Mindset: The New Psychology of Success; Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. New York: 2007, Ballantine Books
With the onset of student-centered learning (SCL) touted as the recommended approach in teaching students in institutions of higher learning today, this book provides both lecturers and students the necessary understanding on how to deal with teaching, learning and its challenges in a modern classroom setting. With the heavily mediated environment enveloping students today, teachers are finding it harder to read and penetrate into students’ behaviour, which greatly influences classroom management. Their lack of reading is replaced by the high aptitude for new media technology, while a higher respect is given to blogosphering’ rather than the revered classical skill of essay writing. According to author and world renowned Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck, the solution to this great generation divide is to create a mutual understanding where both parties can meet halfway without weakening the other. Instead, by analysing, assessing and manipulating those differences, we create the key to not just successful classroom management but also students. After decades of research on achievement and success, Dweck has discovered this groundbreaking idea as the power of our mindset. She highlights two categories we can fall into: fixed mindset and growth mindset. Dweck explains why it is not just our abilities and talent that bring us success–but whether we approach them with either one of these mindsets. Interestingly, in classroom management, she makes clear why praising intelligence and ability does not foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardise success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our students and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals–personal and professional. Her chapters also contain teaching strategies that teachers can experiment with while several of her chapters are a recommended read especially for Diploma and Degree level students.