A Dynamic Mind; Not a Growth Mindset

by Rick on November 29, 2016

The antidote for a “fixed mindset” is not a “growth mindset,” but a mind on a mission.

One morning ten years ago a kindergarten teacher named John walked into his class wearing a pink shirt. There had been an outbreak of students saying a certain toy or activity was “just for boys” or “just for girls.” He had decided it was time for some lessons on gender equity. When the students entered class, one of the boys asked with hesitation, “Is that a… pink shirt?” “Yes. Why?” John responded. “Really?” the boy started to cringe his face and smirk. “Yes, pink,” said John. Read More…


Hillary Won. No, she didn’t! Yes, she did! Come on, people, let’s be accurate.

The airwaves are already filled with advice about how to help our young people through this divisive moment in American history. One important bit of advice I haven’t heard yet: be accurate. Read More…


The choice before us tomorrow is not so rational as it is cultural, and school culture bears the lion’s share of the responsibility.

When we look beneath the invective that the candidates and the media throw around, and look instead at the America behind the words, two cultures become clearly defined. Read More…


Environmental Education Teacher, Misty, took a group of three-year-olds into the garden to feed snails and slugs to the chickens. She explained how chickens are also fertilizing and tilling the soil when they eat weeds and grubs–a little lesson in interdependence. Then, she sent them off to look for food suitable for chickens.

urbanMamas childcareMisty was examining snails with two students, when she heard a racket and looked up to see Max lifting up the fence up and bringing it back down again and again, which was particularly disturbing to Fluffy, who panicked and escaped from the garden the next time Max lifted the fence high enough. Read More…

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When you have run through your usual repertoire, and your relationship is still less than wonderful, don’t react. Act to change the context. It works with 3-month-olds, and it works with adults.



Can conflict be creative? My older brother and I fought a lot. “Fight to the death!” we said. It scared our mother, and scared me, too, I guess.

I remember at age eight fighting in our back yard with Bruce Keller, the son of the police chief who lived on the other side of the stonewall. Of course, manly pride required that I fight it out with him, but deep inside I didn’t want to. Read More…


Play is essential to optimize learning Language, Math, Science, as well as preparing the brain for collaboration, creativity and making valuable contributions to the world. Read More…


If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

–Rudyard Kipling

At lunchtime on the first day of fourth grade my best friend Jimmy stuck a deviled egg in my face and said “Eat it.” Back then, a deviled egg was a foreign substance to me, and I was not feeling adventurous.

“No, thank you,” I said.

“Eat it,” said Jimmy more insistently

“No. I don’t want it.”

“Eat it!!!” Read More…


Excellent short summary of the history of social unrest in America of the last 70 years & the origins of rising rage. Norman Rockwell_ The Problem We All Live With « AbagondOne critical piece is missing from the history and the analysis: a dysfunctional public school system. The American educational system, designed 150 years ago to prepare workers for the industrial age, is still preparing them for the industrial age. Read More…


Some say yes. Some say no. Come on, people. Could we please ask questions that help us get to useful truths about Education Reform. Article in the New York Times June 30, 2016: Read More…