A new edition of her book is apparently coming out with a section on her concerns about having a “false growth mindset.”
I’ve appreciated her recognition of how some might be applying her research harmfully, and wish others would take similar responsibilities for how their work is used. I’ve commented before about how I wish more researchers would not take a hands-off approach to what happens to their research after it’s published (“Once the rockets are up who cares where they come down that’s not my department,” says Wernher von Braun).
However, even though I welcome her recent comments, by challenging Ericsson, I think she might be making the same mistake that she’s criticizing people for making with her own work through misinterpretation. In the TES article, she claims that Ericsson (along with Benjamin Bloom — though I obviously know about his taxonomy, I don’t think I’m familiar with his work that she’s criticizing) “believe that almost anyone could do almost anything.“
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.
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.”