Brainology: Transforming Students' Motivation to Learn

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Life is a learning process, and every day, we encounter situations that will force us to learn. Some ways can help us to learn better, but they come with a lot of challenges. The need to succeed is one of the pressure students face in their process of learning. For others, they don’t know how to change their attitudes to ensure they have a growth mindset to help them succeed in what they do. Students should be taught how to learn through solving problems as it will help them acquire more knowledge through the research they will be doing. Lessons we learn through solving problems will help us obtain essential skills that we can apply in life. Though to achieve success, we need to put more effort and have values such as perseverance, determination and self-control. The paper will look at what motivates students to learn and how values such as grit affect the attitude and mindset of students which will help them set and achieve their short and long-term goals in life. I agree that effort is an important to achieve success, a point that needs emphasizing since I believe that effort have values to ensure individuals achieve in their short and long-term goals in life.

In “Brainology: Transforming Students’ Motivation to Learn,” Dweck talks about how the human brain changes through learning new knowledge and experiences. One critical aspect she looks at is the role that attitude, and mindset play in determining the effort the students will use and hence the level of success they will achieve in the process. In Brainology, Dweck indicates that there are two types of students. One is those who have fixed mindsets hence they will be afraid of making mistakes and will feel demoralized when they don’t achieve what they wanted. The other type is those who believe they can get intelligent from education and effort thus one can be able to improve their abilities. The results produced can indicate the difference between these two students and show their willingness to learn new information in the learning process.

Through the research she carried out on a group of students over a period of two years, she reveals that mindset was the critical determinant in the growth of individuals. The students either had a growth or fixed mindset and that determined the kind of reaction they had towards setbacks. She also goes ahead to question if growth mindset can be taught to the children. By looking at the roles that teachers and the society play, she established that the mentality the students have depends on how their instructors consider them, their learning behavior and model used in teaching the students. Dweck also points out in various ways we can use to praise our children such as by concentrating on improvement made, efforts, perseverance and strategies among others. She concludes her article by indicating the importance of teaching students to love challenges, not being afraid to make mistakes and how to value effort as it will help them to be smart in all aspects of life.

In “Ask the Cognitive Scientist: Grit is Trendy, but Can It Be Taught?”, Willingham begins the article by questioning our view of grit and whether it is something new as it has been hitting our headlines recently. His definition of passion involves two things; passion and perseverance and states the trait helps to give us purpose and direction in what we do in life. He indicates that researchers consider grit as a great concept as it helps people nurture values that will help them meet their long-term goals. One important aspect the author has looked at is if grit matters in our lives. Willingham express we have different ambitions in life and what will drive us to achieve the ambition is traits such as grit. He goes ahead to explain the influence of the value on the behaviour of people. One example he gives is why a student will work hard to finish high school while another may drop out.

Those who are gritty will set their long-term goal, preserver while staying committed to achieving their goals in life which will take place after some years. Some of the personal characteristics of gritty people he mentions include being orderly, industrious, they carry out responsibilities critically and can be dependable in what they do. He goes on ahead to question whether grit should be taught and further explains that grit can be taught by teaching people how to set goals and be better at organizing their time. Willingham raises the concern of how focusing on grit will ensure policymakers and educators create policies that will eliminate factors that impede the success of students. He concludes articles by highlighting the importance of teaching grit to students. Willingham states that grit is a very relevant value that will make the student learn how to succeed and work hard to achieve that in what they do every day in their life.

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One insight I have gained from readings is the importance of having a growth mindset. It applies to students as well as for all the people as in life; we go through different lessons. For students, the learning process is not easy, but if they are taught to have a growth mindset, they will be able to tackle all the challenges they face on a daily basis. Intelligence can be acquired through learning, and that will be by confronting obstacles, learning from mistakes and persevering through setbacks (Dweck 1). I support the view of the author and reading the article made me reflect on my educational path. I was poor in math’s, and I did not perform well in exams and in assignments that we were given by the teacher. However, in seventh grade, I remember revising for a math’s test, and the following day, I did the exam. When the results were announced, I had improved, and to my disbelief, I was able to get a correct answer one of the questions that were hard. From that point, I gained interest in the subject as I understood it would be through exercising more that I will be able to get better. The growth mindset helped me to improve in other subjects too, and with time my grades began to get better. I have applied the concept in different situations in life and from the mistakes I have been making, I have grown to be more knowledgeable and understand how to tackle setbacks that I experience every day.

The second insight I have learnt is that grit can be taught. Instructors play a vital role in the learning process of the students but should ensure the students are the ones controlling their learning. When students are taught how to solve and tackle problems, they will understand how to achieve success. One way I believe grit can be taught to students is teaching them how to manage their time. By establishing how to manage their time, they will understand how to plan their lives hence do the right things at the correct time. They will apply the teaching in their lives too as they grow up. Another way is through teaching students how to set smart goals. We set goals every day, and they will apply the lesson throughout their lives. I will contradict with the argument of the author that grit should be measured. Grit should not be measured since the students have different abilities and ambitions in life. Some may focus more on their education while others may focus more on sport and both should be supported as they will succeed in different ways. Life experiences and our backgrounds will also shape the grit we have. Through the example given by Willingham, the high school students had various reasons why they wanted to attend college (Willingham 29). Through learning grit, the students will be able to set their short and long-term goals and find ways they can use to achieve them. Grit will also them acquire other essential values such as self-control, hard work, perseverance and self-esteem among others.

The third insight I gained from the readings is the role that instructors play in helping the growth of the mindset of the children. The learning process should teach students the value of learning to solve problems they encounter. Models that we are using in which the instructors take an active role in teaching should just be used in the elementary schools. After that, the students should take control of their learning, and the role that instructors will play is to guide. The students will be provided with problems, come up with ways to solve them and if possible use the opportunity to explain to other students their ideas. The model of learning will teach students how to learn to research at a tender age and how to solve different problems they face.

As Dweck indicates, intelligence should not be praised instead the students should be nurtured to use what they learn to solve problems they encounter (Dweck 3). The mindset we teach to the children will determine their attitude to life Creating a culture where the society values improvement and discourage elements such as laziness and dishonest will also ensure the mindset of the students will grow. Every student has the potential to increase their intelligence and improve their performance both in school and other activities. I loved the idea where Dweck indicates that we should think twice the next time we praise our students when they excel. For those who are not performing well will feel demotivated and will have a fixed mindset that will continue to affect their education. But by teaching them to appreciate challenges, instructors will be fostering a growth mindset and students will not give up in their quest for success.

The last insight I gained from the reading is grit and having a growth mindset will help to make our learning institutions better places. Most of the students will start to appreciate schools when the learning process is changed to accommodate their needs. The first step will be through teaching them to solve problems on their own and not being afraid to make mistakes. Through the guidance of the instructors, they will understand why they are seeking knowledge and ways used to get better at what they do. Solving problems will help them apply what they have learnt and how they can apply them in different situations. Then in the process of learning, they should be taught the value of perseverance and determination. Learning the value of grit will help them be strong even in the most challenging situations thus avoiding instances where students drop out of school. That will ensure, when they get a challenge in their education, they will be strong and seek a way to counter the setbacks better.

The instructors will also benefit as they will know in which areas the students are strong or weak and advise them accordingly. The techniques learnt will also be used later in life and it will help them become better individuals in the society. Reading the articles made me realize the importance of ensuring we control our learning process. The arguments that the authors give apply to both the students and the life of other people. Having a fixed mindset will make one be scared of challenges and making mistakes which will affect their lives as life is full of obstacles. Making students learn this critical value will help in transforming our schools from just learning institutions butt as places where individuals are mounded to adapt to the real world. Grit, for instance, is an essential element that will make one succeed or give up in what they do. Based on the psychological view of this authors, I believe learning these values are of importance as the education that the students are seeking. I have discovered the value that challenges offer to our lives and therefore instead of fighting them; we should embrace them. The insight from the articles have been enlightening, and I will use them to improve my learning and ensuring I become better in what I do. Applying the skills indicated by the authors in their article will also ensure that I always strive to be the best and achieve success no matter the obstacles I face.

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