Friday, November 16, 2012

struggle leads to success

I found this story on NPR so very inspiring.  My kids will be listening to it's about the differences of Eastern and Western cultures in their views about struggle in learning.  Have a listen:

Basically, the message is that Western cultural beliefs hold that success comes from intelligence.  If you succeed in school, it is because you are smart.  Struggle in this culture implies that you don't naturally "get it", and aren't smart, and don't succeed as well.

On the other hand, Eastern cultures place high value in struggle, and link it to persistence and patience and determination.  These qualities are pointed out in this culture as qualities that make success happen.  Struggle and suffering, and how a student handles them to learn, is what is valued.

The article goes on to point out that both cultures can learn from each other, but that our Western culture has much to learn about attitudes towards struggle.  If we adopt more of an Eastern view, problems may not defeat us so readily.

As my kids currently struggle with their online Chemistry class, perhaps this will help them improve their outlook.  Perhaps this outlook can be nutured, carried through adulthood.....

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