It has now been almost five weeks since this class, Information Fluency and Inquiry Learning (FRIT 7234), has begun. It’s time for me to sit down with my goals that I made at the beginning of the class and evaluate them.
I believe that I am on track for two of my three goals! I have learned about a few new web 2.0 tools, specifically dealing with infographics, that I have saved to my bookmarks on my browser, and plan on incorporating into the classroom. I have also taken what information I have learned so far and brought it into the classroom, as well. For instance, while subbing last week, I helped a middle school student narrow down search results on Google and suggest tips for getting better results. This is something that I would not have been able to do had it not been before this class. Therefore, I would say that I am progressing nicely through my goals for the class.
While reading Even Geniuses Work Hard, by Carol S. Dweck, I noticed the two growth mindsets that she listed within her article: fixed and growth. Once I was finished with the article, I spent a considerable amount of time trying to place myself within a mindset – where exactly did I belong? How did I view knowledge? And, more importantly, how did I view myself within the knowledge spectrum?
After a considerable amount of time had passed, I believed that I had the answer. I think that I belong within the growth mindset. I believe that everyone can develop intelligence, I value effort, I respond well to obstacles, and I view challenging work as an opportunity to grow.
Ms. Dweck also made sure to point out in her article that a fixed mindset was not a very positive way to think. Those with a fixed mindset believe that you are born intelligent, they value looking smart “over everything else,” they do not like effort, and they do not handle setbacks well. This is obviously not conducive to a positive classroom environment. Ms. Dweck points this out within her article, as well as offers a suggestion:
… teachers need to create a growth-mindset culture in the classroom. One way to create such a culture is by providing the right kinds of praise and encouragement.
I believe that this is something that all teachers should strive for. There are some students who definitely are too hard on themselves, and definitely are stuck in the fixed mindset. However, that’s not saying that they’ll be viewing education and intelligence the same way forever. Teachers can change the way that students view intelligence, education, and their own personal worth by offering the right kinds of feedback, just as Ms. Dweck suggests in her article.