Monday, April 2, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Mindset by Carol Dweck

On Friday I went to a Common Core Conference and the speaker, Dr. Cathy Lassiter, repeatedly referred to the professional book, Mindset by Carol Dweck .  She emphasized that we need to address the mindsets of teachers and students if we are going to have rigor in the curriculum.  Carol Dweck believes in two mindsets: fixed and growth.  Teachers with a growth mindset look at students as clay, believing that they are malleable and will learn anything you teach them.  Teachers with a fixed mindset aren’t as persistent in their teaching and think that certain students either are equipped with what they need to learn or don’t have what it takes.  Students with a fixed mindset are more likely to give up because they think they can’t do it, while students with a growth mindset will persevere and keep trying while enjoying the challenge. 

I listened to this explanation of mindsets, and I was thankful to my grandfather for instilling the growth mindset into me at an early age.  I can still hear his words, “You can do anything you put your mind to” and “Your knowledge is yours to keep forever; no one can ever take it away.” I always welcome challenges, take risks as a learner, and expand my comfort zone to extend my learning to higher levels.  Thank you Papa Joe for helping me become a lifelong learner like you! In addition to being thankful to my grandfather, I immediately had pictures in my mind of students who repeatedly say, “I can’t do this” or “I will never be able to…” and knew I had to read this book to learn more about the fixed mindset that these students have.  I immediately texted Melanie Meehan and asked if I could borrow the book to read this weekend.  

Some of the highlights from Mindset by Carol Dweck are:

People with a Growth Mindset:
·        thrive on a challenge
·        persevere
·        thrive when they are stretching themselves
·        say, “I don’t know how to do that yet”, and
·        are determined.

People with a Fixed Mindset:
·        lose interest when things get too challenging
·        stay interested only when they do well right away, and
·        say, “I can’t do that”.

I am going to share these highlights with my students this week and make them more aware of what kind of mindset they currently have, and how they can make changes if they have a fixed mindset.  I agree with Dr. Lassiter that we can’t have rigor in our curriculum until we address the mindset issues, but I also believe that these are lifelong skills that we need to teach students so they can expand their dreams. 

Happy Reading! :)

1 comment:

  1. My husband read this last summer because they bought it for all the teachers at his school to discuss. He talked to me about it a lot but I haven't read it yet. (He's the PE teacher and he liked that there were so many connections to sports.) It sounds like a book I would love. I believe in the power of a positive outlook. My dad used to tell me, "Nothing is impossible, if broken down into manageable segments, stabilized by balance, and purified by belief." He told me that all the time, any time I had a problem or was overwhelmed, he would tell me this. It's pretty powerful advice and I think it is a great example of developing a can-do mindset! Thanks for the reminder that I really want to read this book!