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Thomas Galvez

Thomas Galvez's Public Library

  • Instead of measuring difficulty in terms of information retrieval, or amount of homework, the new standard of personal rigor puts thinking and intelligent behaviors at the forefront. How a student expresses those personal qualities become the standard for capability and performance. In effect, we’re starting to redefine what is ‘hard’ in school.
  • The chief barrier to moving forward is an outdated definition of rigor. The core task of the modern world is not to prep students for standardized tests by delivering content, or even to make them “college ready,” but to prepare them to judge the quality of information, generate new ideas, filter them through a net of critical analysis and reflection, and share and move the ideas through a design process to create a quality product, either as an idea or a material object
  • “Rigor is the result of work that challenges students’ thinking in new and interesting ways. It occurs when they are encouraged toward a sophisticated understanding of fundamental ideas and are driven by curiosity to discover what they don’t know.” This definition is notable in that it makes no reference to getting into the “best” college

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  • When a politician talks anger and they talk fear, they are mainlining, just like a heroin addict, going straight for the most sensitive parts of the brain because fear and anger are those emotions that we really relate to. And when a politician engages and indulges people’s fears and their angers, they seem really authentic. That’s why Donald Trump seems so authentic to so many millions of people because these emotions are so strong and powerful.
  • our brain comes with a similar mechanism and that is to help protect us from danger. So the people who are going to be more likely to survive a dangerous attack were those who would be able to be sensitive to when a dangerous attack was coming
  • When Donald Trump is attacking Mexican immigrants or Muslims just trying to come visit the United States, he is activating this deep-seated cognitive bias that we have, which is the false alarm bias

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  • I think academic environments are artificial environments. People who succeed there are sort of finely trained, they’re conditioned to succeed in that environment.
  • One of their major findings was an inverse relationship between students’ reported GPA and their orientation toward creative or innovative work.  The higher the grade point average, the lower was the students’ interest in innovation. 
  • Perhaps students with propensities toward innovation are less concerned with grading systems that rely on memorization by way of assessment than students with higher grade point averages. Alternatively, college-going students with innovation intentions may be more likely to approach their education as a means to discover new ideas, wanting more out of the experience than a series of external valuations in the form of grade point averages

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  • “It is the belief that qualities can change and that we can develop our intelligence and abilities.”
  • To foster growth mindsets in students, teachers can coach students to try different learning strategies that make the brain work smarter.
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