Learning is the process of change or growth that comes from life experiences. Intelligence is malleable – what we focus on we will learn. The life long learning that shows up in mission statements is about creating and maintaining a positive attitude to learning. It’s a passion for learning that comes from deep within. Learning because the learner wants to: it is a deliberate and voluntary act. It’s a cycle of motivation, examination, reflection, and growth that continues beyond the classroom door. As a teacher, I create a culture that nurtures a learning mindset – acknowledging that I too am a learner.
I spent the weekend with Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. It was a wonderful journey. My husband and I had a quick – child free – road trip to visit friends and I found myself reading and talking to him about the ideas in this book. There are chapters about parenting, leadership, coaching and even how to reach that shy student in the back of the classroom. The book was recommended by within Angela Maiers’ book The Passion Driven Classroom and provides evidence for having a growth rather than a fixed mind-set.
I feel much more able to handle the students who say, “That’s too hard,” “I’m not one of those smart students,” or “Why do you want us to work so hard?” I am also ready to take on teachers who refer to certain students as “losers” and that coach who judges kids more than he inspires them! Watch out world!
On a more humble note, I have to work on how I talk to my kids to get them excited about working hard – and this book provides many useful ideas for just where to start.