I recently joined a book study group hosted by colleagues from New York State. We just started discussing Chapter 1 and 2 of Carol Dweck’s fabulous book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Chapter 1 and 2 explains the two mindsets, the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. This graphic representation depicts the two mindsets perfectly:
A Fixed Mindset in the NYS Education Department?
Our first question posed was this: “Think of a teacher or colleague with a fixed mindset – someone who won’t take risks, who can’t admit mistakes, and gets defensive after setbacks. What information from the chapter helps you understand that person better?”
As the weekend progressed, many posts, blogs, tweets, you name it, went viral about the NYS Education Commissioner and the NYS PTA sponsored Town Hall meetings in Pougkeepsie and Whitesboro. Needless to say, he got an earful of criticism, complaints, and hounding to resign his post. You can see clips here, and here.
Some of these folks were downright rude and should be embarrassed with their approach, but what is surprising I think to all educators in New York is that the PTA and the commissioner have cancelled further Town Hall meetings due to “special interests” What does that mean “special interests?” I guess I’m a “special interest” to write this blog. Come on, this is about our kids! (A facebook page has been created called NY Special Interest) Carol Burris wrote a fantastic post here about leadership and how our commissioner “blew it big time”. Tony Sinanis wrote another letter to the commissioner about how we can work together. I wonder if the commissioner will ever answer you Tony?
So, this brings me back to that first question from our book study. I wonder if our State Education commissioner was of a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? You decide.