In The News… Links of the Week

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Mindset by Carol Dweck is one of the most recent books that really changed my perspective about teaching and about leading a successful life.  It’s always nice to share a book with others and have them love it as much as (or more than!) you do; when I suggested my mom read Mindset, I had no idea how much it would also mean to her.  This week, Brainology Tweeted a Dweck interview called “Carol Dweck on Success.”

First, if you’re not already following @Brainology on Twitter, it’s an excellent resource for Dweck’s research and motivation for both students and teachers on developing that growth mindset.  Next, it’s a great idea to read “Carol Dweck on Success” to learn more about Dweck and her ideas about growth versus fixed mindset.  Here is my favorite quote from the article:

“I believe the self-esteem movement distorted our intuitions. They told us that if we praised people as lavishly and frequently as possible we would give them confidence, and if they had confidence then achievement would follow. People bought this hook, line and sinker and it became common sense. Our research showed that this was wrong, but it will take a long time to retrain conventional wisdom” (Source).

I couldn’t agree more.  This “self-esteem movement” has certainly changed students’ attitudes toward education.  When the emphasis is on “you need to work hard” versus “you’re special,” education is about learning and earning a grade versus this sense of entitlement many students feel.  It’s difficult to tell students the truth, but no, you’re not actually special.  You’re EXACTLY like everyone else.  In order to separate yourself from the pack, you’ve got to put your nose down and work your butt off.

What I love so much about Dweck is that she focuses on the broken education system but, unlike so many others, she gives reasonable solutions we can start implementing today in our classrooms.

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The second must-read article of the week is called “10 Business Cliches That Prove You’re Lazy” by, of course, Inc.’s Jeff Haden.  Haden tells us we need to get real about using these platitudes, and I couldn’t have picked a better time to read his wise words.  At work this week, a colleague used one of these (“There’s no need to reinvent the wheel”), and, when she said it, I was surprised by my strong negative reaction.  Haden says about the wheel, “Because hey, your wheel might turn out to be a better wheel, which means my wheel wasn’t so great. And we can’t have that” (Source).  I also love what Haden says about the overused phrase, “It just wasn’t meant to be.”  He argues, “Fate had nothing to do with it. Something went wrong. Figure out what went wrong and learn from it” (Source).  As with Dweck, I love that Haden doesn’t sugar coat his advice and instead encourages us to stop being so lazy and ridiculous.  We can actually work hard and change things, and this is what Dweck’s growth mindset is all about.

My final article recommendation comes from TED Blog and is called “10 Talks From Inspiring Teachers.”  As a superteacher, I never stop pushing myself to learn more so that I can guide my students toward a firmer grasp on the subject we’re studying.  I love that TED is so committed to education, and this blog post is no different.  Beginning with the story of an educator driven to change students’ lives, the blog post also offers us 9 additional TED Talks on education and school.  I’ve already watched Liz Coleman’s “A Call To Reinvent Liberal Arts Education,” a talk I would highly recommend for any superteacher, so today, I’ll have to start watching the rest of these.  Have you seen any?  Where should I start?

Most importantly, what great articles have you read this week?

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