Thursday, September 24, 2015

English: Learn to look at things from different angles.

Learn to look at things from different angles.

Today's cat is inspired by Carol Dweck's very helpful article in Education Week: Carol Dweck Revisits the 'Growth Mindset.' (Thanks to George Station for sharing that at Twitter!)

Dweck covers some important points here: she explains that the growth mindset approach is not the new self-esteem movement (just the opposite!), and she also worries about teachers blaming students and the students' supposedly "fixed mindsets" for not learning. I don't see much evidence of that second problem, but I would say the first problem (growth mindset misunderstood as the new self-esteem) is a big problem indeed.

In addition, Dweck also addresses the issue of false growth mindset in teachers, and I would say that is very true too: if teachers themselves cannot shed their own perfectionism and prejudices, they are not going to be able to do a very good job of helping students learn from their mistakes.

It seems to me that growth mindset has to be something different than what we have done before: it cannot just be the same-old same-old. To grow and really learn, you need to challenge yourself to look at things in new ways — and that applies to teachers as much as to students. For some great reflections on growing and changing as a teacher, see these wonderful posts from Robert Talbert and Pernille Ripp:
The image is from cheezburger.

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