“Boaler is one of those rare and remarkable educators who not only know the secret of great teaching but also know how to give that gift to others.” — CAROL DWECK, author of Mindset“Jo Boaler is one of the most creative and innovative educators today. Limitless Mind marries cutting-edge brain science with her experience in the classroom, not only proving that each of us has limitless potential but offering strategies for how we can achieve it.” — LAURENE POWELL JOBS
“A courageous freethinker with fresh ideas on learning.” — BOOKLIST
In this revolutionary book, a professor of education at Stanford University and acclaimed math educator who has spent decades studying the impact of beliefs and bias on education, reveals the six keys to unlocking learning potential, based on the latest scientific findings.
From the moment we enter school as children, we are made to feel as if our brains are fixed entities, capable of learning certain things and not others, influenced exclusively by genetics. This notion follows us into adulthood, where we tend to simply accept these established beliefs about our skillsets (i.e. that we don’t have “a math brain” or that we aren’t “the creative type”). These damaging—and as new science has revealed, false—assumptions have influenced all of us at some time, affecting our confidence and willingness to try new things and limiting our choices, and, ultimately, our futures.
Stanford University professor, bestselling author, and acclaimed educator Jo Boaler has spent decades studying the impact of beliefs and bias on education. In Limitless Mind, she explodes these myths and reveals the six keys to unlocking our boundless learning potential. Her research proves that those who achieve at the highest levels do not do so because of a genetic inclination toward any one skill but because of the keys that she reveals in the book. Our brains are not “fixed,” but entirely capable of change, growth, adaptability, and rewiring. Want to be fluent in mathematics? Learn a foreign language? Play the guitar? Write a book? The truth is not only that anyone at any age can learn anything, but the act of learning itself fundamentally changes who we are, and as Boaler argues so elegantly in the pages of this book, what we go on to achieve.
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About the Author
Dr. Jo Boaler is a professor of education and equity at Stanford University and the faculty director of youcubed—an education resource that has reached over 230 million students. She is the author of the first MOOC on mathematics teaching and learning, as well as nine mathematics books and numerous research articles. Her work has been published in the New York Times, TIME magazine, The Telegraph, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and many other news outlets. She was named by the BBC as one of eight educators “changing the face of education.” She lives in Stanford, California.
Table of Contents
Introduction The Six Keys 1
Chapter 1 How Neuroplasticity Changes … Everything 13
Chapter 2 Why We Should Love Mistakes, Struggle, and Even Failure 47
Chapter 3 Changing Your Mind, Changing Your Reality 77
Chapter 4 The Connected Brain 101
Chapter 5 Why Speed Is Out and Flexibility Is In! 133
Chapter 6 A Limitless Approach to Collaboration 165
Conclusion: Living Without Limits 203
Resources to Help Change Mindsets and Approaches 227
Appendix I Examples of Numerical and Visual Approaches to Math Problems 229
Appendix II A Sample Rubric 231
Credits and Permissions 239
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book reads like a fascinating conversation with a brilliant friend. Boaler shares her tremendous experience, expertise, and dogged effort in countering assumptions about learning and human potential -- and in so doing, encourages, motivates, and inspires us to do the same for ourselves. Simply put: believe in your ability to learn anything and change--and go out and live that potential in the world. You'll live a fuller, happier, richer life. It is difficult to express the passionate intelligence that lays out the science, the counterintuitive realities of learning math and the sciences in addition to insisting on learning and mastering difficult, complex, and daunting. The book resonated for me powerfully--I nodded throughout in recognition of my experiences and those of my friends and family in being our persistent, individual selves. Wonderful read -- fast and informative -- a book that you don't want to put down until you're finished it and heading out to wreak order and genuine learning in the world. I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Jo Boaler's Limitless Mind goes in depth into six habits of what she calls a "limitless mind", each of which is based on her own & other's research. Each chapter explains a habit and shares case study-like testimonials about people adopting the habit. The book has some practical application woven throughout; however, the weight of each chapter is on the many testimonials regarding how adopting a limitless outlook helped both teachers and students. I do wish she would have shared more practical ways to apply the research, especially in the beginning chapters. I'm convinced--but how do I apply these in my classroom? The appendix has suggested resources with typed out links, & I'm hoping the final edition will have QR codes (print version) and live links (e-book version) for ease of use. Overall, I recommend this book & will be reading it with colleagues as a book club selection. *I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.*