Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Carol Dweck's MINDSET - So Far . . .

Several people at my school are reading this book this summer, and I was given a copy by an administrator to look through over the summer.  So, I decided to read through it a bit. 

I should also point out that I hope to participate in Justin Staub's Mindset summer book study.  You can find out more on his blog here.  I don't remember what Twitter chat this spark came from, but I jumped on it.  I love book groups, especially book groups with cool smart people conducted via Twitter so I don't have to leave the couch to contribute.  And, of course, it doesn't hurt that I already have a copy of the book and planned to read it already.  

I just spent some time reading through the first several chapters, and I'm kind of ambiguous at this point.  I thought I would work through some of these mixed-up reactions in this post.  

I suppose I'm having two simultaneous reactions to Dweck's brilliant and powerful ideas:
  1. Oh my goodness, this book is about me!  I'm the recovering (I hope) Fixed Mindset dude!
  2. This book is organized poorly.  I feel like I'm reading the same thing over and over again, like I didn't understand it the first time.  
I don't mean to try to take anything away from Dweck.  This is great stuff - I had already heard of the distinction and made the personal connection, but her examples so often reference details that seem to apply to me (like, for example, being extremely competitive and frustrated in a chemistry class in college as a pre-med major).  And, of course, that distinction (between the "growth" mindset and the "fixed" mindset) is so powerful and so relevant to teaching - and the fixed mindset is so dangerously common - that this is a very important book.  

But I struggled through several of the chapters, asking myself, "Didn't she already explain this?  Didn't I already read this?"  It feels like she's repeating herself.  (It feels like she's repeating herself.  It feels . .)

I'll keep reading - I finally made it to the chapter about sports and the fixed/growth mindset, something that I think is really interesting.  I hope it doesn't feel quite so redundant.  
Post a Comment