We Forget What Threatens Us
Humility Boosts Learning describes some of the work she has done with Schumann and Dweck. They find that intellectual humility, the recognition that what we know is only partial and that we still have a lot to learn from others, is very important in learning. It is true that students may do well in classes when they are trying to preserve a "smart" image, but such motivation fails when the subject becomes extremely challenging. The only motivation that can bring true engagement in learning is the acknowledgement that one still has a lot to learn. This is called the "growth mindset". Porter describes this specifically in the following paragraph:
"For example, if a student cares most about looking smart in school and enrolls in an advanced calculus class where he quickly realizes that he is unlikely to look smart, he may disengage from the course, stop trying to contribute in class, stop trying to understand the material, and perhaps withdraw from the class altogether. However, if he cares most about learning, he is more apt to persist in the course because it is a valuable learning opportunity."In this respect, educators do find a great wall to overcome. Our society at the moment does not promote intellectual humility. Instead, we label ourselves, we label our children. We grow our egos but not our minds. As a result, we do not even want to listen to other people who do not share the same prejudices we have.