The Hope Factor

The Hope Factor

From the article:

Hope — defined as the combination of ideas, energy and excitement for goals — is a strong motivator, according to Gallup, the research and analytics firm. It affects attendance, engagement and achievement — in school as well as in life.

Sadly, much of the present education reform is deficit- and test-driven. This relentless focus may cause learners to develop a “fixed mindset” rather than the “growth mindset” so necessary to learn from mistakes and develop the confidence, perseverance and self-control required for deep and sustained thinking.

More than just a “soft science,” hope has an authentic biology. The “hopeful” brain emits more endorphins, enkephalins, oxytocins, serotonin and norepinephrine. The fewer of these our brain produces, the less we are able to feel hopeful, according to medical researchers such as Jerome Groopman of Harvard University. These also are the endogenous chemicals that communicate information throughout the brain and body. The hopeful brain strengthens processing and transmission of thoughts and binds them to our memories, intensifying learning.


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