A Journey Towards Agency
It is no secret that mathematics is an area of weakness in American education. It is also no secret that American culture is 'supportive' of being bad at math. So many adults will casually remark, "I was bad at math too. I turned out okay though!" This frames giving up on math as being socially acceptable and promotes toxic mindsets towards math in students. Unsurprisingly, America has fallen behind the rest of the world in mathematics education.
I believe the solution is in building growth mindsets in students. More than that, I want to see students move beyond a growth mindset from a perspective of "I can improve if I am willing to work hard," to "I know I can improve myself with these resources!" My journey began with research on how a growth mindset could better equip students for the challenges of open ended problem solving and 21st Century Learning. You can read the introduction from my paper Examining The Relationship Between A Growth Mindset And Performance Task Performance In Mathematics below:
"A change in education has become necessary as technology, the workplace, and career paths have rapidly evolved. Students need to be better equipped to problem solve and succeed in higher education. Studies, examined below, have shown that a growth mindset develops resiliency and grit in students and provides a needed boost to girls and minorities. Recent commentary from Darling Hammond (2009)indicates a need for a perspective shift from within the classroom. R.J. Marzano and Senn (2015) describe a method for breaking away from traditional instruction to a model built more around students creating claims with cognitively rich problems. They claim their research-supported techniques improve engagement and achievement in the classroom. This further implies what Darling Hammond says outright: change in the classroom is necessary for students to succeed."