As part of Graduate Student Appreciation Week, join us for a session on Growth Mindset at MIT on Wednesday, April 13, from 2-3pm in the student center, W20, Private Dining Rooms 1 and 2. Many students arrive at MIT riding on years of academic success and praise from teachers, parents, and colleagues. But what happens when you encounter uncertainty and failure? Have you encountered challenging situations when you worry about how others will perceive you if don’t sound smart enough? When you fail to achieve a specific goal, how do you manage and overcome discouragement and self-doubt? In this short talk, we will examine how our own notions of potential and ability can have a fundamental impact on how we approach our work, how much we learn, and how successful we can be in achieving our goals. The talk will focus on recent, evidence-based insights regarding human performance, neuroplastictiy, motivation and on how deliberately cultivating a “growth-mindset” can improve our willingness and ability to face challenges and to innovate, despite the risk of failure.
Lourdes Alemán is a Research Scientist in MIT’s Office of Digital Learning (ODL) and the Biology Department. Lourdes graduated from Brown University with a B.S. in Biology and obtained her Ph.D. from MIT’s Biology Department where she studied the specificity of RNA interference in Professor Phillip A. Sharp’s lab. She moved onto become a postdoctoral fellow at MIT in curriculum innovation and science education. During her work with Professor Graham Walker’s HHMI MIT Education Group, Lourdes helped develop, implement, disseminate and assess a suite of innovative software tools for teaching experimental design and data analysis (StarBiochem, StarGenetics and StarCellBio). In her current role at ODL, she advises faculty on how to implement technology effectively in the classroom and is engaged in projects that aim to understand how students learn best. She currently serves as an instructor for MIT’s Teaching and Learning Lab where she teaches in the Kaufman Teaching Certificate Program, and also serves as a member of the MIT-Haiti Initiative, where she leads sessions for Haitian biology faculty on best practices for teaching and learning. Her latest endeavor is MIT’s first course on growth mindset and achievement that she created to help students embrace and overcome academic and career challenges.