Sunday, April 5, 2009

"Growth" v.s. "Fixed" Minds

The lady that was being interview in the podcast, Carol Dweck, seemed like a rather interesting individual. Nonetheless, I see where see was going as far as the "Growth" v.s. "Fixed" Mindset. The world and education are always changing. Kids in middle school now do the same math that I am doing in college, but when I was in middle school that high of a math wasn't taught. Technology has increased and further expanded which has made the knowledge of most teachers and students broaden. You will achieve nothing in an evolving world with a "Fixed" mindset.

The best example I can give to this topic is by using the great former college basketball coach Bobby Knight. In the 1970's and 1980's when Coach Knight was at Indiana, there was no Three-point Line, not Shot Clock, no Defensive Three Seconds. With a great basketball I.Q., Coach Knight lead Indiana to three National Championships, including the 1976 undefeated team, which is the last team to finish a season undefeated in college basketball. In the mid 1980's the shot clock was introduce, along with the three-point line. But Coach Knight had and still has what you call a "fixed" mindset. Even thought the game of basketball was evolving right in front of him, he believed he could coach the same way he did in the 1970's. Coach Knight went on to become the winningest coach since then but didn't win a championship since his last in 1987. And it's all because he would change his "fixed" mindset.

If you want to be a teacher now, you have to have a "growth" mindset. You want your students to enjoy learning, you want them to be curious and ask questions, and as a teacher you want to try to make learning fun. I have had teachers that were fixed in their ways and had taught me the exact way that they had taught students twenty years before me, and that experience benefited no one.

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