23 June 2015

Items to Share: 9 — 21 June 2015


Education Focus
  • Why the ‘false growth mindset’ explains so much | David Didau: The Learning Spy '...Dweck then dropped a bombshell. She’s identified a phenomenon she calls the ‘false growth mindset’. Because we’ve unanimously agreed that having a fixed mindset is egregious and a growth mindset makes you a better all-round human being, no one wants to fess up to being ‘fixed’. When asked, we tend to say, “Yes of course I have a growth mindset,” because the alternative is to say, “No, I’m afraid I’m a terrible person.” It seems reasonable to suggest teachers are at least as prone to this as anyone; we tend to know more about the perceived benefits of growth mindset than most other people and so there’s a huge social pressure to fall into line. But just saying you have a growth mindset does not (quelle surprise!) mean you actually have one. What you actually have is a false growth mindset. This goes some way to explaining why schools are so bad at allowing teachers to behave in a way consistent with the growth mindset....' 
  • And see also: 20 psychological principles for teachers #12 Goal setting | David Didau: The Learning Spy ' [...] Trouble is, the evidence appears to be vastly overstated. King and Burton argue that goals only works in the narrowest of circumstances: “The optimally striving individual ought to endeavor to achieve and approach goals that only slightly implicate the self; that are only moderately important, fairly easy, and moderately abstract; that do not conflict with each other, and that concern the accomplishment of something other than financial gain” otherwise, research indicates that “goal investment, goal structure, and goal content may all lead to negative outcomes.”...'
  • By freeing prisoners from cycle of crime, education cuts re-offending 'Teaching inside a prison takes patience. Not because the students are difficult or dull, they are not. On the contrary, you are unlikely to meet a more highly motivated and interesting group of adult learners. It does take time, however, to have your fingerprint scanned, to pass barefoot and beltless through the metal detectors, to have your personal identification, criminal history and biometric data checked. [ ] A prison teacher also needs to be flexible. When visiting incarcerated students, be ready to roll with the unexpected. If you arrive on a family visits day, or during an emergency lockdown, or when students can’t make it to the education block, your own sense of time warps and stretches.'
  • Giving Bad Whiteboard | Sam Shepherd '[H]ere, in proper controversial style, is a list of the things that I try to remember when I am freestyling on a whiteboard. You can call them “dos and don’ts” if you like, or God forbid, good practice. But I’ll stick with “stuff I try to remember”.
Other Business
  • How to design a metaphor – Michael Erard – Aeon 'Can metaphors be designed? I’m here to tell you that they can, and are. For five years I worked full-time as a metaphor designer at the FrameWorks Institute, a think tank in Washington, DC, whose clients are typically large US foundations (never political campaigns or governments). I continue to shape and test metaphors for private-sector clients and others. In both cases, these metaphors are meant to help people to understand the unfamiliar. They aren’t supposed to make someone remark: ‘That’s beautiful.’ They’re meant to make someone realise that they’ve only been looking at one side of a thing.'
  • Crowdsourcing the Serengeti: how citizen scientists classified millions of photos from home  'Snapshot Serengeti’s success demonstrates the enormous potential for citizen science to help researchers tackle bigger questions than ever before. Camera traps provide a way to collect the ecological data necessary to answer bigger questions about the world around us, but citizen science is what provides a way to turn this data into new scientific knowledge, enabling research at a scope and scale otherwise impossible.'

    Seven Books Bill Gates Thinks You Should Read This Summer [farnamstreetblog.com] 'Bill Gates is out with his annual summer reading list and, while longer than last year’s, it’s a great place to kick off your summer reading. [ ] “Each of these books,” Gates writes, “made me think or laugh or, in some cases, do both. I hope you find something to your liking here.”'  

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