To have a growth mindset, an individual needs to be able to see challenges as opportunities. A growth mindset is more prevalent in the movie “A Smile as Big as the Moon,” than a fixed mindset. In this movie, the teamwork that the class has to learn was a big contribution to switching over from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. The special ed class had to change how they were individually and as a group, because kids with a growth mindset are taught that intelligence can be developed through education and work.
In order for the class to make it to Space Camp, they will need to work together. When dealt with a problem, they need to believe that they, as individuals can personally change and grow. This is why we chose between the two mindsets, a growth mindset is the more overpowering one. At the beginning of the movie, there was a lot of tension in the classroom throughout every single student. Mike Kersjes, a special education teacher with years of experience under his belt of teaching children with severe disabilities, everything from Asperger’s to mental retardation.
Mike knows one important thing, that the children need is to be treated with tough love. Mike wants to push them to learn and strive for goals, this is why he thinks Space Camp will teach them to see challenges as opportunities. All the children want to be apart of this, but there are many hurdles to be faced before they can go, some of these can be as little as keeping calm all the way to being able to learn the Space Camp curriculum. To some of the everyday ‘normal’ people, these can be huge steps for this group to make. When the kids heard about Mr. Kersjes wanting to send them to Space camp, they all showed a fixed mindset, even their assistant teacher, Ms. McKinney said it could be too much for them. With even bigger hurdles to get over, Mike still had to convince the administration of the Space Camp program that these kids will be able to do it, without changing their curriculum. This was just one of many challenges they would have to overcome, but it did not let them down. When many of the classmates saw the rigorous curriculum they stated that they no one was capable of completing the assignments.
Many of the obstacles that Mr. Kersjes’ students had to overcome was mainly to keep calm and work together. One example in the movie is everyone failing to stay calm and collected, when they got to Space Camp and were assigned to design their own badge to put on their jackets. Everyone started to ramble off ideas and that they were all not talented enough to design it. At one point, Lewis had a little breakdown and stormed out of the room, then his teammates realized that they were in the wrong and needed to calm down for the sake of their teammates disability.
With all of the effort this group of student put into Space Camp, they overcame all the odds and stereotypes that everyone thought about them. While at camp, there was a group that make very rude comments that stupid people only rode the short bus and even asking Steve if Ben was even on their team because he had Down Syndrome. There were many people that were astonished that they made it that far and even got awards before they left, because this group of kids achieved their greatest goal. In conclusion, we picked to write that the movie “A Smile as Big as the Moon” prevailed more of a growth mindset than a fixed.
Although there was a lot of fixed mindset in the beginning, they were able to change. In the film people do not understand that talent can be a very negative thing when people are praised and encouraged too much for motivation. In doing that, they get little work done. This group of kids were constantly put down by the other kids in their school and they just felt like failures. This is why we need to praise our children for their hard work, so it created a growth mindset and goes a farther distance than praising them for their smartness.