The holidays have started and it is nearly Christmas. Now is a good time to take a step back and be reminded that it’s about making the most of the fleeting moments that we are lucky enough to be conscious of in the great lottery of the uni/multiverse.
I’ll start with a famous creation story by the environmentalist David Brower. He calculated that if the earth was only 6 days old, human beings would have only been around less than half a second before mid night on the last night. When I read things like that, as a parent, a history teacher and a human being, I am struck by how we are simultaneously insignificant and very powerful.
I am also including the first page of Bill Bryson’s masterful “A Short History of Nearly Everything”. He makes it very clear that we are nothing but star dust; I love it. We should all realise that our daily worries and stresses are insignificant in the greater scheme of things…. Continue reading
Teachers play a vital role in fostering a positive attitude towards learning. John Hattie, Carol Dweck and Daniel Pink have done great work on researching student efficacy, mindset and motivation. In this post, I have collated some of their ideas.
Carol Dweck is the key authority regarding the growth mindset. She makes the following points:
- Fixed Mindset self-esteem is about feeling good about yourself, often in relation to the perceived lower achievement of others
- Growth Mindset self-esteem is about having the courage & determination to address weaknesses
- Confidence & self-efficacy comes from mastery of problems through resilience, not from false self-esteem
- Growth Mindset Teacher: “I am not interested in judging how good your work is, I am interested in the quality of your learning”
Hattie suggests that self-efficacy, aspirational, and other psychosocial influences account for considerable variance in academic achievement.
Dweck shows how to address this by promoting a Growth Mindset in the classroom. Continue reading
- Self-Efficacy and Academic Achievement in Australian High School Students: The Mediating Effects of Academic Aspirations and Delinquency. By Annemaree Carroll, Stephen Houghton, Robert Wood, Kerrie Unsworth, John Hattie, Lisa Gordon, and Julie Bower. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19027942 (back)
Below are my highlighted sections from a National Geographic article about the teenage brain and how it has evolved to crave the company of peers and take risks.
So much more out there. Here’s a link to more: http://goo.gl/u4ItD.
Also read: http://diigo.com/0ksxe, which is my annotated link from this article: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/structural-changes-in-teenage-brains-causes-dramatic-shifts-in-intelligence/story-e6frg6so-1226171382504.
Both links courtesy of our Head of PD!
Teenage Brains – Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine
To see past the distracting, dopey teenager and glimpse the adaptive adolescent within, we should look not at specific, sometimes startling, behaviors, such as skateboarding down stairways or dating fast company, but at the broader traits that underlie those acts. Continue reading