So…why are schools they way they are?
Will Richardson
1

Schools are the way they are because they are designed and operated by societies that collectively have a fixed mindset.

We develop a fixed mindset because we start noticing our own limitations when we compare ourselves to others and we fail at stuff. This happens in school, but it also happens in every day life. The shift to a fixed mindset is accelerated because society is filled with people with fixed mindsets—we are bombarded with the message that we are limited 24/7. Again, this has nothing to do with schools. Schools are a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.

The reason why schools don’t change and seem incapable of making obvious improvements is because of this fixed mindset. If we were to transform education, how much of a difference would that make in a person’s life after school? Not in school. After school. How much would it change their career path, their wealth, etc? If we believe in a fixed mindset, then we believe that incremental progress may be possible, but that people are ultimately limited in how far they can grow. Most educators are simply unwilling to take on massive personal risks to implement changes that will only result in incremental improvement in the long run. That’s why you see well-intentioned educators re-arranging deck chairs.

The only way to transform education is to convince society that the average person is capable of continuous transformational growth.

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