Educational books and theories come and go, but every now and then a few float to the top of the pile, in terms of buzz by actual teachers.
At the recent TCCTA annual convention, during a panel discussion on student success, Gail Malone, South Plains College, mentioned Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. The book is available in paperback and digital formats.
Those in the audience during the discussion also spoke favorably of the book, as well as the highly regarded accompanying Website.
At first blush, Dr. Dweck's general paradigm seems most appropriate for parents and teachers of young children. However, community college teachers at the conference said the basic points, bolstered by empirical evidence on how our brains really work, have much to say about learning at all levels.
Faculty members who may be concerned—given the present emphasis on student success—about a decline in academic standards, may find the above information especially pertinent.
The pedagogical strategy coming out of Dr. Dweck's research is not to let students off easy, but precisely the opposite.
From the Amazon review:
World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea—the power of our mindset.
Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success–but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals—personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.