So there has been a lot of fuzz about mindsets of people and the relation to individual learning capabilities. Let us begin this journey of making headways with this topic by throwing more light on it.
“Mindset” is defined in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English as someone’s general attitude, and the way in which they think about things and make decisions. It sounds like a mouthful I think!
What has this got to do with learning and ability to comprehend information pertaining to academic discourse communities? Permit me to make allusions to Dweck’s assertions on the said topic taking into account ‘fixed’ and ‘growth’ mindsets (Dweck, 2007).
I strongly believe that inherent capabilities do exist and one way or the other result in positives or negatives. The former is more related to bringing out the best in an individual with very little effort whereas the latter breeds complacency. The problem here lies within the latter- complacency!
Should your roundedness in an area warrant laziness? Others may beg to differ and would respond by “I’d rather capitalize on my strengths.” It is astonishing how success eats into the heads of people such that their feat turns to failure. Enhancing effective mentee-mentor relationships have over time, proven to help alleviate this occurrence. Having someone who is where you aspire to be and having walked the path you are on, may serve as a major boost to keep a person on his or her toes.
Furthermore, instead of being rather too critical and quite judgmental on the various learning styles people claim work for them, how about we allow people to carry out self-assessments to so as to capitalize on their strengths. This is where the role of the teacher comes into the picture- to develop potential. This could be through tailoring teaching to suit every individual need. A critical outlook would be to reduce teacher-to-student ratios to the barest minimum such that the allocations per teacher favour adequate grooming.
It could be true learning styles could be a myth or maybe not. However, a point worth considering is that we do not expect someone residing in a penthouse and another in the slums to satisfy their learning needs using the same techniques. This is an indication that environment would definitely influence the approach employed and hence the birth of a ‘learning style,’ for “It is possible to fly without motors but not without knowledge and skill”- Wilbur Wright.
The way forward in learning would be emphasis on focus and dealing with distractions under the tutelage of ardent mentors who have the development of the full potential of their mentees at heart. C.S. Lewis once said, “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad”
In conclusion, going out of your comfort zone and being determined to do beyond the ordinary is the prerequisite of excellence. For when there is a will, there will always be a way!
It is all in your head, decide to win!
Dweck, C. (2007). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Ballantine Books.6