Jeff Howard, President of the Efficacy Institute in Lexington, MA, discusses his belief that all children can excel in school but that educators often do not make students feel that they have the capability to learn difficult information. Excerpted from the videoseries Schools That Work: The Research Advantage, Videoconference #7, Preparing Students for Work in the 21st Century (NCREL, 1992).
"We found out that the people who were the most affected by the idea of the innate ability are not necessarily the kids in the classrooms, but the teachers themselves, at least they were affected first. Most American educators were taught in school that they were not terribly bright, and they internalized that idea and came to accept it as part of their personality. What we learn to do is to help educators understand that it's a lie, that there's nothing wrong with them, that they could have learned mathematics, that they could have learned the highest levels of science, and they can become highly effective educators, and if they learn that about themselves, they look at the children with a whole different set of eyes, and they can begin to see the real possibilities in these children."