Why are not some children good students and others? Are they simply gifted or intelligent? They are nerds who just learn all day? Or will they be better supported by parents and teachers and encouraged? We have put ourselves on the search for the secret of good students.

Anyone who thinks positive, learn better

Student blackboard in the background

Photo: © iStockphoto.com/ J-Elgaard

Education is more than ever the key to success. Annette Schavan has brought it to the point: "educational opportunities open up opportunities in life," says the Minister of Education. In fact, good students have a better chance: on school success, good training places, the desired degree from a renowned university, the dream job, money and prestige. But what are really good students? Prodigies with straight-A average? Nerd who cram all the time? And how is a child at all at a good student? Through diligent learning? Or is the school success in the genes? The secret of good student not only concerned parents. also explore an army of educators what successful students do differently than less successful.

Pure timpani it is not before. This was discovered by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania. In a long-term project, the research team has evaluated by the psychologist Martin Seligmann, a number of studies on the success of learning programs from the past 20 years with data from more than 2,000 pupils aged eight to 15 years. Their finding: More important than the cramming of the learning material, the inner attitude. Children who think positive and confident approach to new tasks, learning better than others. Because they can assess their strengths and abilities better. This helps them to react flexibly to new challenges, to see problems realistically and calmly deal with stress.

The inner attitude is more important than pure timpani

But not only the attitude, the ability to concentrate is an important factor for successful learning. Attention and concentration provide crucial capital for the success of the school and professional career is (and will in the course of a child's normal development, when it is allowed to play in peace and is exposed to excessive sensory overload, all by itself with training). This finding confirms the medical Joshua Breslau of the University of California. He and his team have evaluated in a long-term study data from observations of educational styles and Testing of more than 700 children from kindergarten to 17 years of age. The result: children who showed an early age attention deficits, these were throughout their school career not let go - correspondingly poor fell from their school performance. Good students against it was easy to focus and organize their thoughts. Parents and teachers, the US researchers, should take early signs of attention and concentration weaknesses necessarily serious and the cause get to the bottom: the child bored in class? What is the situation at home, there is plenty of scope to engage in peace with one thing? Is read? Or are computer and TV consumption in the foreground? It is difficult for the child to longer period of time to focus on a task? In this case, targeted training and concentration games such as puzzle help.

So is the secret of good student in positive thinking and a good ability to concentrate? Both of which play an important role. In addition, good students also have a distinct cognitive, social and emotional intelligence. But the important thing is: You are curious and have an interest in experimentation, exploring and learning. "Good students are interested in many things. They do not learn because they have to but because they want to. They draw from their potential and bring it to unfold. And if they get excited on her special area of ​​interest that radiates to areas that are less popular, such as grammar or math"Which Adolf Timm explained. The former school principal believes that every child is naturally inquisitive: "All children want to learn. And parents will be surprised what's in their offspring. "The task of parents either, so Timm," exercise good authority "to motivate their children and to promote selbstentdeckendes learning.

You can be good at school without "to learn throughout the day, says the nine-year-old Erik. And he's right: "Good students often do not even learn a great deal, but effectively," the high school teacher Ruth Bergner has found. "They have a high understanding and a take most active part in the lessons. They prefer to work independently and are often pretty neat, well organized and ambitious ". "With topics that interest them, my sons like to employ, in their free time. They ask questions, make their own thoughts and enjoy it, to share it with others. Memorization, however, they get bored, "adds Angela Dietrich, mother of two very good student.

Even good students have once bad grades

"Those who are only focused on school, is a nerd, "the eleven-year old Lukas says. "Good students have other interests and learn only when it is necessary." Even school teacher Ruth Bergner attested good students a very pragmatic approach to learning: "They are enthusiastic about some subjects and find other barren. In its luster subjects they are on top form in the ungeliebteren they do the learning stint after a tight cost-benefit calculation. In principle, however they like to go to school. And unlike unmotivated and totally disinterested students it does matter to them whether they learn Bismarck's social legislation or the phone book. Therefore, they remain on the ball if not the same set of success. "

In our school system notes are after all the main parameters for measuring learning success. "Therefore, one can only speak of success at school when a student is able to demonstrate his knowledge and ability as well. And he must be able to know that he has acquired in a certain context to be transferred to another context, "explains Professor Nele McElvany, director of the Institute for School Development Research at the Technical University of Dortmund. "With intelligence and knowledge alone is not enough. Also motivation and attitude play an important role. Test anxiety and apathy about can impede learning, while motivation and a positive attitude to their own skills are conducive to learning. All these factors play an important role in learning. "

That learning success is measured in grades, but does not mean that only children who write good grades, good students. "Even good students write times bad grades, but that does not mean that they are so bad," says nine-year Dina. Her mother Ingunn adds: "Bad marks belong to learn it. They incite the ambition to do better next time. " By the way, just gifted children sometimes have bad grades. Your talent may not be recognized and will not be required according to their abilities and promoted. The result: you get bored, turn off in the classroom and their school performance diminish.

Like the parents decide on school success

Before parents now keep their children for gifted when bringing this rather poor grades home, they should ask themselves how they can support their offspring. Especially in Germany, the school success of children depends to a large extent of their social background and the circumstances from the parental home. "Many studies have shown that the academic success of a child in Germany fails the less, the lower are the socio-economic status and professional or school education of his parents. On the other hand go positive values ​​on education with higher academic success of the child accompanied," as an educational researcher Nele McElvany. Josef Kraus, president of the Teachers' Association, puts it succinctly: "If it does not work at home, it does not work well in school."

According to the Pisa study of 2,009 parents have a greater impact on school success of their children as a teacher and teaching together. Therefore, ex-school principal Adolf Timm looks especially parents have a duty. Together with the youth researcher Klaus Hurrelmann, professor of public health and education at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, and director of the Shell Youth Study, he has developed a training that parents should make learning coaches of their children. He is convinced: "The school and especially the parents awaken the joy of learning, if they do not fill the barrels, but ignite flames, as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus put it. A child needs parents who see themselves as learners, understand the family as a place of learning and give the signal to the child that they trust him something, but expect something from him. Thus, the positive self-assessment 'of the child is strengthened - and this is a crucial prerequisite for success at school. "

Parents are role models

Children need security and stability. So parents give their child self-confidence and a positive attitude: Show him your love and appreciation every day. Take it seriously. Are you interested in his desires, dreams and worries. Show him that you believe in it and that it is a valuable person, regardless of his performance. A variety of suggestions to promote curiosity: books, read aloud, joint activities and explore. So parents give education as a desirable goal. Children are based on parental role model: When are foster father and mother diverse interests, committed and show perseverance when things get difficult, show your children on the right path. Children should see their parents as learners who handle open and optimistic with challenges.

(Self) promote motivation: Support the interests of your child and selbstentdeckendes learning. Encourage it to try new things, to make better or different - and at their own pace. Children need support in learning, but also freedom to try out themselves. Therefore, it is important that they learn to work independently. It is sufficient if parents offer support; impose they do not need them. Intervention is only necessary if concentration problems or school problems. Are you interested in the school and the learning behavior of your child. Find out when and how they learn best. You can assist it to discover effective techniques that promote concentration and facilitate learning. Do not take school and grades too important. Avoid exerting excessive pressure on your child.

Further reading

  • Adolf Timm: The Laws of school success: The training book for parents.
    Kallmeyer Verlag, 19,95 €
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Hurrelmann, Adolf Timm: children, education, future.
    Klett-Cotta, 19,95 €
  • Christoph Eichhorn: In poor grades good parents help.
    Klett-Cotta, 14.95 EUR
  • Antoine de LaGaranderie and Daniel Arquie: Learning how is available
    Ariston, 14.90 EUR

Web Links

  • Website for parents Training of Adolf Timm and Professor Dr. Klaus Hurrelmann
  • Website of the German Children and Youth Foundation with information on programs and publications on learning success
  • Exemplary support program in Saxony-Anhalt