The Brain Changes When You Learn!

I have to admit that I was completely enthralled actually seeing the parts of the brain where neurons were firing off from the different networks (Recognition “why”, Strategic “how” and the Affective “what”) – the brain changes were so powerful to me! It was as if I could see the learners brain morphing and growing as their mindset was shifted to focus on learning, challenges and motivation. It also impacted me that there isn’t one all important network as the why, what and how work together to motivate and impact the learners. II am encouraged and comforted with the knowledge by Dr. Dweck that everyone is a combination of fixed and growth mindset – it was up to each learner to determine what their triggers are for the fixed, observe accept them and keep working through them on this ongoing process towards a growth mindset. 

Then I dove into Dr. Dweck’s article on FALSE growth mindset and it resonated that just using the right verbiage or script will not “teach” growth mindset to the learner. It is more than just words or attitude – which took me a little off guard as I have been trying to change my fixed mindset by speaking a sort of “mantra” to myself when I feel defeated, frustrated and unmotivated – “I can do hard things”, “I am capable of anything”, “what can I learn from this challenge?”. But when it comes to the learners that I am supporting, I need to use more than words and my example. I need to provide honest, prompt feedback with opportunities to revise, correct and/or show their learning progress. I need to encourage a variety of approaches when a student is “stuck” and encourage learning (not just a result or failure) by flexing those brain muscles! I believe that since my innovation proposal will be set in a real-world scenario (assisting with instructional technology challenges on the campus), that the actual classwork will be meaningful and full of purpose for the learner. I will need to be more aware of my learners and their fixed mindset triggers as well. No judgments, no blaming or dismissing. I am just now learning what my triggers are, so I need to remind myself that it is not a quick fix for any learner. We all come through the door with different triggers, different mindsets and I feel it is so vital that I find out the best way to effectively instill an effective and lasting growth mind set for my learners.  

Dweck Revisits the “Growth Mindset”:  http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/09/23/carol-dweck-revisits-the-growth-mindset.html

Recognizing and Overcoming False Growth Mindset: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/recognizing-overcoming-false-growth-mindset-carol-dweck

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