Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: “Effort Is Not The Only Thing” – Carol Dweck On A Growth Mindset

I’ve been a big-time fan of Carol Dweck’s work (see The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset“).

I’ve also been critical at times about what sometimes seems to a bit myopic view of the challenges facing many of our students (see Our Students Are Not Supermen & Superwomen and The Limits To The Power Of A Growth Mindset (& The Dangers When We Don’t Recognize Them)).

So I was pleased to see Professor Dweck’s recent column in Education Week, Carol Dweck Revisits the ‘Growth Mindset.’

Here’s an excerpt:


I’d also add that there are also ways to help students become aware of systemic causes of some of the challenges they face in a way that does not cause a sense of defeat or further depression, and I wrote about them in Building A Community of Self-Motivated Learners.

June 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: Carol Dweck On “Nagging”

Yesterday, I shared a number of reports about Carol Dweck’s talk over the weekend about the growth mindset concept.

Jill Berry shared an article about it in Schools Week headlined Carol Dweck says mindset is not ‘a tool to make children feel good.’

Here’s an excerpt:


I’m adding this post to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

January 18, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: I Think This Is The Best Article Carol Dweck Has Written

The Secret to Raising Smart Kids is an article by Carol Dweck in this month’s Scientific American, and I think it’s the best shorter piece sharing her work and perspective that I’ve seen.

I can’t think of anything better to share with a colleague who may be unfamiliar with her work.

Here’s a short excerpt, though it won’t be new to anyone who knows her writings:


I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students and to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

December 17, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: New TEDx Talk By Carol Dweck

Professor and researcher Carol Dweck recently gave a TEDx Talk shared by TED titled “The power of believing that you can improve.

I’ve embedded it below, but you can also see it on the TED site at the previous link. That site also has a written transcript of her comments.

Here’s an excerpt:


I was also struck by this passage:

“…we can actually change students’ mindsets. In one study, we taught them that every time they push out of their comfort zone to learn something new and difficult, the neurons in their brain can form new, stronger connections, and over time they can get smarter. Look what happened: in this study, students who were not taught this growth mindset continued to show declining grades over this difficult school transition, but those who were taught this lesson showed a sharp rebound in their grades.”

That’s certainly been our experience after teacher Dweck-inspired lessons you can find at The Best Resources For Showing Students That They Make Their Brain Stronger By Learning.

I’ll be adding this post to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

July 9, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

Two New Videos From RSA — Carol Dweck & Ken Robinson

RSA from The United Kingdom is particularly knows for their “graphic recording” of talks that take place there (the one they did of Dan Pink talking about “Drive” is my favorite).

They just released a short one of those animated videos, this one a short snippet of a talk by Ken Robinson. I’ve embedded it below — it’s nice, but to tell you the truth, I’m not sure there’s much “there there,” unlike in his other talks. Of course, it just two-and-a-half minutes long :)

Of more interest, though, is the non-animated video (also embedded below) that they put on the web of Carol Dweck’s talk there that took place….yesterday (they sure don’t waste time). It’s an hour-long, and it’s nice that they have close-ups of all her slides. I’ve just started watching it. So far, it sounds like a basic review of her work. Even if that is just the case, it’s still interesting!

I’m adding that video to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

June 20, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

Interesting New Study By Carol Dweck


Readers of this blog are no strangers to the work of Carol Dweck, and you can find a collection of resources related to her work at The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

Professor Dweck and her colleagues have just published a new study that builds on her previous work and specifically relates it to reducing aggressive behavior by teenagers. Happily, the paper is not behind a paywall. It’s title is a long one — An Implicit Theories of Personality Intervention Reduces Adolescent Aggression in Response to Victimization and Exclusion.

You can also read a short summary of it by Art Markman.

Here is my brief summary (which I am very open to being critiqued and corrected) and my key “take-aways”:

Professor Dweck is known for, among other findings, developing the concepts of incremental mindset — that people’s traits can change over time — and an entity mindset — where traits are fixed. Many educators, including me, have used her research in the classroom in changing the kind of feedback we give students and in helping them see the physical changes caused in the brain by learning new things (my previously mentioned “The Best…” list give far more details).

In this new study (which focused on dealing with the effects of bullying), Professor Dweck and her colleagues taught six brief sessions to students elaborating on the incremental mindset, and found that they were less likely to react aggressively to bullying and, in general, behaved more appropriately in the classroom. They appeared to believe that neither the supposed reason behind their being targeted and the beliefs of the bullies themselves would be permanent, and tended to be less depressed. Here are some key excerpts:

…our results suggest that an incremental theory may predispose students to behave resiliently when situations of exclusion or victimization arise….

Our findings can inform theories of how social cognitive development can influence adolescent aggression. Past research has suggested that adolescents show an increased belief in the fixed nature of transgressors’ traits and behaviors (e.g., Killen et al., 2010). Relatedly, the early years of high school are a time of heighted social comparison, where one’s social label (especially if it is seen as a fixed label) can be a source of pride or shame, and therefore a powerful influence on how one copes with peer conflict (e.g., Brown, Mory, & Kinney, 1994; Crosnoe, 2011; Eccles & Barber, 1999). Overall, adolescence was predicted to be a special period during which beliefs about the potential for people to change their personal characteristics could play a particularly important role in aggressive retaliation….

Peer victimization or exclusion, as we have noted, can also lead to depression and other internalizing symptoms, and previous correlational research has suggested that this is especially likely when children hold more of an entity theory (Rudolph, 2010). Our experimental study showed that an incremental theory intervention could buffer adolescents from the effects of peer victimization. When adolescents who reported higher levels of victimization were taught to see themselves and others as capable of change, they reported fewer depressive symptoms compared with adolescents who received no treatment.

That’s what the study says about victims. I found what it says about the bullies themselves even more interesting:

One extension of this research is to test whether implicit theories might also be a cause of bullying itself. It may be the case that some students bully others to validate themselves and their status, a motivation that may well be fostered by an entity view of the self. Indeed, adolescents who believe that there are fixed “winners” and “losers” may well wish to place themselves among the “winners” and use bullying as a tool for doing so. Thus, it may be interesting in future investigations to determine whether the present study’s incremental theory intervention would reduce bullying.

One nice “bonus” is that the paper provides a fairly detailed description of the curriculum used to teach the incremental mindset.

For my work in the classroom, the bottom line of the study is that it reinforces the importance of teaching the lessons found on The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset” list, and exploring how I can expand them a bit by reflecting on the ideas in this paper.

I’m eager to hear the reactions of others….