Letters to the Editor

Lise Osvold: Core encourages better thinking

Regarding the Nov. 29 news sidebar “Two student perspectives”: If the two student perspectives on Common Core are truly representative of the established pro and con views on this curriculum, it is evident that Common Core is superior to other methods of teaching mathematics.

Parker Klinck’s essay demonstrated that he embodies a “Growth Mindset” (according to Carol S. Dweck’s recent research), whereas Gillian Wensell’s essay demonstrates a “Fixed Mindset.”

Klinck’s enthusiasm about going deeper into the process of learning demonstrated a positive attitude toward learning challenging, previously unknown and unfamiliar concepts. People with a growth mindset value both personal and professional development and are capable of responding to both the world around them and to their inner fears, hopes and desires.

Wensell’s anxiety suggests two problems. That “two words” morphed “into something horrifying” indicated that someone provided the negative attitude with which she approached Common Core before she even knew what it was about. Also, her predetermined belief that “Standard Math 2 was not for me” suggested that she sees her qualities as innate and not capable of developing over time with effort. She seemed to believe that having to work so hard at something means she should not have to do it.

Which type of thinking has helped make the United States great?

Lise Osvold