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Carol Dweck: I'm Carol Dweck. I'm a professor of psychology at Stanford University.
Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
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Carol Dweck: My research focuses on why students succeed or not and how to help them succeed. Edvisions has a personalized learning plan for each student, and what was really impressive about that is that the students were required to formulate their plan, to follow it through, to present it, to present the evidence that they accrued. These personalized learning plans are a great vehicle for teaching kids to
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take on something challenging, that they may not even know a lot about, but were just curious about, to learn how to gather information about it, to enrich their learning, to know how to come back from hitting dead ends, to know how to be resilient in the face of obstacles. To see something through and then to own it and present it, it's tremendous mastery experience. A
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personal learning plan is bound to be challenging and it does teach students to follow through on something that they've committed to and to present it in a way that helps others learn. When the individual learning plan is something I'm going to have to struggle with, I'm going to be challenged. I've got to integrate things from everywhere. I'm going to have setbacks. I'm going to talk about those setbacks and struggles.
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We find that when you praise the child's process, their strategies, their effort, their focus, their perseverance, even the taking on of difficult tasks, this creates a growth mindset and makes them really seek the challenge and persist in the face of difficulty. Teacher play a huge role in getting students to choose a personalized learning plan that is
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challenging for them. One of the big problems in school for the advanced students is they are not challenged. Many of them are coasting and are not learning how to work hard. Then when things get hard later on, they retire. They don't want to feel dumb, because for them, the very definition of being smart is doing things easily. The educator has to convey, "I don't respect that. I don't respect easy. I don't
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respect not working hard. I don’t respect not challenging yourself." So the teacher's role is to know what will challenge students and to get the student to formulate a personalized learning plan that's just full of challenge, setbacks, obstacles, that they can guide, help the students through, and in the process, teach that perseverance that that student needs to do well in life.
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