18 thoughts on “Planting Seeds of Change…

  1. This is an excellent synopsis of methods of dealing with the “homework problem.” Also, thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll be ordering that one! Thanks.

    Darlena

  2. This is great Erica! When I was in college in a philosophy class looking at different ethical standpoints, I was most interested in Aristotle, following the logic that one’s reason for pursuing a destination was for the sake of the pursuit (“the journey IS the destination”).

    In the midst of reading this article now, I’m thinking about how an incremental mindset applies to videogames. It’s not often that a player seeks the ending of a videogame to simply witness the end cinematic – they can look that up on YouTube if they want. It’s much more about the process and the actions involved in getting to the end. Even when a player decides to seek out a special skill or weapon for their character, it’s for the sake of using it, not just carrying around an “end result.”

    I’m happy to read something that provides validity to how I feel about this topic 😀

    1. Thanks, Will! My thoughts, exactly, on how video gaming can connect with these ideas about intellectual growth and motivation (it struck me most clearly when we were watching the documentary screening last month). In general, the challenge inherent in thinking about mindsets is that they themselves grow over time — it’s not just one action and one reaction that makes a mindset, but rather a long standing pattern of effort and proper attribution to the cause of the outcome yielded by the effort — and video games can do just that. It’s much harder to think about how to give each and every student in a live-action classroom the kind of feedback they need for a growth mindset, but certainly not impossible in that format either. Another “notion” attributed to a great thinker (Einstein) that fits here too is the idea that “…the search for truth is more precious than it’s possession.”

      1. Definitely!

        And I think “growing mindsets” is a phrase that can even be separated a bit from the rest of these terms, too, in my experiences. The way you just phrased it, I think about people “going through a phase” – I recently had a conversation with a friend about how I am completely aware of how differently I handle things now in comparison to just eight months ago (while still retaining the same base goals and passions), and she was arguing that she hadn’t changed much at all in that amount of time. I asked her about different scenarios that I knew she wouldn’t have taken part in eight months ago but would have done now, and she picked up a little more about what I was thinking.

        It’s interesting – we’re trained to think in such absolutes that change becomes scary, even to the point of forcing people to not acknowledge how they’ve changed over time even if that change is good or painfully easy-to-identify. And on top of that, people feel that the consistency of their base passions are enough to back up the “fact that they haven’t changed,” though I’m much more a fan of balancing one’s lifestyle with consistent underlying goals/passions mixed with more fluid, temporal methods of exercising those passions.

        /rant! Just another interesting point visited by your blog entry 😀

      2. Yes, absolutely! The fact of the matter is that we are in constant fluctuation, in response to the people and ideas we are currently surrounded by. I spend a lot of time talking about that in a class I teach called “Memory and Mind” – students often balk at the idea first, just as your friend did, but as we go over the research and reflect on it, they come around to the idea. Once you see the fluidity, you can’t not reflect on it. If you (or your friend) are curious about that idea, I’ve written more about it in a post titled “I am me, thanks to you“.

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About EricaK

As a professor and a parent, I think a lot about education. Turns out that the topics I teach (e.g., cognitive and developmental psychology) inform my thoughts about teaching, and that is what I want to write about here.