kids often have already observed that they are different and may find it a relief to have their observations affirmed and explained. While maintaining motivation may be best achieved by a focus on praising effort rather than praising intelligence, this does not preclude informing gifted kids of their IQ, class rank, etc... it simply does not emphasize these things.

    For anyone who has not read the book mindset, I do recommend it. It is based on years of research. Not that I agree with every idea/application, but on balance found a number of ideas to be useful. Beyond implications for children's classroom learning, there are lifelong applications of this motivational theory, including "Mindsets in love (or not)."

    Some may say that "being reminded you are smart" and having a "fundamental belief in your abilities" would include not only a belief in one's innate intelligence, but also a belief in embracing challenges, persistence in the face of setbacks, effort as a positive path, interest in learning from feedback as well as from mistakes, and reaching ever-higher levels of achievement, in a manner which is genuine and emotionally satisfying.

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    #217299 - 05/31/15 04:35 PM Re: Gifted girls [Re: ElizabethN]
    staceychev Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/09/12
    Posts: 137
    Loc: NJ
    Interesting thread--stumbled across it in a search for achievement tests. I've been uncomfortable with the growth mindset thing myself, but haven't been totally able to put my finger on why. (And yes, I did read the book.)

    One thing that was a revelation to me, as a gifted girl in adult form, was to discover the concept of "impostor syndrome." It was so gratifying to be able to put a label on how I've felt my whole life, and has opened up some wonderful conversations with other grown-up gifted girls. It's a concept that is concept that's constantly in the back of my mind as I raise my two gifted girls, neither of whom are in middle school yet, though one is getting close!
    _________________________
    Stacey. Former high school teacher, back in the corporate world, mom to 2 bright girls: DD12 & DD7.

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    #217702 - 06/04/15 04:20 PM Re: Gifted girls [Re: ElizabethN]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1450
    Loc: NJ
    Quote:

    One thing that was a revelation to me, as a gifted girl in adult form, was to discover the concept of "impostor syndrome." It was so gratifying to be able to put a label on how I've felt my whole life


    Girls don't have the monopoly on this. I spent a lot of my life feeling it too.

    "Huh? Is that all there is to this? I thought it was going to be hard. And difficult to follow/understand.."

    Was a thought I had a lot as a kid followed by:-

    "I must be missing the deep insight that everyone must be feeling"

    they weren't LOL
    _________________________
    Become what you are

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    #217706 - 06/04/15 06:24 PM Re: Gifted girls [Re: ElizabethN]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    Unfortunately, our girls still have to be pretty tough to succeed in some of the male dominated fields, even with their high IQs. My D20 is researching on campus in computer science at her college this summer (second summer on this project, so getting pretty knowlegable). Her prof arranged a conference call with some teams at other universities doing similar research so they could compare data and issues. Partway thru the call, my D recognized a problem a young man from another college was describing, and asked a question. Dead silence on the phone, then the guys says "Is there a GIRL on this call??". I give her prof credit, he said, "Yes, there are three WOMEN from my team on this call." Followed by awkward silence -- then the guy went on, and didn't acknowledge or answer her question! She was embarrassed and angry. It sure doesn't help her feel intellectually validated when that kind of crap happens. frown

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