Much has been said about growth mindset and grit this year and for good reason. When learners begin valuing growth and learning over grades and the production of perfect final works, great things happen. When they’re able to persevere, even through moments of frustration, they typically meet with success. It makes sense that teachers are compelled by these topics, and I’m grateful to those who have brought these conversations to the forefront. Even as people debate their origins and share cautionary tales about interpretation, we’re learning much that can influence practice in critical ways.
For instance, I often wonder if human beings are naturally inclined toward these dispositions. I also wonder how much of what we do inside of schools inadvertently compromises their development. What would we need to do in order to help them thrive–organically?
I don’t know about you, but in my experience, the way some schools strive to embrace a growth mindset and coach perseverance feels more a bit more like indoctrination than education. I worry that in the end, we’re reducing beautiful things to buzz words and oversimplified lists of dos and don’ts. I worry that in the end, we’re doing more harm than good.
Via John Evans, Miloš Bajčetić