The Intersection of Growth Mindsets and Maker Education
I have a recent interest in both Growth Mindsets and Maker Education; and have blogged and presented on both of these topics. As such and because of my passion for both of these area, I have been thinking about the intersection between the two. This intersection, I found, is strong and powerful.
A growth mindset tolerates more risk and failure, while a fixed mindset tends to avoid risk and its accompanying frustration. It is obvious which mindset helps someone adapt to and contribute to a world that is constantly changing. Dweck points out that many who excel academically have a fixed mindset, which limits them to exploring only the areas they were told they were good at. Such mindsets are often found within the teaching profession itself, and presents a true challenge in adopting Maker principles to the classroom of the near future. Conversely, many who do poorly in school have taken too seriously the judgment of others about their abilities in subjects such as math or science. In both cases, such limiting views of oneself are self-defeating and can hold people back from exploring new areas and developing unknown capabilities. Making is about developing one’s full potential. (Ed Tech and the Maker Movement)
This is further discussed by Maggie Hos-McGrane in her blog post, Directed -v- Self-Directed: Developing a Maker Mindset:
A maker mindset involves having a can-do attitude and a growth mindset – a belief that your capabilities can be developed, improved and expanded. It’s not just a matter of what you know, it’s a matter of taking risks and perhaps failing and learning from those failures. It’s a matter of being open to exploring new possibilities and developing your full potential.
Craig Lambert notes the connections between a growth mindset and maker movement in a blog post he wrote for the Maker Faire Atlanta.
I’m aware that many, if not all, Makers seem to hold the growth mindset. They relish challenges, they want to stretch themselves, they want to try and do things that they have never done before. In fact, it seems that what we really need as a human race is a whole lot more people with the growth mindset in order to tackle and overcome the many challenges we face. (A Growth Mindset)
Some of the characteristics of the intersection of a Growth Mindset and Making include:
- Effort is valued.
- Hard work leads to positive results.
- Growth & development are at the forefront.
- Everyone can do.
- Focus is on the process of learning.
- One’s personal strengths, creativity, curiosity breed results.
- Challenges are seen as opportunities.
- Capabilities and skills can be developed, improved, and expanded.
- Failure is approached as iterative.
- Feedback, positive and constructive, is openly accepted and used for growth.
Growth Mindsets & Maker Education by Jackie Gerstein is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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