Cognitive Development: Reflecting the Growth Mindset

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Cognitive Development: Reflecting the Growth Mindset

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Concrete, brick, steel, and wood these building materials have been used for years to fabricate the most essential aspects of our lives. They can be used to create the tallest buildings, longest highways, or even complicated safety equipment that protect the ones we love. It is these rigid, yet extremely strong, components we have come to rely on. These cornerstones of our history symbolize strength, power, and an enduring arua for human civilization. We have even create similes,metaphors, and nursery rhymes embracing the unique features of these basic building materials reassuring us strength, power, and solid foundations are essential in society. “Hard as a rock”, “Man of Steel”, The Three Little Pigs Now do a 180! What do you mean, you may ask.

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Well these aspects so ingrained in our society have also been taught for many years to our youth. We have been preaching about strength of mind, intelligence quotients, test scores, and so many other limited (rigid) thoughts. These mindsets are easily correlated to the norms we have established but according to research are not the best for our children's development of their thought processes. This book, based off research conducted by Carol Dweck, shows a month by month blueprint how to teach ourselves and our students to have a more fluid approach to learning. It demonstrates real world applications for moving away from a “fixed mindset” to a “growth mindset”. It is the dichotomous relationship between fixed and growth that makes this an extremely challenging issue for teachers today. The problem lies within our own natural predispositions as to whether we are inherently “fixed” or “growth” oriented. This hardwired mentality is like the old angel and devil on your shoulder trying to convince you to think one way or the other. This internal battle clearly demonstrates we have both mindsets within us. T

his problem of having both mindsets working at one time is what this book attempts to address. It lays out a monthly plan demonstrating our ability to teach our students how to realize they have these mindsets and how to promote a growth mindset over a fixed mindset. As mentioned in the book a great way to think about how to build your style of mindset is to consider the following Cherokee Indian legend: A grandfather is talking to his grandson about life. The grandfather tells the grandson that the has two wolves inside him. One wolf is evil -- it is greed, envy, hatred, arrogance, and darkness. The other wolf is good -- it is generosity, hope, love, humility, and light. These two wolves -- the good and the evil -- are at battle within all people, the grandfather tells his grandson.

The grandson looks at the grandfather and ask, “Which wolf wins?” The grandfather replies, “The one you feed.” Which mindset will overcome? The one we develop and nurture. Feed your curiosity, inquisitiveness, and your inner light. Focus on getting better learning from mistakes and you will enhance your growth mindset. Thus enhancing your ability to achieve.

Works cited

  1. Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. Random House.
  2. Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1087-1101.
  3. Blackwell, L. S., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Dweck, C. S. (2007). Implicit theories of intelligence predict achievement across an adolescent transition: A longitudinal study and an intervention. Child development, 78(1), 246-263.
  4. Boaler, J. (2015). Mathematical mindsets: Unleashing students' potential through creative math, inspiring messages and innovative teaching. John Wiley & Sons.
  5. LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic self: How our brains become who we are. Penguin Books.
  6. Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006). Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational psychologist, 41(2), 75-86.
  7. Pink, D. H. (2009). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. Penguin.
  8. Argyris, C. (1977). Double loop learning in organizations. Harvard Business Review, 55(5), 115-125.
  9. Brown, B. (2012). Daring greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. Penguin.
  10. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2008). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. HarperCollins.

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