Week Two Robotics

Week Two Robotics

What is the link between “tinkering,” “hard play,” and a “growth


First, I would like to give the definitions for these words. “Tinkering,” according to dictionary.com is to “busy oneself with a thing without useful results.” There are other definitions, but this is the one I am thinking of when I think of tinkering in the learning context. I didn’t find the definition for “hard play,” but I am thinking that it is when you recreate with a lot of effort. “Growth mindset” refers to being prepared for continuous learning.

So, what links these three terms? I would say that they all are dealing with someone who will not stop learning and who will keep trying. So tinkering is you are trying to figure it out, hard play is you’re committed to keep going until you’ve got it figured out, and growth mindset is you want to continue to figure things out. This is my idea of how I think they link together: the three terms all stand for different phases of problem-solving.

I found the article by Dr. Dweck (2006) very interesting on growth mindset. She said the students who learn this mindset show greater motivation in school and earn better grades and higher test scores. The infographic is particularly interesting.


         Looking at the infographic, we want our students to operate on the side of the growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. You can see that, with a growth mindset, a student will embrace challenges, persist in challenges, see effort as a path to mastery, learn from criticism, and find inspiration in the success of others. This is where we want our students to be.

I think all three terms come together to create a learning environment that nurtures a growth mindset. If the student wants to tinker with something he or she is interested in, if the student plays hard at trying to succeed, and if he or she develops the qualities of a growth mindset, the student will thrive on challenges, learn from mistakes, be inspired by others, and not give up. A growth mind set class is one that I would like to have. I want my students to be successful and, even though they may fail, not think of failure as an end but as a growing point, and keep trying.


Dweck, C. (2006). Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives. Retrieved May 26, 2015, from http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/29/carol-dweck-mindset/

Tinkering. (2015). Retrieved May 26, 2015, from    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tinkering

What is growth mindset? (2012). Retrieved May 25, 2015, from https://www.mindsetworks.com/webnav/whatismindset.aspx

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