Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Self Discipline is twice as important than intelligence in predicting academic achievement

Self Discipline is twice as important than intelligence in predicting academic achievement

This is a fascinating article that confirms one of the most common sense principals known in America which is that Self-Discipline is more important than intelligence in prediciting academic achievement. Angela Duckworth applies science to this principal to prove that the principals of self-discipline and nurturing this within our children is important to their success in life. If intelligence is hard-wired and we are constrained by our gene pool then this provides some insight into one of the factors that allows students to succeed.

How do you foster self-discipline is a more involved topic which requires a blog by itself but here are a couple of tried and true ways to start the process. Structure, Sports and Self are the three most important things to provide a child. I grew up in a household which had a tremendous amount of structure around a couple of very important things---school, religion and sports. We had a lot more freedom when it came to other things but as long as we took care of business in these areas. Each day when we came home from school we were able to get a snack and then we had to immediately do our homework. After our homework was done we could do anything we wanted before we had to go to swim practice. This structure and routine to our daily routine put the priorities on the things that were important to our parents.

Swimming was another great sport for developing self-discipluine for a couple of reasons. If you wanted to be good at swimming you had to practice which meant dedication to the sport and attending practice on a regular basis. Swimming teaches the creation of developing goals and then working hard to achieve them. Swimming also

The development of "self" is an important aspect of self-discipline. A child that knows who they are is able to work within their talent and capabilities to achieve. This comes from learning from failure and structure and sports help teach this to the children. FAILURE is important to our children because in a very low risk environment children learn to deal with feelings, the self-esteem issues, and the most important "what do I do next". The events of failure teach the child the boundaries of their talents and give them the ability to reset goals early in life........they are allowed to "practice" responding to failure.

Some good reading on this topic:
NO: Why Kids--of All Ages--Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It (Hardcover)
Get it now

Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual (Paperback)
Get it now

Saso Seminars (if you live in the Bay Area then here is a good resource)
Go there now