Rafini’s comment is a perfect example of why “one size fits all” solutions are not solutions at all. Louis post is a perfect example of what Carol Dweck’s book on growth vs. fixed mindset says will happen when you praise a student’s innate abilities rather than how hard they work. But Rafini’s comment demonstrates that this is not true for all children. Why would it be when the circumstances, characteristics, and experiences of each person are different! Until education becomes learner-centered…focusing on the needs of individuals rather than easy “fixes” to be applied to all, it will continue to fail learners.
Louis — stop focusing on rising above mediocrity and instead, focus on identifying and developing YOUR unique strengths and abilities. And Rafini — if you haven’t already read Todd Rose’s book The End of Average, I highly recommend it. There is no “normal!” And why would anyone want to be mediocre, or average, or normal, or “standard” in the first place! :-)