Saturday, April 18, 2009

Juxtapose or Just Suppose?

In an e-mail this week, our HP instructor for the Monday class gave an excellent explanation of the difference between click and treat and luring the puppy to perform a certain cue. Her point was primarily that treats as a lure are short-term solution that ultimately inhibits our long term goal of encouraging our dogs to offer behaviors to solve problems to earn their reward. In short, to learn how to learn.

Those of you that have read my previous posts know that this topic is near and dear to my heart as well - particularly as it translates to raising our human children. Yesterday's op-ed piece on raising our collective I.Q.'s by Pulitzer Prize winning editorialist, Nicholas D. Kristof illustrates the applicability of the Helping Paws method for all - human or other. Mr. Kristof summarizes the research of Professor Nisbett on how to raise how collective I.Q.'s as follows:

Professor Nisbett provides suggestions for transforming your own urchins into geniuses — praise effort more than achievement, teach delayed gratification, limit reprimands and use praise to stimulate curiosity — but focuses on how to raise America’s collective I.Q. That’s important, because while I.Q. doesn’t measure pure intellect — we’re not certain exactly what it does measure — differences do matter, and a higher I.Q. correlates to greater success in life.

I do disagree with Kristof's conclusion that more intensive early-childhood education programs are the answer as long as the focus of that intent remains on the child. To be truly successful, the intensive education must be directed on the most important teacher any child will ever have - its' parent.

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