Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Mind Matters - Attribution Training

Had a student free day today to get some training provided by

a resource and professional development program to support Australian secondary schools in promoting and protecting the social and emotional wellbeing of members of school communities.

The training was very entertaining and interesting, focussing on 'Staff Matters'.


Some of the discussion was kind of connected to the idea of Maximisers and Satisficers, although these terms were not used.


The was also some talk about how people attribute the causes of events. I felt that this was skipped over a little quickly. My feeling is that this is pretty fundamental to how we deal with things and our mental health.


A really interesting little video is at
In this case it is a helper talking to a client about her baby that cries for no apparent reason. I was very impressed by the questioning of the 'helper' to assist the woman to arrive at a solution. - jeeeeeez these people make me sick with their talent.

Attribution training.
This is another description of attributional training - it sites a couple of experiments - one about littering. "Neat oval-neat kids" The other was in the classroom - a maths experiment. One of the comments is "Now, even if this is true and the children do explain their behavior with internal attributions, will it translate into higher math scores? It is one thing to believe that you are good at something. It is another thing to be good."

The virginia council for learning disabilities posts a very easy to read statement about 'attributional training' at
Donnie may still walk in the room with an F on his test, but now his teacher can respond with: “Let’s sit down and figure out why your strategy didn’t work and what you can use next time.”

Some of these links relate to changing behaviour with the idea that you have to first acknoweldge that you have some control over what is happening by using internal attributions. The other way to look at this is that when you feel that you have some control over your life you feel happier and are less suseptable to depression.

I think that this is supported in the Mindmatters resources


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