Exercise Weekend

You were provided a journal on your first day of class. Each weekend you'll receive a brief journaling assignment in addition to your coding homework. (Review the Journaling at Epicodus lesson for a refresher.)

Week Four Journal Prompt

Spend several moments thinking critically about the following questions, and record brief yet honest responses. Include a date or timestamp and a brief summary of the prompt to refer back to later.

In this course's pre-work we asked you to read Sal Khan's article The Learning Myth: Why I'll Never Tell My Son He's Smart, discussing the growth mindset. (Please briefly revisit this article if you didn't read it before the course, or don't remember what it discussed.)

As Carol Dweck also expertly explains in her 2016 article What Having a 'Growth Mindset' Actually Means:

"Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). This is because they worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning."

And this isn't just a 'feel-good' concept either. It's actually scientifically proven! Tons of scholarly work and studies uphold the importance of the growth mindset, including this 2010 study from the University of Glasgow that found programming students with a growth mindset performed notably better in programming classes than those without.

So this week's journal entry will focus on our mindsets, whether they're setting us up for success, and what we can do to better foster our own growth-based mindset.

  • When, like all developers, you encounter a problem you can't immediately solve, what's your internal reaction? Is it along the lines of "Oh, I'm not smart enough for this."? More like "Okay, I just need to learn more.", or something else?

  • Be honest, what do you value and praise yourself for more? Innately/already knowing how to solve a problem? Or being able to stick with it, research, troubleshoot, and learn more to debug?

  • Based on your answers to questions above, do you think you have a growth mindset? Why or why not?

  • If you don't currently have a growth mindset, identify what you could do differently to begin fostering one. Or, if you already think you do, what could you to do maximize it?


We'll briefly discuss our journal responses to these questions with partners in class Monday morning. Make sure your responses are recorded before then!