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Kindergarten mindset list: 5-year-olds’ cultural DNA

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7. Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.

8. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always been on the US Supreme Court.

One might add, many in this class will have attended the most successful movie opening – indeed, franchise – of all time, a movie series that defines their childhood reading habits: Harry Potter.

You get the idea. Based on the list, you can “grok” 360 degrees of the experiences that have contributed to the mindset of people of a certain age. I shudder to think of the mindset list for my own freshman class, the college class of 1978. As I’m fond of telling my children, the laptop I went to school with was an Olivetti portable typewriter. A computer was a big teletype machine that only the math club (all boys) knew how to use. Telephones had dials. Tape cassettes were the newest audio advancement.

This mindset, however, refers to a world writ large, a context inhabited by adults and proto-adults whose cognition can cope simultaneously with abstraction and evolutionary blips and detours. Since I work in an elementary school, our incoming “freshmen” class is five years old. Street-level mindsets for them are quite different – but just as important to understand with accuracy.

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