Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hot Moments or Difficult Discussions?

Sometimes the emails I receive at work make me wonder what is happening to the world of education. It's probably always been this way  but the use of sensationalism to grab people's attention seems much more in one's face these days; probably because of the use of social and mass media.

Today I was invited to register for an on-line seminar on the topic of "hot moments in the classroom"  presented by Dr. Tasha Souza of Boise State University. For only $247 I can join in and there is a "100% satisfaction is guaranteed".  Just for fun, I google-imaged "hot moments"  and then I google-imaged "difficult discussions" the other part of the seminar title. When you compare the two sets of results it becomes fairly clear why the term 'hot moments' was chosen; obviously an effort to boost the number of people shelling out $247.

I'm probably getting old and cynical, or maybe I already am, but this type of sensationalism is not what is going to help improve the educational experience for our students. For me, it is denigrating to use the term to describe what the author herself says are clearly important times during the educative process. Being able to handle different points of view between 20 or so adults in a classroom can be a tricky thing but a hot moment it is not. When difficult topics are discussed with open minds then we all can learn. When we all adopt and develop growth mindset skills and dispositions we are all able to develop the way we think, feel, sense and learn.

Theories such as Carol Dweck's Mindset theory are well research, developed and improved upon over time unlike the sensationalist ideas such as Souza's "hot moments" and Angela Lee Duckworth's idea of grit..   

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