Essential question: What is the link between “tinkering”, “hard play”, and the “growth mindset”?
Tinkering is trying things out, seeing how things work and trying to create something that you don’t yet know exists. In the book, Ivent to Learn: Making, Tinkering and Engineering in the Classroom by Sylvia Libow and Martin Stager, they define Tinkering as “a playful way to approach problem solving through direct experience, experimentation and from direct experience.”
Growth Mindset is a personal philosophy (many times unconscious) that you can change, you can grow and you can learn new things. If you don’t have it yet, keeping working on it and you will get there. To put in simple terms, people who have a fixed mindset give up easier or don’t even try because the have convinced themselves they can’t do it. If you believe this philosophy then Henry Ford was right when he said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
The power of growth mindset is that it is based on intrinsic motivation. It helps develop the attitude that makes a person want to learn. As Popova discusses in her article Fixed vs. Growth, “At the heart of what makes the “growth mindset” so winsome, Dweck found, is that it creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval.” (Popova, 2017)
To answer the question for this week I think you need to have a growth mindset at a very deep level in order to be able to stick with tinkering to actually learn at a deep level. You need one to have the other.
This is also related to Hard Play. You sometimes have to work hard and put some sweat into learning in order to enjoy the fruits of your labor. As Simons in her article Work Hard, Play Hard, “Sometimes, it’s really, really, hard to concentrate when you know you’re building something functional, exciting, and eventually really, really, fun to play with.” When you have all three, learning is an adventure.