Any gap can also be easily explained by grading styles. A fixed teacher probably places more emphasis on tests and the entirety of the work over the course of the semester. A growth teacher probably places more emphasis on homework and gives weight to improvement over the course of a semester. Asian/Whites with their relative head start over URMs would on average do a bit better under the first teacher.
Honestly, I'm inclined to believe this study was done ethically, but I wanted to point out the possibility.
...grades assigned by those instructors? I haven't looked at the details but that's what I think is the biggest flaw in this study. It would not surprise me if the "growth mindset" instructors were also more lax with marking, introducing more noise in the grades while simultaneously making them higher. (I worked in teaching CS a while ago, and have seen some pretty horrible things...)
I'm personally of the "growth, but with a limit" mindset --- I wonder which side that stands on their scale.
Probably not directly. These are STEM classes at a big public university; I'm guessing most of the grades were assigned by TAs, and only approved or minimally adjusted by professors.
Is there a good way to abstract testing away from educators so they can focus on teaching? Isn't that the way it should be done?
In high school I found video games and chess, which captivated my competitive drive. Shouldn't education have such objective competitions where possible? I think that would eliminate such biases, captivate more minds, and propel human progress. No?
Test-retest reliability / concurrent reliability (not sure which applies):
Doesn't look great. Grades can vary dramatically between classes, even if those classes are closely related.
Not sure. I'm not sure what, if anything, GPA is meant to predict, and I've read varying things about how well it predicts success in one's career.
Face validity / construct validity:
Abysmal. What are grades supposed to measure, anyway? Work ethic? Motivation? Willingness to obey authority? Intelligence? Demonstrated mastery of the material? I have no idea.
Whatever they're meant to measure, they measure a lot of things no one would want them to, like the student's race and sex, whether or not they're working while in school, when the class starts, etc.
Some systems attempt this, at the level of individual courses, and what seems to happen is the educator focuses ever more on bureaucracy. It means that they can't be free to adjust the course to the class & the time, but must pre-commit to some plan which is approved by someone else, and the exam will be submitted many months ahead of time to get checked by other people, who do this in addition to their own teaching. All supervised by ever more administrators, incentives to make themselves unavoidable.
Some things like bar exams are external and standardised. (And GRE etc.) But trying to run every course this way seems a terrible idea.
Ideally I think this should be done at a high level -- i.e. separating the institutions that do the teaching from those that do the testing and award the credentials.
More practically in the short term, it would be great if teaching and grading were separated and allocated to different staff members. (Preferably with a proper firewall between them, to guard against politics and favour-trading.) There are just too many conflicts of interest and emotional pressures involved. This separation may also increase the likelihood that grading would be taken seriously, with markers given enough time and incentive to do the job properly.
Do you still think that would be the best approach?
I’d also like surveillance in place with the express intent of catching and correcting bullying. But that’d encounter political push back. Bullying, though, should be taken as seriously as bringing a gun to school and a kill list. Lots of counseling, parental oversight, etc
And if all of this is too much then we scrap public schooling and offer online teaching with plenty of library study spaces.
It should be possible to flag a bad grade, doesn’t mean we need to institute a surveillance system to achieve this. The same goes for bad actors playing teacher.
The ACLU even has an app that can start recording by voice command. You should use it any time you are in a scenario with disproportionate inbalance of power (like when a police officer pulls you over).
I have, at times, walked in to situations with my phone's voice recorder running. I have, at times, photographed and filmed the police.
What does the right to record yourself in public have to do with institutionalised panopticon style surveillance?
I wasn't necessarily arguing for institutionalized/state surveillance, but that ideally, by my own experiences, I'd wish I'd have had every moment of my interactions in public available. It's simply too easy for people in power to abuse others.
They had me convinced I deserved the abuse or that it wasn’t abuse. They were “just telling me to expect to live my life alone and that no one would ever love me” out of the goodness of their hearts.
Why seek help with something that’s “not even a thing”?
That’s why third parties need to oversee student interactions.
Instead that article talks about some p=0.041/0.049 (!!) bs.
On the other hand, some of our math courses have assignments that are very short but extremely difficult. A person who is an expert in the material could probably do the assignment in about 20-30 minutes but for beginners it takes hours to figure out some of these proofs.
Let me start by saying that I don't believe a word of it. The evidence I have seen suggests that intelligence is important in pretty much all intellectual activities, can be accurately measured by IQ tests, and cannot be improved. This is also, as far as I can tell, the strong consensus of the psychological community.
Assuming this is true, the proliferation of this "growth mindset" thinking has at least two scary thoughts:
1. If we encourage people to adopt a growth mindset because it will make them do better, than we are telling them what to believe without caring whether or not it is true. We are encouraging the adoption of convenient beliefs. Is that what educators should do?
2. It may lead to building an even more unequal society than the one we already have. Imagine the person who has no natural ability at all in a given field and does not succeed in it. If that person has a fixed mindset, they can conclude they have no ability and move on. If that person has a growth mindset, will they have any other option than to blame themselves for being lazy? A growth mindset means that mere bad luck is turned into culpability. Success is largely the product of luck, whether due to the wealth of one's parents or one's natural ability. If everyone in society adopts a growth mindset, then successful people can claim they are morally superior than people who fail.
Even assuming this research is accurate, it's not some happy uplifting story about how being positive can solve all your problems. It's a nasty ethical can of worms.
Your second point is true, that success is often determined by factors outside of an individual’s control (e.g. luck, parental income, school district, discrimination, etc). But we should educate people on which factors that lead to success are under their control, and it appears the growth mindset leads to success and is under their control.
In the interest of teaching students real science and encouraging critical thinking, what should we do? Even if the growth mindset works, the fact that it works doesn't imply we should teach it.
I'd definitely agree that more research needs to be done, but at the moment I'd say that optimisism about your personal potential is most likely a strongly positive thing for most people.
A "growth mindset" is a scientific belief. It's not a personality trait, a positive outlook, or some sort of optimism. It is the belief that intelligence can be improved through hard work.
(You may notice that I consistently have "growth mindset" in scare quotes. A "growth mindset" is a scientific belief, and I wouldn't call it a "mindset" any more than I'd say doctors have a "germ theory mindset" or physicists have a "Copenhagen mindset.")
How intelligence works is a scientific problem. Encouraging a "growth mindset" because it makes students do better means weighing in on one side of the debate just because we like its conclusions.
If intelligence is largely fixed, as I believe it is, then encouraging a growth mindset means lying to people because we think they can't handle the truth. That might be the right thing to do, but it's a dangerous habit to get into.
At the age of 14 I took a Mensa test which came back with an IQ of 176. Up to that point I'd had reason to suspect I was smart. Once I had the 'proof', things went very badly for me, essentially I stopped working in school, especially work I didn't like. I got very confused and quite depressed when I didn't get the best result. I was smart and quite isolated in a small northern former coal mining town in England. Perhaps the tests were stupid. I eventually scraped into university and did very badly there (but fortunately found the nascent internet and a passion that sustains a career).
So 15 years later when I start reading about the growth mindset theories I'm like 'fuck yes!'.
I was thrilled and relieved when my youngest daughter (very smart, but prone to giving up if she doesn't crack a problem quickly) came home after starting secondary school and gave me a lecture on growth mindset. It's a core part of the schools ethos. They are a selective grammar school where everyone is smart.
It doesn't need to be absolutely empirically true to an effective learning tool. The mind is a slippery fish and they vary a lot. I see it as a tool like the pomodoro technique or flash cards which work better for some people than others.
TL;DR Growth mindset tools are especially important for smart people. It's just one technique in education.
I'd fully agree that telling the 2 that they should just try their hardest is definitely the right thing to do. Letting them know their advantage, especially prematurely, would be only likely to drive hubris and create a story of the tortoise and the hare. But if they apply themselves, the sky's the limit. Yet at the same time, what of the 3 with the ball and chain? They're not going to win, or even be able to compete in this field, regardless of how hard they try. Trying to convince them that they can do anything they want with hard work might make us feel better about ourselves, but I doubt is going to make them feel great as they find failure after failure regardless of the amount of effort they expend.
Maybe the best solution is indeed to just pretend, but I think that would only be because it is a least awful solution. I certainly cannot see any argument to be made that this is a desirable or ethical idea as it relates to the three we're talking about.
This, together with grades and the classes the student took, doesn't seem like it would be very anonymous?
I would say that your ability to code has nothing to do with whether you pass an interview. For example, here's a rejection I received recently:
> the decision was made mainly around our estimate of your level of enthusiasm for the company and the role. We are committed to hiring people who are strongly aligned with our mission and excited about the organization and what we are doing. In our conversation, you didn't express much interest in us as a company. [...]
> As I mentioned above, it is very important to us that our employees are excited about the company. We value that just as much as we value a fit from a skills and experience perspective. Again, I am sorry things didn't work out, but I hope you find this feedback helpful.
I have never worked at a place where I gave a shit about the company. I come in, I do my job, try my best to ensure things get better, eventually I roll out.
Never mix business with pleasure.
We need to have AI run everything to prevent bias.
A later paper showed that you would get the same effect from a simple, rational time management approach. Cases that are granted parole tend to take longer to decide than those that are denied parole.
If the judges can estimate before the hearing which type of case it is likely to be (from things such as the thickness of the case file, what kind of representation the petition has, etc.), they would tend to schedule the cases that look like they will take longer first thing in the morning, or after lunch, or after the afternoon break, and they would schedule the shorter cases closer to break times.
This would result in more granting of parole in the morning and after breaks than before breaks.
Here's an article about this .
Or should we leave the lunchtime factor out and just dilute the unfairness across every sentence?