If you've ever studied probability, odds are, you’ve calculated some combinations. Let’s see if you can put your skills to the test in this real-world problem: In a class of 30 students, how many ways can you group them if you want five per group? (Answer: 142,506 possible groups.) In other words, a ridiculous amount of possibilities even before considering the decisions still to come. Do you change groups for every project or keep them the same for an entire semester? Do you vary ability levels or group learners with similar aptitudes? Do you let students create their groups or assign them into carefully selected teams? It’s a tough cookie, we know — so let’s take a closer look at some of these grouping options and analyze when they would be most effective.
In late 2007, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph. D., shook the psychology world with her publication of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. In the book, Dweck details her simple, yet groundbreaking discovery of the power of one’s mindset. From education and sports to work and the arts, nearly every area of our lives, at its core, is dramatically influenced by how we perceive our own abilities and skills.
Outside of a learning environment, can you remember the last time you used the Pythagorean Theorem, the Bernoulli Principle or basic chemistry in your day-to-day life? It’s true that these lessons, the hours of studying formulas or practicing mathematical proofs, are used as foundational stepping stones for continued learning, meaning that while it isn’t being used daily, it is still constructive to continued education, but the root of the question still goes unanswered. Why aren’t students learning about the things they are interested in? Why aren’t they learning about the things they will use in the real world of work? Well, this is where Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs come in.