Saturday, April 4, 2009
This podcast was made available by Standford University, and featured Carol Dweck. She is a Professor of Psychology, and the author of the book "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success". She talks about a mindset of growth as opposed to a fixed mindset. The difference in the two being that with a growth mindset a person never quits learning. She spoke about students first. She said that there are many students who think their basic intelligence is just a fixed trait. They are the ones who decide whether or not to do something based on if they will look smart or not. Other students feel that they have an intelligence that they can develop and grow.
An 8 session workshop was developed and half the students received study skills and a growth mindset teaching. The other half of the study got all study skills. The students who received the growth mindset lessons were told brain is a muscle that gets stronger with use, and their grades improved. The other students had no change in their grades.
There were other groups that Dr. Dweck spoke of. One of these groups was race car drivers. She is currently researching to see if Race Car drivers can benefit from a growth mindset. The races last for hours and mistakes are made. The ability to learn from those mistakes will make a better race car driver. Another group of individuals is the individuals in the business world. In the business world flexibility is paramount and essential to success. It is important to admit mistakes and learn from them. She says that to be a good manager, you have to have a growth mindset.
This is a topic that I had not ever thought about. It makes sense that there would be two types of people or mindsets in people. Some people you see, you know that they are going to go far in life. You see them always studying, always learning, always reaching for the next level. There are also people who you wonder if they have the sense to come in out of the rain. They never seem to care about school, learning, or reaching for the next thing. They seem content to let life slide past, always watching instead of doing. I want to be the kind of teacher who motivates my students. I want to make learning fun and educational. I also hope to create a space where all students feel safe enough to ask and do, no matter what anyone else thinks about them. I was always told that there are no dumb questions. I want to pass that little bit of wisdom on to my students, as well as the knowledge that they are not "stuck" with the intelligence they currently possess, but that they can continue to learn their entire life. Don't forget, you brain is like a muscle. It will get stronger with repeated use!