Optimizing Student Success in School with the Other Three Rs: Reasoning, Resilience, and Responsibility

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Robert J. Sternberg, Rena Faye Subotnik
IAP, 2006 - Education - 265 pages
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Despite increased spending and efforts at reform since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, wide achievement gaps persist between groups of students and these gaps increase with each year of schooling. Obstacles to student achievement can be found in schools and at home, and finding innovative solutions for students to overcome these obstacles is a motivating force behind this volume. Inside, the authors argue that The Other Three Rs," reasoning, resilience, and responsibility can promote achievement and the realization of full academic potential, especially for students who are labeled as under performers. "The Other Three Rs" (TOTRs) are universal learning skills available to all students. Although each of TOTRs is related to school and life success, they are most effective when they are used in combination. For example, in the course problem solving, reasoning skills offer the ability to judge which strategies best address the needs of a particular situation. Responsibility provides understanding of the consequences (for oneself and others) of employing or not employing different problem solving strategies, and taking ownership of the results. And resilience produces the patience to work through the problem solving process, by capitalizing on lessons learned, until achieving desired outcomes. The Other Three R's model began as an American Psychological Association (APA) initiative, sponsored by Robert J. Sternberg, IBM Professor of Psychology and Education at Yale University and Past President of the APA. For the initiative and this edited volume, Sternberg and Subotnickassembled a diverse team of experts who identified reasoning, resilience and responsibility as three learnable skills that, when taken together, have great potential for increasing academic success. The authors of this volume present in detail their evidence- based arguments for promoting TOTRs in schools as a way to optimize student success

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Page 27 - Some of the greatest scientific papers have been rejected not just by one journal, but even by several journals before being published. For example, John Garcia, a distinguished biopsychologist, was immediately denounced when he first proposed that a form of learning called classical conditioning could be produced in a single trial of learning (Garcia & Koelling, 1966).
Page 27 - But they are often rejected because the creative innovator stands up to vested interests and defies the crowd. The crowd does not maliciously or willfully reject creative notions. Rather, it does not realize, and often does not want to realize, that the proposed idea represents a valid and advanced way of thinking. Society generally perceives opposition to the status quo as annoying, offensive, and reason enough to ignore innovative ideas. Evidence abounds that creative ideas are often rejected (Ste1nberg,...
Page 31 - Teachers need to remember that this may not be what really excites them. People who truly excel creatively in a pursuit, whether vocational or avocational, almost always genuinely love what they do. Certainly, the most creative people are intrinsically motivated in their work (Amabile, 1 996).
Page 31 - Part of being resilient means being able to work on a project or task for a long time without immediate or interim rewards. Students must learn that rewards are not always immediate and that there are benefits to delaying gratification. The fact of the matter is that, in the short term, people are often ignored when they do creative work or even punished for doing it.
Page 27 - After convincing others that the idea is valuable, which increases the perceived value of the investment, the creative person sells high by leaving the idea to others and moving on to another idea. People typically want others to love their ideas, but immediate universal applause for an idea usually indicates that it is not particularly creative. Creativity is as much a decision about and an attitude toward life as it is a matter of ability. Creativity is often obvious in young children, but it...

About the author (2006)

Robert J. Sternberg is Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychology at Tufts University. Prior to being at Tufts, he was IBM Professor of Psychology and Education, Professor of Management in the School of Management, and Director of the Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise at Yale University. This center, now relocated to Tufts, is dedicated to the advancement of theory, research, practice, and policy advancing the notion of intelligence as developing expertise, as a construct that is modifiable and capable, to some extent, of development throughout the lifespan. The Center seeks to have an impact on science, education, and society. Sternberg was the 2003 President of the American Psychological Association and is the 2006 2007 President of the Eastern Psychological Association. He was on the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association and the Board of Trustees of the APA Insurance Trust. He is currently on the Board of Trustees of the American Psychological Foundation and on the Board of Directors of the Eastern Psychological Association as well as of the American Association of Colleges and Universities. Sternberg received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1975 and his B.A. from Yale University. He holds honorary doctorates from eight universities. He is the author of over 1,100 journal articles, chapters, and books. He focuses his research on intelligence, creativity, and wisdom and has studied love and close relationships as well as hate. This research has been conducted on five different continents.

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