“I could feel my brain growing”

In this article, Huffington Post blogger Salman Khan describes reading time with his son:  “Aren’t you glad how I struggled with that word,” the five-year-old asked.  “I think I could feel my brain growing.”

Khan explains how research he has been reading talks about the brain being a muscle like any other:  if you don’t use it, it won’t grow.  This means that intelligence is only partly inherent; for the other part, you can control it by using and expanding your knowledge and thoughts, by struggling to understand new and complicated concepts.

What are your thoughts about this?  Do you encourage your children to “struggle?”

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3 thoughts on ““I could feel my brain growing”

  1. Pingback: Highlights from 9/18/14 school board meeting | Andrea Brady's Blog

  2. I certainly allow my son to make mistakes. I certainly present him with new information constantly. However, I usually try to avoid the “struggling” aspect, if I can. I agree with Vygotsky’s method of teaching in the zone of proximal development, or scaffolding, as it has come to be called. Struggling is okay too, as long as it isn’t overwhelming for the child or frustrating to the educator. I believe children are almost always capable of much more than we give them credit for, so it’s fun to push the boundaries of what we think they can grasp and just see what happens!

    • Thanks for the comment, Amy! Agree, “struggling” has a fine line … but I think (hope) the idea was to work for the answer, instead of grasping it immediately or having it spoon-fed to you. And you’re right, it is fun to watch – there have been times I’ve been astounded, with my child or others, to see how far they’ve been able to take concepts. So rewarding when that happens!

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