professor
Carol Dweck

Aug 2004

Dweck is a great person, very nice, warm, and helpful. Unfortunately I took her class, partially based on her great reviews, and did NOT enjoy it. The tests are a pain in the ass because you literally have to memorize everything verbatim and spit it back exactly. Due her testing style is NOT at all stimulating, I found that although I went to every class and did all the readings...I learned NOTHING! The material is quite obvious, almost to the point of absurdity. Yes, spending time with you kid is probably good for their development. There are many nuanced theories, which while learning seemed mildly interesting, but looking back on the course, I cannot say that I learned one thing. If you are capable of memorization you will do wonderfully in the course...don't skip any classes because she wants you to regurgitate much of her lectures on the test. While I did get an A, I would not recommend the course unless you are fanatically interested in child development to the point where you do not mind listening to the same exact thing over and over again.

Jan 2004

I agree with the other reviewers who said that the class was interesting and informative; I reslly enjoyed it. I just have a tip to future students: on the tests, you will be expected to answer 8 short answer questions with exact terminology, precision and thoroughness. Memorize, memorize, memorize, and you can get an A. It's all spit-back - no one is loking for you to be inventive or creative.

Dec 2003

I really enjoyed this class. I had no trouble staying awake. At times the material seemed to be "dumbed down" but she is a good lecturer overall. My only complaint is about the tests. They are not difficult to study for since the TAs give out a review sheet so you know exactly what to read in the textbook and Dweck herself runs an in-class review session of the lecture material. But, all the grading is done by TAs, including undergrad TAs and it is very uneven. For example, no single test is graded completely by one person. The TAs divy up the questions and then grade their questions on everyone's tests. This results in odd point patterns with some TAs (there were 3 my semester) grading more harshly than others. It's painful to lose all your points consistently on the questions graded by the same TA test after test. FYI I am getting an A minus so it didn't hurt me so much as annoyed me.

Jun 2003

The professor is amazing, her lectures are engaging and the topics are really interesting. She paces herself well and is very articulate. One of the nicest professor's I have meet in my three-year stay here. All of the power-point lectures are on the web to help you study for the exams. The only problems is that the TAs create review-sheets, and the exam questions and grade them basically without any input from Professor Dweck, so how good or bad the TAs are is the luck of the draw. The class is not easy but really interesting, which makes it more than worth it.

Feb 2003

The class itself was very enjoyable. Dweck's a great lecturer, she picks good topics to cover, and is pretty organized with her material. She's a nice lady and I'd recommend her for any class. The tests are challenging for the following reason: one of the TA's will give you a review sheet with a list of topics from which the free response questions will be taken (the tests are all free response). However, the amount of material covered is enormous when you take the lectures together with the book. Because they give you a review sheet, they expect you to spit out information EXACTLY as it was originally stated in either the book or lectures. Long story short, there's an sizeable amount of memorization involved, and getting an A will be difficult in the old fashioned sense: it will take hard work and long hours.

Jan 2003

Interesting material about childhood development (i.e., how to raise smart, popular children). The material is somewhat obvious (do't hit your kids if you want them to turn out normal), but the case studies are interesting, and the professor explains everything nicely. Dweck is almost too nice; you'll roll your eyes as she frequently stops for ignorant questions from some students and showing-off questions from ass clowns ("did they take into account...?").

Jan 2003

What a dynamic lecturer who more than often made the whole class laugh at some personal anecdote. It was the first time I really thought a Columbia Professor was more interested in teaching the students than in just her research because she was able to combine both! Yes, the tests are drawn out but the information is very straightforward so a couple reads of the book and careful outlining of the review sheets makes for decent to good grades.

Dec 2002

Overly devoted to Dweck's own work, with little exploration of other people's work. Topic is interesting, but presentation is very dry. A lecture format only and you better take careful notes. TA's do all the grading and they look for the precise answer that they want. It really turns out to be quite arbitrary, and you can really know the material and still get a poor grade. Dweck lectures and you memorize.The rest is left up to the TA's, who can be harsh.

Nov 2002

Prof. Dweck is a very engaging lecturer, and while she does teach right off the slides most of the time, the supplemental information from her elaborations on the slides are often valuable. It is true that her data are questionable since a student in her own lab discovered that the relationships between her variables may not be causal, but the information is valuable nonetheless and it is true that anyone who wants to become a parent should take this course.

Apr 2002

Dry and boring. I don't think I stayed awake through one entire class. Carol tries hard but continuously makes aggrandized claims of fact that stem from, in my opinion, uncontrolled, biased "case studies." The material could be good but was presented poorly and not backed up by controlled scientific methods (something that is absolutely necessary if the hypotheses are to be proven and the data is to be considered relevant). The workload was moderate, not too difficult, just banal.

Jan 2000

Good lectures -- well prepared, relaxed delivery and she enhances the variety by wearing a different outfit to every class.

Jan 2000

Carol Dweck is an engaging lecturer. As an expert in the field, she concentrates quite a bit on her own material and therefore is very clear in her descriptions of theory and of experiments. This was quite possibly the most interesting course i have taken in my time at Columbia. This class should be required for anyone who intends to become a parent someday. Each exam covers a lot of material, but the questions on the exams are VERY predictable, and for the most part, easy.

Jan 2000

Good for those who like social psychology, but doesn't make use of anything other than lectures (no films, no multimedia). 1 book (no other readings) that accounts for 3 short-answer exams (equally weighted). Seems overly devoted to Dweck's own research.