My youngest granddaughter and I were watching a Barbie dream house movie where everything happens instantly. Cupcakes pop out of toaster like appliances fully decorated, the closet dresses her, and her barbecue produces perfectly assembled hot dogs and hamburgers. The only thing Barbie is lacking is glitter, and that becomes the quest: searching for glitter.
I said to Reese, “Would Barbie pass the marshmallow test?” Remembering her own experience with the marshmallow challenge, the five-year old giggled and responded “Oh no! Never!”
What is the marshmallow test? I recommend watching the youtube video with Joachim de Posada sharing his landmark experiment on delayed gratification (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWURnHkYuxM) and how it can predict future success. Included in his short talk is a video of youngsters trying their hardest not to eat the marshmallow. What I find most interesting is the strategies they use to remain focused on the goal to not eat the marshmallow even when they are very tempted to have instant gratification. What is remarkable is the studies that followed the children collected evidence of the lifelong value of delaying gratification.
So while Barbie has her instant gratification lifestyle, Reese has her Nana reminding her that everything is a process and how much better it is to save our money for a trip to Target than to spend it on the candy placed strategically at the checkout counter. Delaying gratification is a self-regulatory strategy. I am wondering if the common core is attempting to teach young students to strategically approach learning, using tools and strategies to take difficult tests and as a result, raise their self-efficacy for future testing (Regents, SAT, ACT).