Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Second Marshmallow

I suppose it is no coincidence, I read topics that are of interest to me after all, but I find it interesting that after coming across Joachim De Posada's TED presentation I recently found another very interesting article on the concept of self-control and delayed gratification using the Marshmallow Test as the basis of the article.

One of my favorite blogs is the GIFTED EXCHANGE, and a recent post there linked to an article in the NEW YORKER which provided the historical basis of the Marshmallow Test and shared how researchers are extending that research in an attempt to identify the specific region of the brain where self-control is located. The history of this research was interesting, and the use of fMRI technology makes sense too, but I wouldn't have thought of it going in that direction....

Fascinating stuff, and affirming as well. I think we are exactly on the right track to be trying to teach our children to improve this skill ("Stop and think") and to understand why it is important. The more I read and reflect, the more benefits I see to teaching our young students the value of self-control.

One day my mom told me that she used to tell my brothers and I no when we asked some questions, even if she did not really care if we did what we were asking about just so we would learn to hear what no means. I think she was ahead of the curve a bit with respect to teaching us delayed gratification.


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