Friday, October 08, 2010

Choking - from Robert Genn

From today's letter:
""Choking" is when you know how to do something, do it often, and then, inexplicably and royally, you screw up."
Sian Beilock, a University of Chicago psychologist, says it has to do with roadblocks in the brain. She's written a book to help people open up their roads. Mostly for sporty types and businesspeople, some of her findings apply to us.
Singing helps. Apparently singing distracts the "analysis paralysis" that comes from knowing too much. "

So far so good, but the bit in this article that really hit home, as both teacher and student was this bit of food for thought:

"Another choker Beilock identifies is "stereotype threat." For example, when someone thinks they can't do math because of age, gender, race, or whatever, they often can't. It has nothing to do with their natural ability, and all to do with their beliefs. Art students who know in their heart they can never do as well as their instructors, for whatever reason, won't. It's enough to make you think schools might be houses of choking. "

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