A recent Blog post by Eugene Wallingford raises the issue that students often perform according to their perception of their abilities rather than their actual abilities. If a student performs better than their "natural abilities" suggest then all is well, of course. However some students do less well than they might simply because they think they aren't "smart enough" to do better.
It is a well-known phenomenon, at least in the US, that some students do poorly in math because they have the belief that "I can't do math." Often enough, however it is just lack of exposure or poor teaching that got them to that belief. It might even be a single bad experience. The same is likely true in other technical subjects. For that matter, it may be true in most subjects, but it may also be that the problem is more likely to be overlooked in, say, History.
The author of this believes that success comes from interest and hard work not natural ability, but that may not satisfy many students. In fact, saying "you just need to work harder" may increase their frustration, rather than their confidence.
Of course a self-perceived lack of ability can easily lead to a lack of interest.
The question, then, is:
What can the instructor do to overcome feelings in the students that being a CS Superstar simply isn't in their future, and so help them not settle for less than they might achieve?
Some ideas might be interesting ways to speak to them, but hopefully many of you have seen this and have creative ways (exercises, teams, ..., anything) that can get a student to live beyond their self-perceived limitations.
Authenticity Bias is a common phenomenon in recently promoted professionals who have new responsibilities. It is the sense of being a fraud in their new position. "This isn't me, I'm playing a role." Often the role demands behavior different from what they are comfortable with. Many, however, have found that not accepting the new role is a path to failure. Falling back on old habits, "the real me" simply fails in the new role.
On the other hand, playing the new role consciously for a while can lead to a "new me", overcoming the Authenticity Bias.