Saturday, September 19, 2015

Dr. Carol Dweck and Student Motivation

This is a chat I was honored to have in August of 2006 with Dr. Carol Dweck.  Her message has been an encouragement to me ever since.  This is copied from and is part of a chat described as
Student Motivation: What Works, What Doesn't
August 30, 2006
Guests: Edward L. Deci, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester; Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University; and Susan Graham, middle school teacher at Gayle Middle School, Stafford County, Va.
Kevin Bushweller (Moderator):
    Welcome to today's online chat about what works and what doesn't work to motivate students to do better in school. We have a large number of very interesting questions waiting to be answered. So let's get the discussion started ... 

Question from Bill Betzen, Technology Teacher, Quintanilla Middle School, Dallas ISD:
    It often appears that the goals we invest the most time in for our students are relatively short term goals, such as just one year for the TAKS tests here in Texas. Is it not also necessary to invest time encouraging students to have long term goals, often focusing on those goals, to achieve the most productive growth mindset? Is the failure to invest more time encouraging long term goals for our students a major current failing of our educational system? (We have our middle school students focus on 10 year goals through a rotating time-capsule letter archive system []. I shared it with Dr. Dweck this summer. It is great to see Dr. Dweck on your program! I hope she has time to address the mindset concepts which have so much potential for helping us improve the educational process.)

Carol Dweck:
    This is so important. Many students do not understand how what they are doing in school now plays into their long-term goals. Yet if teachers convey that students are growing and building their brains every time they learn, students will think about their effort as an investment that will yield benefits well into the future. It is tremendously empowering to students to understand that they have the starring role in their own intellectual development and that they are in charge of who they will become--with of course the help and guidance of their teachers.