Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty by James M Lange

img_7461Weekly Trip to the Library

Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty is a book about tackling academic dishonesty at its roots. It is written for teachers, but there is good information in it that is helpful for nannies.

The most important information I found in the book for nannies is how to compliment and reward children on their accomplishments. If we compliment kids the wrong way it can turn them into liars, simply by telling them they are smart, rather than praising their hard efforts.

The author explains that we “good job” children into an state of over confidence and an over inflated sense of skill level. This leads to many negative consequences including a tendency to under study.

The ability to judge ones own level of knowledge, skill, or thought process is called meta cognition which allows kids to gauge if they are prepared or or knowledgeable on a topic. Students that are better at meta cognitive skills are better at achieving self efficacy. Self efficacy is a belief in their ability to succeed. Self efficacy is not just confidence that they will succeed or a magical thinking that they are so smart they will succeed. Self efficacy is a belief developed by experience and repeated effort on a skill or task.

Yet, adults continue to believe that if they tell children how talented and wonderful they are by throwing empty platitudes, trophies, and blue ribbons at them that they will perform better and have higher self esteem.

The very kids we want to help with this praise are students with low self esteem. But in fact, children do worse when given empty platitudes. It creates lower self esteem than if we just left them alone.

Imagine what children could do if they were praised for their hard work and diligence? They would have increased autonomy, confidence, and connection.

The best advice I learned in this book for nannies is to compliment children for their efforts, rather than for their accomplishments. Working hard is more important than the final grade they get. Allowing them to succeed and fail at their school work on their own will teach them to be confident, honest, and less likely to lie and cheat.

You can buy your own copy of Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty by clicking the links above and below:

Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty

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