Seth Godin has an excellent post today on the overemphasis of talent vs. perseverance. Are we teaching kids to give up or settle for less because they’re not the best?
The coach of the soccer team doesn’t reward the players who try the hardest, push themselves or put in the hours. He rewards the best players, by playing them…. After all, the reasoning goes, we need to have tryouts and reward the best performers, just like they do in real life.
But school isn’t real life. School is about learning how to succeed in real life.
He uses an excellent illustration from Alaska’s Iditarod dog-sled race to point out that it’s not about awarding people just for showing up, but that the ones who don’t give up deserve recognition and encouragement, too.
Look back on your classmates from high school. How many “average” or “untalented” students have gone on to be successful? Quite a few, I’ll bet. They learned not to give up, but were they taught not to give up?
Read the article – The Red Lantern – and let’s talk about this:
How can we teach our kids the value of perseverance?