Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Some agents of socialization can teach unintended (latent) lessons.

Dweck's Mindset
Speaking of agents of socialization and family, we learned that sometimes we are influenced in unintended, hidden ways. That is called latent socialization. Another example of latent family messages is from a book by Carolyn Dweck called Mindset. Here is an excerpt. In the book, Dweck explains that unintentionally many of us sabotage our own learning because we have "fixed mindsets". That is we believe that either we know something or we don't and that's it. For example, either I am good at math or not. But Dweck explains that some people have a "growth mindset" meaning that they understand that whatever they learn, they have worked hard to learn and when something is difficult, they change how they learn it. These people are excited about the learning and are open to new ideas and they enjoy the challenge of learning. Often times, those with fixed mindsets learned to be that way because they were overly praised by parents and teachers. For example, "You are so smart," or "You are so good at math." Then when these students have difficulty, they think, "Well I guess I am not good at that," rather than "I have to try something different or try harder to learn that." Do you see how the fixed mindset can sabotage learning? Do you think that you have been socialized by parents or school to have one mindset or another? What are some other ways that you may have been latently socialized?

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