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It’s a label that more and more of our children are living with… Students with Disabilities. More recently, this label has given me great pause. As an educator and as a father of a six-year-old, I feel the term immediately puts a child at a huge disadvantage. Instead of focusing on a child’s abilities and celebrating a child’s gifts, it raises doubt about what a child is able to do and automatically assumes that a child cannot do something. Instead of embracing a growth mindset, it puts all of us in a fixed mindset. So, how can we overcome this?
Looking Beyond the Classroom
If you observe a group of students in a traditional classroom setting, chances are it wouldn’t take you very long to see which students are struggling. Chances are those students have been labeled as learning disabled, and chances are those students have accepted this label, which seems like a permanent tattoo. Yet, when you observe this same group of students in the art room, music room, gymnasium, computer lab, etc., that permanent tattoo seems to magically disappear. Many of the students who were struggling in the “traditional” classroom shine in other subject areas. If only all subject areas were equally valued and rewarded.
Oprah Winfrey delivered this inspiring commencement speech at Harvard University this summer. She shares her truths and emotions when her network was experiencing failure ("I felt I was stuck in a hole.").
She explains what it is like to rebound after a very public failure. "If you are constantly pushing yourself higher and higher, you will at some point fail." She goes on to explain that "failure is just life trying to move us in another direction."
Watch her speech (the story begins at minute 5:05) and hear this accomplished woman speak to us about writing the story of "who you want to be."
About Mindset Works
Mindset Works was co-founded by one of the world's leading researchers in the field of motivation, Stanford University professor Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. and K-12 mindset expert Lisa S. Blackwell, Ph.D. The Company translates psychological research into practical products and services to help students and educators increase their motivation and achievement. For more information, visit http://www.mindsetworks.com.
Based on Silver's new book, Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8: Teaching Kids to Succeed
“You are not the boss of me!” “You can’t tell me what to do!” “I want to do it my way!” These are age-old proclamations from young people who want to declare their independence. Edward Deci and Richard Ryan (Deci, 1995), founders of self-determination theory, believe that autonomy, competence, and relatedness are essential in helping children to become self-actualized individuals. The concept of autonomy is particularly worth exploring because it not only helps build a growth mindset, but it also helps to instill a healthy sense of independence in kids.
Children perceive their circumstances as either autonomous or as controlled. With a perception of autonomy, individuals are willing to do what they are doing and embrace the activity with a sense of interest and commitment. If the situation is perceived as controlling, they will act without a sense of personal endorsement; they feel manipulated. Autonomy does not necessarily mean that one has strictly to “go it alone,” but rather it means that one is acting with a sense of choice and volition. This can happen simultaneously while one is enjoying interdependence with others.
5 Tips on Promoting Autonomy in Learners
Ever wonder how having a growth mindset impacts participation in STEM fields such as game design and coding? Zulama game designers met with growth mindset experts in a google hangout to find out.