Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's All in the Mindset

Blogging is not easy for me. I read other educator's blogs, and I'm impressed by their deep and philosophical posts. Compared to them, my posts are rather shallow. I tend to report on things I've learned from those other teachers instead of waxing eloquent with my own thoughts. Oh, well - that's not my style. I do hope that the links I mention in my blog are helpful to others. Not many people leave comments, and it gets kind of discouraging thinking I'm writing for an audience of one - me. However, I do have a traffic reporter, and I know that at least 20 or 30 people are looking in a week's or maybe a month's time. I guess I'll have to be content with that. I am of the growth mindset, so I'm willing to take a chance and keep this blog going, if for no other reason than to stretch my own learning. That leads into the title of this post.
This evening I tuned into the Classroom 2.0-Future of Education webinar series. At least once a week Steve Hargadon interviews a person of note who has written a book on the changing face (or not) of our educational system. Tonight he spoke with Carol Dweck - Stanford University professor and social psychologist. Her book, Mindset-The New Psychology of Success - speaks to the "fixed theory of intelligence" and contrasts it with the "growth or incremental" theory of intelligence.

Basically, she is putting forth advice to parents and teachers to praise kids not because they are so "smart" but because they have worked so hard on whatever project they've completed which is receiving praise. According to Carol Dweck, those folks who have the fixed theory don't do well with failure and are hesitant to take chances. On the other hand, folks who've developed the growth theory deal better with failure and "are likely to continue working hard despite setbacks." There is no harm in praising our children/students as long as we phrase it correctly.
I am embedding a slide share that outlines Ms. Dweck's research findings.

Here is a link (dropped into the chat during the webinar) to an article in New York Magazine entitled "The Power(and Peril) of Praise. The article is interesting in and of itself, but it is also important to read through the dozens of comments from folks responding to the text. This is truly a collaborative world we live in, and I often learn much more from the commentary as I do from the article.
If you haven't participated in any of the Classroom 2.0 webinars, I highly recommend them. They are a great source of professional development.
Hope everyone enjoys the last remaining days of summer vacation when we have time and energy to engage in these professional development offerings.
Here is the link to the Classroom 2.0 archived webinars:

1 comment:

Paul Bogush said...

"Compared to them, my posts are rather shallow."
Never question your power ;) Just keep writing and writing and writing. Please remove the tracking device. Write for yourself, not for others. I used to have a counter and feel so much more relaxed since I removed it.

The post below is not aimed at your feeling exactly, but I think every blogger has written what you did at least once!