Saturday, February 9, 2013

Re-visiting Mindset

Of all the education books, articles, blogs, and studies I've read, Carol Dweck's Mindset has had the greatest impact on my day to day teaching. When my new school announced we were going to be reading it this winter I was ridiculously excited for the chance to re-read it and get to discuss it with my new co-workers. 

I've written about Mindset frequently on here, both in terms of how it framed up how I thought about  my own thinking, how it influences how I praise and interact with my students, and how I interpret other education philosophies like Responsive Classroom, Patterns of Thinking, and general good teaching strategies. Needless to say, I love this book. Almost every time I give a child praise I find myself thinking of the research in my head. Either reminding me that saying "SO SMART!" to a child isn't really the best idea even though the words just came out of my mouth, or in trying to frame my feedback in terms of working hard and labeling specific strategies that children use.

Reading it again I have two totally new perspectives. One is as a parent and how I need to frame my language with my daughter from the very beginning. (And how hard is it to not tell your child that they are so smart, because, I mean, they are. 18 months ago she was in my womb, and 14 months ago she couldn't do much but smile, poop, and sleep. Now she can TALK. And WALK. And say "NO! NO! No!" ) The other perspective is as a teacher of students with intellectual disabilities. 

I'm really looking forward to re-reading and re-thinking about different mindsets. You'll have to excuse me because I foresee many blog posts on the subject. I apologize in advance. In just re-reading the first chapter I had to stop myself from writing three different posts. They are coming, I'm sure, over Little L's naptimes...

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