Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lifelong Learning: A Real Key

I read an article this week from the New York Times titled "If You're Open to Growth, You Tend to Grow." The article is written by Janet Rae-Dupree. The focus of the article is on being open to growth as a key indicator of success in business. Ms. Rae-Dupree's information came from a Stanford psychologist named Carol Dweck who has written a book entitled Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Evidently Ms. Dweck states in her book that adopting either a fixed mindset (belief that one's innate talent is all one will have) or a growth mindset (belief that abilities can expand over time) "can profoundly affect all aspects of a person's life, from parenting and romantic relationships to success at school and on the job."

While reading this article, I couldn't help but make the application to education. After all, I am a teacher. I have facilitated many professional development courses in the past and single defining moments stick out from most of those experiences. One in particular was when a teacher shared with the entire group that the majority of what he had gained from the experience is that you never stop being a learner. *Wow! If that is all he got from the experience, I guess that's a pretty good hurdle to jump.

ISTE's new NETS for Teachers are divided into five sections. Two of these sections deal with teachers as learners: model digital-age work and learning and engage in professional growth and leadership.

All of this has led me to think more about lifelong learning. What are habits of successful lifelong learners? I've listed a few here but would dearly love you sharing your thoughts as well in a comment.

View lifelong learning as essential
Begin with the end in mind
Embrace responsibility for learning
View problems as challenges
Have confidence in self as a competent, effective learner
Create your own learning toolbox
Teach/mentor others

Image source: amarola

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Anonymous Nadine N said...

Thanks for showing us Ms. Rae-Dupree's article. I whole-heartily agree with your post. I'd like to add keep a sense of humor, accept failure as a way to learn, and keep in close touch with a personal (professional) learning network who can help along the way. Thanks for a great post.

July 10, 2008 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger loonyhiker said...

Great post! I remember growing up and not having bought toys because we couldn't afford it so I had to be very creative. Whenever we got a new appliance (rarely), I would get the box it came in. If something broke in our house, I was given it as a toy to use with my imagination. I kind of think of it as my prop supply for plays. I loved to organize back yard plays and since my next door neighbors were good Catholics , there were seven children to play with. I wrote the plays and they played the parts. We don't do enough of that with our students today.

July 17, 2008 at 4:45 PM  

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