Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mindsets and Learning Dispositions

In week 9 of my EDUC 722 class, we looked at the current model of education used in today's classrooms. The model of learning used in our classrooms reflect the thoughts and ideology set forth by industrialization. It clusters together students by age and grade and attempts to educate masses instead of individuals.   In Educating the Heart and Mind, Sir Ken Robinson presents the need to move away from an educational paradigm that standardizes learning to one that educates individuals and promotes individual growth.  Our current system is not working as our high school dropout statistics suggest.

In  Education 3.0: Breaking the Mold With Technology by William R. Watson, Sunnie Lee Watson, and Charles M. Reigeluth, the authors call for a needed change in education. The authors review various learning models that utilize technology and evaluate how well they meet and address the  learning needs of students. The authors conclude that each of the learning systems, Learning Management System, Course Management System, and Personal Learning Environments fall short of offering a learning paradigm that is truly student-centered and that addresses all the personal learning needs of today's students.  The authors propose a new conceptual educational framework called Personal Integrated Educational System (PIES).  PIES is proposed to include the  best characteristics of existing educational systems (LMS/CMS/PLE) and also includes benefits to teachers, parents, and others who are involved in the learning process of students.  PIES is a concept that the authors admit will be very costly to develop.

In my opinion, education may not have the "perfect system" and solution for a new model for educating students, but educators need to embrace a new mindset and disposition towards education to help our learners.  We need to move away from the educational philosophy and methods of an industrialized society to one that utilizes technology and information to better meet and address the learning needs of our students.  We need to move educational norms practiced in the classroom closer to how learning is occurring in the real world.  We need to engage our learners by making learning dynamic, social, and relevant.  Educators need to be willing to relinquish control and create a learning environment that is student-centered. 

Week 6 of DLMOOC discussed growth and academic mindsets for deeper learning. Effective educators recognize the power of a growth mindset in learning. I found the topic fascinating. The panel's discussion was meaningful and relevant for helping students. One statement made by panelist, Camile from the University of Chicago, gave me a different perspective of my students. Camile expressed the notion that our students are already entering the classroom with a disposition and mindset about learning. They are looking for ways to affirm their disposition and mindsets.  For me this was an eye opener. Recognizing the dispositions and mindsets students are bringing into the classroom will help me engage my students and motivate them to learn.

The following is a Storify that integrates my thoughts about growth mindsets with resources and strategies for promoting a growth mindset in the classroom. 

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