Personal Understanding of The Book Before Reading It
From the book title, the mind is depicted as limitless in that it can take in vast information. The brain is thought to be an adaptable muscle that, when something is learned, increases its capacity to accommodate new information. This is due to the growth of the hippocampus in the brain, which, however, is bound to return to its normal size when it is no longer feeding the brain with information. The human brain is not fixed, so its growth should be fostered from an early age.
Parents, teachers, and other caregivers should strive to promote positive growth of the brain in ways such as avoidance of labeling children as smart. For instance, when solving math, the learner should be praised with the sentiments that they are creative and not calling them smart. Smart people are bound to choose fewer engaging tasks in the future as compared with creative people, whose majority choose challenging tasks that are brain-involving. This aspect promotes a rich yet fixed mindset that leads to the growth of the brain through coming up with new ideas and planning new actions.
Biggest Takeaways from the Book
Over the years, people have been grouped according to their abilities, for instance, as those who can and those who cannot. Individuals not reaching their potential have been thought to have limited brains; however, recently, it has been discovered that the brain can expand (Boaler, 2019). Therefore, it is an interesting fact that the brain is thought to increase its capacity or plasticize to accommodate more information. However, when minimal ideas or actions are being added to the brain, despite an individual’s age, it tends to shrink back down again. According to Boaler (2019), the brain can plasticize again when an individual learns more even after it has contracted; hence, referred to as limitless. When people study or learn something, the brain grows where first, a new pathway is formed when an individual deeply ventures into the understanding of a particular piece of information (Boaler, 2019). The existing delicate pathway is strengthened and eventually connects to the new pathway, thereby fostering brain growth.
Another takeaway fact is that mistakes make us human as we make them from time to time in our daily lives. At times, as human beings, making mistakes, struggling with life’s challenges, and even failing to tend to make us feel distressed and terrible. However, another interesting fact is that these times when we are struggling, making mistakes, or even thinking that we have failed, are the best times that promote the growth of the brain (Boaler, 2019). According to Boaler (2019), neural connections are made when people make mistakes and embrace their shortcomings in the learning process. The science of mistakes is used to explain this fact, where learners are to work on challenging questions to experience growth. Therefore, to combat a mistake, struggle, or failure, one should begin loving their shortcomings by encouraging themselves that one knows the answer, embrace the learning pit, and eventually feed their mind with positivity.
Similarly, it is interesting to note that perceptions about certain things are stored in our brains; hence, when these perceptions and our bodies change, then our brains change physically as well. According to Boaler (2019), when people change their mindset and start believing in positive change, they become open to new ideas and are positive learning experiences. Consequently, changing of mindset and embracing new approaches to knowledge leads to brain growth and exploitation of full individual potential. Therefore, in a classroom set-up, when students receive information, the brain being a muscle, grows with the effort and work aimed at changing the achievement levels. Similarly, a multidimensional approach can be applied to bring about stronger brain connections leading to higher engagement and achievement in learners (Boaler, 2019). Social connections with other people help an individual advance their ideas and reduce stress and anxiety, which otherwise would block the learning memory retarding brain connections and flexibility.
Questions Raised on Author Research and Existing Gaps
Some of the questions that can be raised from the book are: If the hippocampus shrinks back to its original size, can it be stimulated to plasticize again? Can brain neuroplasticity be measured by observation? How do brain connections arise from collaborations? Is the multidimensional approach appropriate to all age gaps? The author’s research was well articulated, with case studies and real-life examples being given to pass through the point. The introduction provides a thesis statement and case studies on what the paper will be about. The paper follows through with well-thought-out key steps in promoting and fostering a limitless mind. The author, however, should have provided repercussions of brain plasticity to the individuals and statistical data on the outcomes of the case studies.
Boaler, J. (2019). Limitless mind: Learn, lead, and live without barriers. HarperCollins.