Embracing the Growth Mindset

I have almost completed Dr. Dweck’s book, “mindset” and have recognized both growth and fixed mindsets within myself. There have definitely been times when I have internalized the failure to understand a concept quickly or accomplish a task as a failure as person. When this fixed mindset rears its ugly head I forgo making the attempt, just like the examples in “mindset”, so that I do not have to worry about feeling “less than”.

Fortunately there are also been times when I have embraced the growth mindset and risen to the challenge. This mindset has become stronger since my student teaching days. Having survived that experience and made it through as a stronger, more knowledgeable person, I now know I can conquer most of challenges I will continue to take on. But now and then the fixed mindset rears its ugly head and yesterday morning was one of those times. I had volunteered to act as a moderator for the 2013 School Leadership Summit hosted by Steve Hargadon. Unfortunately my schedule did not allow me to attend the live tutorials and the morning of the event found me a bit panicked. What was I thinking? Why had I put myself in a position to be embarrassed in front of such a great group of people? Was it too late to back out?

I thought about what I had been reading and realized that it was time for some growth! I had spent about 30 minutes the day before with Nikki (thank you) practicing a few things, but I left feeling like I had more questions than before the session. Fortunately on the morning of the summit I had time to read some of the tutorials developed by Blackboard and watch the video of the training session conducted by Steve. Nothing like “just in time” learning as I finished about five minutes after I was due to report to the volunteer room. My main goal was to make it through the first presentation without cutting off the presenter, all the while still wondering “what had I been thinking?”

Looking back I can laugh at myself and feel grateful that I continued on. Pheo Martin was wonderful and even took the time to find out about me and offered suggestions on some organizations that would lead to more connections in the ed tech community (and thanks Jason Borgen for helping with the audio issues). Her presentation on wellness should be watched by all graduate students, self-care can be important in order to get through those stressful times. I have attended a few online conferences as an attendee and enjoyed the interactivity with the participants and presenter, but being a moderator allowed me to spend more time with the presenters and get to know them better as people. Jenny Grant Rankin set the bar on effective PowerPoint presentations, and I really enjoyed my discussion with Holly Clark and Tanya Avrith on digital citizenship. Had I succumbed to a fixed mindset none of these interactions would have been possible. I left the summit even more excited about my chosen career path as an educational researcher. Thanks to Steve and the other hard working members for putting on such a brilliant, informative, leadership summit! 

About Cynthia Clark

I hold a doctorate in curriculum & instruction, with an emphasis in educational technology and science education. I work for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as the Evaluation and Assessment Specialist for the Center for Research, Evaluation, and Assessment. My current research interests include qualitative responses to course evaluations, both the development of open-ended items and their subsequent analysis.
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1 Response to Embracing the Growth Mindset

  1. Hi, Cynthia! I just read your post and hence your generous comment about my presentation. Thank you; that was very kind of you! I look forward to seeing more of each other in these education and edtech spaces we both love. Have you ever checked out http://www.EdtechWomen.com? You’d fit right in! 🙂

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