This year, I’m trying to formally introduce my students to various research relating to mindset, how people learn, and metacognition. Today’s lesson was the first. My goal for today was to introduce students to the scientific evidence that our brains can grow new neurons as adults, and that intellectually stimulating environments and exercise can grow our brains and make learning new things easier. I also worked in some of Dweck’s Mindset research, though in hindsight I think I should have made that a separate lesson. Here’s how today’s lesson unfolded…
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After completing the survey, we watched this short video segment called “Grow Your Brain” from the episode Changing Your Mind in the Scientific American Frontiers series from PBS.
After the video, I asked groups to get a whiteboard and write down as a group:
- One thing they learned
- One thing they found surprising
- One question they still had
Grouped reported out and I collected responses on an overhead. Here’s the results from one class:
Next, students received a packet which contained:
- “You Can Grow Your Intelligence” (which I believe is the article Dweck had students read in her studies).
- “Flummoxed by Failure–Or Focused?” article from the Wall Street Journal which gives a brief summary of Dweck’s work.
- Infographic about Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets (although now I think I like the 2 page version here better).
- How I Became and Expert questionnaire (which in hindsight perhaps would go better in a lesson about the 10,000 hour rule?)
In a (sadly) mostly teacher-centered fashion, we read a few excerpts from the articles, pointed out the differences between the growth and fixed mindsets, and filled out the expert questionnaire.
As I said previously, I think next year I’ll cut out the Mindset research stuff (which is separate from brain research shown in the Scientific American video we watched), and turn it into a lesson of its own. Now I just need to find a short video about Dweck’s research that I can share with students for that separate lesson.
Possible Upcoming Metacognition Lessons…
- #2: Mindset (next year, I guess. Though wouldn’t hurt to go in more detail and/or show a video this year.)
- #3: Grit – See “Angela Duckworth and the research on Grit” and also “Are You Gritty Enough for College” and “Failure Equals Success”
- #4: The 10,000 Hour Rule/Being an Expert?
- #5: Derek Muller’s research
- #6: Intelligence of group > intelligence of smartest person in group (see Group Learning podcast)
- #7: Novice vs. Expert problem solving
- #8: Math Anxiety?
Also, I need to give a shout out to John Burk, who inspired me when he started building a metacognition curriculum two years ago!
What principles/concepts/ideas/research would you include in a Metacognition Curriculum?