For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in school children is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated, it is often used to measure emotional strength.
I am intigued by this story. Could it be that kids who struggle with dyslexia learn this 'lesson' of eastern culture about the value of struggle and practice? Perhaps when successful dyslexics describe the "gift" of dyslexia as learning to "work hard" they actually are referring to a growth mindset that emphasizes the necessity of struggle, practice and persistence. Let me add however that a child won't persist unless they have support from home or school to bolster confidence.--Lou
"...In 1979, when Jim Stigler was still a graduate student at the University of Michigan, he went to Japan to research teaching methods and found himself sitting in the back row of a crowded fourth-grade math class.
"The teacher was trying to teach the class how to draw three-dimensional cubes on paper," Stigler explains, "and one kid was just totally having trouble with it. His cube looked all cockeyed, so the teacher said to him, 'Why don't you go put yours on the board?' So right there I thought, 'That's interesting! He took the one who can't do it and told him to go and put it on the board.' "
Stigler knew that in American classrooms, it was usually the best kid in the class who was invited to the board. And so he watched with interest as the Japanese student dutifully came to the board and started drawing, but still couldn't complete the cube. Every few minutes, the teacher would ask the rest of the class whether the kid had gotten it right, and the class would look up from their work, and shake their heads no. And as the period progressed, Stigler noticed that he — Stigler — was getting more and more anxious.
But the kid didn't break into tears. Stigler says the child continued to draw his cube with equanimity. "And at the end of the class, he did make his cube look right! And the teacher said to the class, 'How does that look, class?' And they all looked up and said, 'He did it!' And they broke into applause." The kid smiled a huge smile and sat down, clearly proud of himself..."