Thursday, June 27, 2019

Schools Matter: Research Debunks Mischel's Conclusions from "The Marshmallow Test"

Schools Matter: Research Debunks Mischel's Conclusions from "The Marshmallow Test"

Research Debunks Mischel's Conclusions from "The Marshmallow Test"

KIPP Model schools have long used Walter Mischel's research on delayed gratification among children to justify an indoctrination program aimed to manipulate economically-oppressed children to behave as corporate ed reformers would like: work hard, be nice, use self-control, and wait until your just rewards come to you, even if that happens to be NEVER.  As I wrote in my 2016 book,
[t]he philanthrocapitalists and their think tank scholars quote liberally from the work of Walter Mischel (1989, 2014), whose experiments with delayed gratification among preschoolers provide the dominant metaphor for another generation of paternalist endeavors.  In Mischel’s experiments, children were offered a single marshmallow immediately or two marshmallows later if they could delay their reward.  The test, which came to be labeled “The Marshmallow Test,” represents the potential to delay gratification in order to gain a larger reward later on.
        At many of the KIPP, Aspire, Achievement First, and Yes Prep schools, children wear t-shirts emblazoned with “Don’t Eat the Marshmallow.” Mischel’s (2014) latest work, The marshmallow test: Mastering self-controlacknowledges KIPP’s prominent role and places it within the context of recent research on improving self-control.  David Levin has made Mischel’s book a central component in his Coursera massive open online course (MOOC), Teaching character and creating positive classrooms, which was first offered with co-instructor, Angela Duckworth, in 2014. 
The Atlantic reported last June on new research showing that Mischel's conclusions were flawed.

. . . .Ultimately, the new study finds limited support for the idea that being able to delay gratification leads to better outcomes. Instead, it suggests that the capacity to hold out for a second marshmallow is shaped in large part by a child’s social and economic background—and, in turn, that that background, not the ability to delay gratification, is what’s behind kids’ long-term success. . . .

. . . .This new paper found that among kids whose mothers had a college degree, those who CONTINUE READING: Schools Matter: Research Debunks Mischel's Conclusions from "The Marshmallow Test"