Food for Thought

st andrews 2016_2441

Carol Dweck Revisits the ‘Growth Mindset’

By Carol Dweck Education Week Sept. 22, 2015

Jori Bolton for Education Week

For many years, I secretly worked on my research. I say “secretly” because, once upon a time, researchers simply published their research in professional journals-and there it stayed.

However, my colleagues and I learned things we thought people needed to know. We found that students’ mindsets-how they perceive their abilities-played a key role in their motivation and achievement, and we found that if we changed students’ mindsets, we could boost their achievement. More precisely, students who believed their intelligence could be developed (a growth mindset) outperformed those who believed their intelligence was fixed (a fixed mindset). And when students learned through a structured program that they could “grow their brains” and increase their intellectual abilities, they did better. Finally, we found that having children focus on the process that leads to learning (like hard work or trying new strategies) could foster a growth mindset and its benefits.


Grit: the power of passion and perseverance – By Angela Lee

Why I became a philosophy teacher: to get kids thinking about life’s big ideas

The emphasis on knowledge in schools led Steve Hoggins to take up philosophy teaching and encourage more thinking and questioning in the classroom

Sunday 27 October 2013

I didn’t have a clue what philosophy was when I chose it as one of my AS levels. The most fascinating thing for me was hearing about concepts and ideas that I had started wondering about before I ever studied philosophy. My older brother died when I was 11 so I’d thought a lot about what death is. I thought I couldn’t tell anyone what I thought about this and then I met philosophers who had all these ideas.

Why team sports really do improve grades: Link between self-esteem and better performance in the classroom

By Sarah Harris

  • High school students who play a team sport are more likely to get better grades
  • Survey of 14-18 year olds shows competitive sport has a bigger impact on a student’s grades than joining the debating or drama club

Team sport is the only extracurricular activity to make a significant difference to students’ academic grades, new research has revealed.

Teenagers who belong to sports clubs – as opposed to activities such as drama or debating – are also more likely to complete their education and enter higher education.


6 Benefits of Music Lessons

Learning to play an instrument can help your child fine-tune her ear and enhance skills needed for education and social interaction.

By Angela Kwan

Between soccer and scouts, your school-age kid’s schedule is loaded with fun activities. If you’re on the fence about adding music classes to the list, take note of the benefits that come with signing your little one up for violin or piano lessons. Maybe she won’t be the next Beethoven, but she may have an easier time learning math, practicing good manners (including patience!), and becoming a team player. Read on to learn more about the benefits of music education.


A new study supports our hunch that kids who are exposed to the arts gain benefits beyond just being “more creative.”

Those who would consider themselves part of the creative class would probably agree that art is an important part of primary school education. Since school boards concerned about the bottom line don’t necessarily agree, a team of social scientists at the University of Arkansas is trying to scientifically prove the benefits of exposure to art. What they found, in a recent study published in the journals Education Next and Educational Researcher, is that students who are exposed to cultural institutions, like museums and performing arts centers, not only have higher levels of engagement with the arts but display greater tolerance, historical empathy, as well as better educational memory and critical thinking skills.


Science Says Art Will Make Your Kids Better Thinkers (and Nicer People)

Students with influence over peers reduce school bullying by 30 percent

Curbing school bullying has been a focal point for educators, administrators, policymakers and parents, but the answer may not lie within rules set by adults, according to new research. Instead, the solution might actually be to have the students themselves, particularly those most connected to their peers, promote conflict resolution in school.

Date: January 4, 2016

Source: Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs


The age of humanism is ending

In a world set on objectifying everybody and every living thing in the name of profit, the erasure of the political by capital is the real threat. The transformation of the political into business raises the risk of the elimination of the very possibility of politics.

Whether civilisation can give rise at all to any form of political life is the problem of the 21st century.

Achille Mbembe is based at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research. His new book, The Politics of Enmity, will be published by Duke University Press in 2017.