As ambassadors of our fields for higher education, we often face students who struggle in our courses divert blame by simply stating that they do not have the aptitude for a specific area. Research has actually found that this occurs early in childhood — where six-year-old girls lose confidence in their intelligence and believe that a story character whose gender is not specified has to a male (see BBC link). There are several strategies in combating this issue: understand the student’s foundation, make the content relatable, and simply encourage the student that the area is not solely based on aptitude but hard-work.
Have other strategies? Feel free to leave us your thoughts in a comment!