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A Psychological Perspective in Education

Most of you know, I just had University classes on the weekend that just passed - 7 hours straight on Saturday and 7 hours straight on Sunday. The topic was on teaching and psychology. It really was very interesting and again reminded me how much I do not know and how much I can still grow personally and professionally..

Speaking of growing, a big idea that I have been obsessed with lately is the whole 'growth mindset' in a person. As humans, we either remain in a fixed mindset (bound by the bias' we hold and very rarely consider another alternative or option) OR a growth mindset which allows for exponential potential and a way forward. I have been obsessed with this notion because this can be observed in every day life. I believe many problems we have today are because too many people remain in the fixed mindset. As humans, we are all programmed to have our bias', sure. Apparently, science tells us when we meet a person for the first time, we look at their shoes and move upwards and from that one meeting, the first bias of that person is already instated. I know, I have not really noticed myself doing this but apparently this is true.

I now see why it is important to dress nicely. Often, I have taken comfort over nice dress because of practicality and I've been focused on the importance of how I feel. But, now knowing we are programmed this way is why I will change my view on this.

Going back to this fixed mindset; I believe this could be a huge factor in why there is so much conflict today. People are way too fixed in their ways and should try adopt a growth mindset to better understand others and grow with the ever-changing social and environmental demands. In class on the weekend, we again covered the marshmallow test. You probably know it. Kids around 4 years of age were given a marshmallow and told "if you eat it, you will not get another one BUT, if you wait 10-15 minutes and you have not eaten it, you will get another marshmallow". What is of particular interest is 14 years later, these kids were then surveyed. The 1/3 of kids who delayed gratification (waited for the second marshmallow) got on average 210 points higher on their SAT University entry exams than the kids who ate the marshmallow straight away. The kids who also waited in the marshmallow test had less social and personal problems as they were able to problem solve more effectively. These results are most fascinating.

That is not to say that if you know of a kid who eats the marshmallow straight away has no hope. No. We can be changed and conditioned. But, this is important to know for ourselves.

As a teacher myself, I have taken the following points quite seriously into my immediate teaching methods:

- Allowing students to be constantly reminded of the journey. For example: we are doing this today so that you can achieve your goal of .... (This here fosters a growth mindset as students then know why there are being asked to do a particular task. The end goal is remembered and therefore sparks intrinsic motivation).

- Praising the methods used/course of action where necessary. For example: wow, you have practised well this week. (Too many students these days are praised too much and too positively. "That was good" can actually diminish intrinsic motivation - there are many studies to prove this. Again though, focusing on the journey and praising the work being done as opposed to the end result delays gratification).

I hope this was somewhat interesting to you. If you would like me to write more on this or other things I come across in the near future, let me know. I am unsure how the comments and things work on this as I am relatively quite new still to blogging, but, for now I am enjoying this.

Have a great week and smash those goals!


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I don't know how to express how I feel, but, I shall try here. I have taken quite a fair bit of time off now and have enjoyed every minute of it. As of right now, I am feeling more motivated than ever


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Mar 09, 2021

Human psychology has always been a fascination of mine. I'm glad to know that today's teachers are being taught that 'teaching' of itself involves more than helping a student achieve a specific task but also how achievement of that task affects their whole life! I'll gobble up any more blog posts you share on any subject!

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