OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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by Stephen Downes
Jan 25, 2016

The Stanford professor who pioneered praising kids for effort says we’ve totally missed the point
Jenny Anderson, Quartz, 2016/01/25


We've probably all heard the sarcastic comments about giving every kid a prize for trying, instead of awarding one prize to the winner. The idea of praising effort rather than results is scorned and ridiculed. But as this article notes, if we praise only results, those with more ability are content with an easy win, and those with less ability look for shortcuts and ways to game the system. Praising effort is important. But as reseracher Carol Dweck says "people needed to know" (ironically behind a paywall) the reason effort is important is that it leads to results. "The exciting part of Dweck’s mindset research is that it shows intelligence is malleable... The more they had a growth mindset in 2nd grade the better they did in 4th grade and the relationship was significant."

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What a Million Syllabuses Can Teach Us
Joe Karaganis, David McClure, New York Times, 2016/01/25


This is an article in the New York Times about The Open Syllabus Project. So far this site, as the name suggests, has "collected more than a million syllabuses from university websites." The purpose is to "extract some of their key components — their metadata — starting with their dates, their schools, their fields of study and the texts that they assign." It's a news story because this week they made their "syllabus explorer" public. But don't be misled - you can't actually find or explore syllabi using this took; the actual content remains hidden. It's just a list of th most common book references in syllabi (or as they say it, 'syllabuses').

(Note: I've started hitting subscription walls on New York Times articles - I've tried adding the following extension to the link: ?partner=rss&emc=rss to try to make it go away. If this doesn't work I'll cease linking to New York Times articles, as the objectiove of OLDaily is to provide you dith dirct access to articles, not to act as advertising for paywall sites. More on these paywalls.)

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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