Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 9, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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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
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Interesting New Study By Carol Dweck

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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….

November 9, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New Study Finds That Specific Praise Improves Performance — Have They Ever Heard Of Carol Dweck?

A new study has been receiving some media attention for showing that praising someone’s athletic performance results in….their improving their performance. Interestingly, even though it’s clear in the study that the praise is very specific about what was being done, the researchers don’t seem to even highlight that point — they just say that praising someone is successful.

Of course, any research that reinforces what we teachers know is good practice is welcome, but, really, haven’t these folks ever heard of Carol Dweck?

It’s good to know about this new research, but I don’t think it’s even worth putting on The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students.

November 27, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Thoughts On Today’s NY Times Column By Carol Dweck

I’m a fan of much of Professor Carol Dweck’s work, and have often written in this blog (and in my book) about how I’ve applied her research in the classroom, especially around praising effort instead of intelligence.

A few months ago, though, I heard about one of her recent research projects that bothered me a bit, and, then, today, I saw a column she co-wrote about it in The New York Times. It’s titled “Willpower: It’s in Your Head.”

In it, she challenges the research findings of Professor Roy F. Baumeister, another researcher whose work has influenced my teaching practice. Professor Baumeister has written a great deal about self-control, and I wrote a piece in Education Week about how I apply his findings in the classroom — he also contributed a guest commentary.

Basically, Professor Baumeister (and many others) have concluded that self-control is a resource that can be depleted, and needs to be periodically replenished. Professor Dweck claims that it only is depleted if you believe it needs to be replenished.

That’s a very simplified summary, and I’d encourage you to read both her piece and Professor Baumeister’s commentary to get a more amplified view, as well as learning more how I interpret it for classroom use.

I’m all for having a “growth mindset,” which is another concept that Professor Dweck is known for and which I use with my students. However, especially with adolescents, it seems to me that we need to recognize that our students are not Supermen or Superwomen, and it’s unlikely that many — if any — have an unlimited level of self-control. My students and I have found Professor Baumeister’s research very useful and I have often seen it work effectively.  The key, of course, is that we need to help our students develop effective strategies to replenish their capacity for self-control.

Earlier this morning, I contacted Professor Baumeister to get his reactions to the critique. Here is his response (and he granted permission for me to share it here):

[Many] things can make a difference right at the beginning of depletion, when you’re only slightly depleted. we have replicated her finding that getting people to believe in unlimited willpower makes them do better when they are slightly depleted. but that same manipulation actually makes them do worse when they are severely depleted.

What do you think?

March 25, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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March’s Top Posts From This Blog

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I regularly highlight my picks for the most useful posts for each month — not including “The Best…” lists. I also use some of them in a more extensive monthly newsletter I send-out. You can see older Best Posts of the Month at Websites Of The Month (more recent lists can be found here).

You can also see my all-time favorites here.

Here are some of the posts I personally think are the best, and most helpful, ones I’ve written during this past month (not in any order of preference). There are a lot of them this month:

“Collaborative Writing, Common Core, and ELLs” Is Excerpt From Our New Book

Excellent “Listen & Read” Nonfiction From National Geographic

Another Flaw In Using Value-Added Measurement For Teacher Evaluation

At Second Look, Wizer Looks Like A Fabulous Way Create Virtual Classrooms & Track Student Progress

Harvard Business Review Publishes Best Arguments Against “Performance Pay” – Can Be Applied To Teachers & Students

“Ed Tech ‘has Over-Promised & Under-Delivered’”

Adam Grant On Failure & How I’m Using What He Says In Class

“‘For White Folks Who Teach In The Hood…’: An Interview With Chris Emdin”

My Latest NY Times Interactive For ELLs Is On Stephen Curry!

New Study Reviews 25 Years Of Research Into What Helps Students Graduate – Here’s What They Found

“‘Be Patient’ When Dealing With Ed Tech Problems

Neat Online Exhibit On “Discoveries That Changed The World”

“Unfiltered News” Visualizes Most Popular News Topics In Different Countries

First Excerpt From Our Book On ELLs & Common Core Appears In Edutopia

Great Idea From Adam Grant: Student Mini-Talks That Challenge “Conventional Wisdom”

“Census Names Explorer” Is A Cool Tool For Exploring Name Popularity Through Time & Place

“ReadTheory” Lets Teachers Create Virtual Classrooms For Students To Read & Answer Questions

My Latest NY Times Interactive For ELLs Is On Daylight Saving Time

Zootopia Movies Highlights Importance Of Grit, But Also Its Limitations

What Are Creative & Effective Ways You’ve Used Multiple Choice Exercises?

Guest Post: “Walk & Talks” Are Extremely Effective Way To Connect With Students – Here’s A “How-To” Guide

‘Teacher Leadership is the Lifeboat to a Better School’

Amazon Is Setting Up A Free Site For Educational Resources – Here’s Where You Register For Access

Carol Dweck Makes Strongest Statement Yet On Growth Mindset Misuse

New “Volley” App Looks Like A “PhotoMath” For…Everything

Do Your Students Slouch Back In Their Chairs? Here’s A Writing Prompt On It I’m Using In Class

“US News Map” Lets You Track Word Frequency In Historical American Newspapers

“Pindex” Is A New “Pinterest For Education” That Also Lets Teachers Create Quizzes & Monitor Student Progress

“Teaching English Language Learners With Special Needs”

Smithsonian’s “Our Story” Is A Valuable Resource For Teachers & Parents

How Many Repetitions Do You Need In Order To Learn A New Word?

My Latest NY Times Interactive For ELLs is On Citizenship

Quote Of The Day: Caution On Celebration Of Failure

Try Out This Dyslexia Simulation

“Ways to Support ELLs With Special Needs

“Radiooooo” Is A Cool Music Site That Crosses The World & The Decades

Part Two – Oral Presentation Suggestions For IB Theory of Knowledge Classes

California Voters Will Vote On Important “Multilingual Education Act” This Fall

“Perspecs” Gives You Three Different Perspectives On Same News Topic

Part Two: A Community Organizer’s Definition Of Leadership – How Can It Be Applied To Education?

NY Times Reports On Social Emotional Learning Run Amok

“The Life of a Refugee” Is Topic Of My Latest NY Times Interactive For ELLs

A Community Organizer’s Definition Of Leadership – How Can It Be Applied To Education? (Part One)

Study: Extrinsic Rewards Reduces Long-Term Learning Of New Languages & Other Knowledge

Oral Presentation Suggestions For IB Theory of Knowledge Classes

 

 

 

 

March 21, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

SEL Weekly Update

I’ve recently begun this weekly post where I’ll be sharing resources I’m adding to The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources or other related “Best” lists:

Angela Duckworth has a useful Q & A page on her new (at least, to me) website, along with an online “grit scale” that anyone can take. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of “Grit”

How To Make Sure Your Kids Have Grit, 6 Secrets Backed By Research is from Barking Up The Wrong Tree. I’m adding it to the same list.

Nurturing Growth Mindsets: Six Tips From Carol Dweck is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

Tap Ed Tech to Improve Social-Emotional Learning, Report Urges is from Ed Week.

When Social and Emotional Learning Is Key to College Success is from The Atlantic.

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