On alert

by WCE

This malware article made me think of “the other 1%”- the activities of people, including rogue governments, bent on destruction. As humans, we don’t think about protecting ourselves, militarily and otherwise, because we don’t want to assume the worst about people, but often we should- and budget to protect ourselves.


Growth mindset theory

by WCE

On growth mindset, favorite quotes:

An enduring criticism of growth mindset theory is that it underestimates the importance of innate ability, specifically intelligence. If one student is playing with a weaker hand, is it fair to tell the student that she is just not making enough effort? Growth mindset – like its educational-psychology cousin ‘grit’ – can have the unintended consequence of making students feel responsible for things that are not under their control: that their lack of success is a failure of moral character. This goes well beyond questions of innate ability to the effects of marginalisation, poverty and other socioeconomic disadvantage. For the US psychiatrist Scott Alexander, if a fixed mindset accounts for underachievement, then ‘poor kids seem to be putting in a heck of a lot less effort in a surprisingly linear way’. He sees growth mindset as a ‘noble lie’, and notes that saying to kids that a growth mindset accounts for success is not exactly denying reality so much as ‘selectively emphasising certain parts of’ it.

and on the importance of understanding the direction of causality:

In their book Effective Teaching (2011), the UK education scholars Daniel Muijs and David Reynolds note: ‘At the end of the day, the research reviewed has shown that the effect of achievement on self-concept is stronger that the effect of self-concept on achievement.

The growth mindset problem
A generation of schoolchildren is being exhorted to believe in their brain’s elasticity. Does it really help them learn?

Optimum amount of leisure time

by WCE

This article talks about how having an appropriate amount of leisure is conducive to happiness, and either too much or too little makes people less happy. When others on this blog recall their busy days with young children, it gives me perspective that my current busy season will not last forever and I should make choices (and spend money!) to make this season easier when I can.

Are you happy with the amount of leisure you have? Do you agree with the observations in the article?

How Much Leisure Time Do the Happiest People Have?
Too little, and people tend to get stressed. Too much, and people tend to feel idle.