Growth Mindset & Brain Elasticity

This is a fascinating video to watch and I strongly encourage you to spend the eight minutes viewing it. As a taster, it touches on a few “buzz words” that you’re likely to have come across no matter what industry you work in, but almost certainly have encountered if you work in the education sector:

  • Growth vs Fixed Mindset
  • Brain Elasticity (neuro-plasticity)
  • Rewiring neural pathways and connections
  • Unconscious bias

What is really interesting to me is the presenter draws the conclusion that:

Knowledge does not equal understanding

From what I gather in this specific context, he is saying just because he has the knowledge of how to ride a bicycle, he does not have the understanding to execute his knowledge.

bike blogEssentially, he rides a “reverse bike” whereby when you turn the handle bars to the left the wheel turns in the opposite direction i.e. to the right. Conversely, turn the handle bars right and the the bike turns left. It sounds simple but his premise is that his brain has been hardwired over ~30yrs of riding a bike that it can not handle a seemingly simple enough change.

To prove this, it took him a full eight months to “re-learn” how to ride the reverse bike, whereby in contrast his young son learnt to ride the new bike in only two weeks! I’m reasonably certain I don’t understand the full ramifications of that, however I can appreciate the implications for us practically – let’s feed our kids with lots of knowledge, languages and other ideas so they can absorb them at an incredibly fast rate. Equally, let’s continue to set high bars for students to attain to as their brains are very elastic at a young age and capable of learning at a much faster rate than adults.

The guy in the video also talks about unconscious bias (another buzz word in my workplace) as he reflects on his prior assumptions of the relative skills/knowledge of engineers vs welders and what he considered to be a “truth” – the idea that he could not forget how to ride a bike.

I’d love to get this bike in front of a class full of kids – I can totally see the “cool guys” trying to show off and saying how easy it must be, before falling flat on their faces in front of their class mates! It’s a thought provoking video and concept and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

I am always keen to discuss what I've written and hear your ideas so leave a reply here...

%d bloggers like this: