A study reviewed on NPR, Students' View of Intelligence Can Help Grades by Michelle Trudeau, finds that students' view of intelligence enables higher achievement in math scores. Talk about metacognition! The implications here are profound in that working with children around issues of the process of learning itself allows them to see how they have some control over their learning lives--they work harder, they develop a sense of ownership in their learning, the see possibility. In SOE's, we often get a lot of flack about our constructivist approach but, as I like to say, constructivism has moved out of the philosophical and into the biological as we learn how the brain works. Of course, this study prompts me to think about how that process works the other way as well....back to the psychology.
This also make me think of some to the hubbub around the recent visit of Ruby Payne to our area. Her ubiqituous (for reasons I may go into elsewhere) work defines a "culture of poverty" (nice to see you again Senator Monyihan) that educators should "understand." I see this work as precisely oppossed to what we learn from this study from Stanford University. Instead of labelling and stereotyping, we need to be encourage kids to think about thinking. But of course, and I think this is why some of our preservice students are so resistent to social constructivist learning theory, it is a lot harder....and it implicates us, as teachers, in the project of student learning.