- Sometimes the way we see ourselves, effects more than just our self image. Having what is referred to as a FIXED Mindset, can hinder our development. This is true for children and adults and can impact our lives and careers. Carol Dweck, a world-renowned Stanford University psychologist, conducted decades of research on achievement and success, and developed the concept of Fixed and Growth Mindsets. This concise summary of Dweck's work is worth your time:
- Having a FIXED MINDSET can hinder one's success throughout life. The child who throws themselves to the ground when they realize they can't win the race; the adult who won't get promoted because they won't (not can't) adapt to the new technology being implemented. These are examples of the detriments of thinking you are only as smart, good, talented... as you are right now.
- Take this short quiz to see which mindset you most lean toward:
- This site goes on to offer suggestions how to change your mindset from Fixed to Growth.
- Carol Dweck speaks about teaching students about Mindsets, how to apply growth mindset to their school work,and to be self-reflective:
- Carol Dweck, Stanford University, created a diagram to demonstrate characteristics and responses of Fixed and Growth Mindsets:
- The Deeper Learning MOOC gathered a panel of experts on ACADEMIC MINDSETS for an online discussion. If you are an educator who is struggling to find ways to motivate your students, I highly recommend setting aside the hour to watch this panel discussion.
- Rob Riordan, President, High Tech High, talks about the importance of Student-Teacher relationship. (10:08) Carissa Romano, Stanford University offers how teachers can promote a growth mindset in an environment of high stakes assessment, such as Common Core.(21:00) Romano goes on to state the important of school culture. Schools that promote a growth mindset have see better achievement from students. Whereas, Fixed Mindset school see lower achievement among students. Jenn Charlot, Graduate Student at Harvard, offers ways to phrase encouragement beyond "good job." (26:00)
- I personally resonated with two concepts discussed:
1) School Culture: Students need to have a sense of belonging at their school, they need to feel that they are in a place where people like them can succeed. Ken Robinson, Educationalist and frequent speaker at Ted Talks, jokes that education today is geared to teach those students who will later become college professors, not providing enough opportunities for success for divergent thinkers/learners. If we think about the truth of that statement, then we can better understand the achievement gap. Not everyone is designed, nor cares to be an educator. Education needs to reach every child where they are and cultivate their curiosity, talents, skills and interests to become the best version of themselves. If we look at education through that lens, our schools, curricula and modes of assessment would look very different.
- 2) Student-Teacher Relationships are the key to student success. Close, nurturing, caring relationships with healthy boundaries between teachers and children are an important part of creating high-quality environments and positive child outcomes. Everyone desires to belong. It's in our DNA. Yet we create schools that seem like detention centers and treat children like delinquents. I work in Early Childhood in an urban public school system. When I see K-3 students walking down halls in a straight line with their hands clasped behind their backs, all I can think is that we are preparing these students for prison. When I hear teachers yell at, berate and belittle children publicly I know we've already lost them. Schools should be places where children of all ages come together to explore, create, experiment, ask questions, collaborate with each other; and learn in an environment that nurtures them, as they are, and celebrates their unique gifts and talents. Not a place the makes every child conform to one standard of behavior, one curriculum, one cookie cutter expectation of what is success and achievement.
"When students experience a sense of belonging at school and supportive relationships with teachers and classmates, they are motivated to participate actively and appropriately in the life of the classroom. (Anderman & Anderman, 1999; Birch & Ladd, 1997; Skinner & Belmont, 1993)
"Recent research suggests that children’s social relatedness in the primary grades may establish patterns of school engagement and motivation that have long-term consequences for their academic motivation and achievement." (Hamre & Pianta, 2001; Ladd, Birch, & Buhs, 1999).
"Positive relations with teachers in the classroom and between home and school appear to be less common for low-income and racial minority children than for higher income, White students." (Entwisle & Alexander, 1988; Hamre & Pianta, 2001; Hill et al., 2004; Kohl, Weissberg, Reynolds, & Kasprow, 1994; Ladd et al., 1999). "Furthermore, several researchers have suggested that these early racial and income differences in relatedness may contribute to disparities in achievement." (Pianta, Rimm-Kauffman, & Cox, 1999; Pianta & Walsh, 1996). QUOTES PULLED DIRECTLY FROM:
- Suggested Books to promote Teacher-Student Relationships:
- What is your mindset about teacher-student relationships? Do you believe all students can succeed? Scientists are learning that people have more capacity for life-long learning and brain development than they ever thought.
- In tweeting about Mindsets, Jared Cavagnuolo shared my interests and reached out to offer his videos on teaching students about Mindsets. Jared also developed a student survey to provide students the opportunity to learn and reflect about their personal mindset. These are valuable resources, and can be shared, with acknowledgement and credit to Jared.