Wednesday, December 7, 2016

We Respond to EdWeek's Question on the Importance of Self-Control

Donna and I were pleased to share our response to the question: How can we best help students develop self-control? Our response appeared in part four of a four-part Education Week blog post: "Learning Self-Regulation Is Needed on Path to Academic Success," part of a Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo.

In the post, we describe how young children need to learn self-regulation early in life as it better enables them to access knowledge and practice learning skills. With self-regulation, young children can control their ability to:
  • Pay attention
  • Resist distractions
  • Develop social emotional skills, and
  • Begin to develop a clear intent about what they want to achieve.
In the post, we describe psychologist Water Mischel's well-known marshmallow test, in which children who were able to forego the instant gratification of eating a single marshmallow were rewarded with a second marshmallow later on. This test helped measure the importance of self-control.

Children who were coached to use cognitive strategies that allowed them to focus on something other than the marshmallow were more successful at earning the second marshmallow. Those who succeeded in the challenge were found to have achieved better academic success, as measured by SAT scores, later in life.

We invite you to read the entire post at the Education Week blog.

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