Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Thinking about Thinking: Growing or Fixed?

Carol Dweck and her book on Growth Mindset are the focus of our district's 10-minutes of think-time during PD each month.  We're blending the book with online PD modules and face-to-face collaborative discussions.

It's important for us to ask ourselves if we teach with a Growth or Fixed mindset.  

I think I have always acknowledged the power of effort, but I also (mistakenly) assumed that some students were simply better at math and chemistry than others.  In essence, I used my fixed mindset to let myself off the hook by thinking that some of my students just wouldn't get it--no matter what we did in the classroom.  It's hard to admit it, but before brain research changed my idea of teaching and learning, I honestly believed that some kids were just destined for the "D".  Ugh. 

I know that I am not alone in coming to terms with this new realization of the importance of high expectations.  Listen to the opening lines of this discussion between Carol Dweck and Sal Kahn.  I like the hashtag #YouCanLearnAnything.  Really.  Even chemistry.