kitchen table math, the sequel: Another one bites the dust

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Another one bites the dust

Carol Dweck's "growth mindset" has been hijacked by constructivists:
Recently, someone asked what keeps me up at night. It’s the fear that the mindset concepts, which grew up to counter the failed self-esteem movement, will be used to perpetuate that movement. In other words, if you want to make students feel good, even if they’re not learning, just praise their effort! Want to hide learning gaps from them? Just tell them, “Everyone is smart!” The growth mindset was intended to help close achievement gaps, not hide them. It is about telling the truth about a student’s current achievement and then, together, doing something about it, helping him or her become smarter.

I also fear that the mindset work is sometimes used to justify why some students aren’t learning: “Oh, he has a fixed mindset.” We used to blame the child’s environment or ability.

Must it always come back to finding a reason why some children just can’t learn, as opposed to finding a way to help them learn?

Carol Dweck Revisits the 'Growth Mindset'
Yes, Carol, it must.

All cool-sounding psychology concepts will be used to justify the fact that some children aren't learning.

Growth mindset, grit, noncognitive skills, what have you.

Whatever you've got, it will be used to blame failure on children and parents (and poverty, where  applicable).

Not on teachers, administrators, schools, ed schools, teaching philosophies, curriculum, or lack of curriculum.

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