Fixed v. Growth Mindset
Nothing puts an end to learning faster than when an insensitive comment is made, whether intentionally or inadvertently.
This might happen if a teacher has a "fixed" rather than a "growth" mindset around human capacity.
Students also may insert discouraging thoughts or ideas into a learning environment--especially when the structure for interaction has not been fostered proactively to promote constructive interaction.
Consider these questions related to the potential for communication that promotes growth with ALL learners in your setting.
- When we think about students not doing as well as others, what causes do we ascribe to students' results --whether positive or negative?
- What relationship do we see between a student's choices or outcomes and our own actions and responsibilities?
- What words and tone do we use to communicate with students about opportunities for growth?
- How can teachers and counselors provide for a high level of student interaction while also ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for everyone?
- How can we prepare students for group work or discussion so that all students, regardless of their confidence or personality characteristics, become engaged in the learning?
Learn more about "growth mindset" by listening to and/or reading from one of the sources linked here and see the resources below to learn more about structuring effective group work.
Goals for Thoughtful, Respectful Communication
- Provide feedback that explicitly encourages persistence and provides students with further opportunities to improve on their learning outcomes (demonstrating a growth mindset).
- Implement at least one new strategy to either foster effective peer- communication, or to increase the depth or frequency of your feedback. Look for evidence of the outcomes that result from your effort and share with the rest of us via the Facebook page.
Applications and Sharing
1. This week reflect on one or more of the growth mindset materials (above) as you might apply them within your setting/responsibilities. (Consider doing so using the Flipgrid or Facebook video or audio capture tools.)
2. Do at least one of the following (and share your findings on the Facebook page).
Barker, M., Frederiks E., & B Farrelly. (2015). Creating a culturally inclusive classroom environment. In GIHE Good Practice Resource Booklet On Designing Culturally Inclusive Learning And Teaching Environments.
Ceci, Stephen J. (Ed); Williams, Wendy M. (Ed), (2007). Why aren't more women in science?: Top researchers debate the evidence. , (pp. 47-55). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association, xx, 254 pp. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/11546-004
Cohen, E. (1994). Chapter three: The dilemma of group work. Designing Groupwork: Strategies for the Heterogeneous Classroom (second edition). Teachers College Press, New York.
Dweck, C.S. in Ceci, S.J. (Ed); Williams, W.M. (Ed), (2007). Is math a gift? Beliefs that put females at risk. Why Aren't More Women in Science? Top Researchers Debate the Evidence. (pp. 47-55). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association, 254 pp. ISBN: 978-1-59147-485-2.
Feldman, K., Kinsella, K. (December, 2005). Practical strategies to improve academic discussions in mixed ability secondary content area classrooms. Improving Academic Discussions.
Morrell, C. and Parker, C. (2013). Adjusting micromessages to improve equity in STEM. Diversity & Democracy. Vol 16. No. 2.
NCWIT handout: 8 ways to give students more effective feedback using growth mindset
Santiago, A. and Peterson, K. (September 21, 2016). The importance of growth mindset: Action steps for educators. National Girls Collaborative Project Webinar. Includes a link to the recorded webinar and presentation slides.
The Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, Facilitating effective group discussions: Tips. Brown University.
Halvorson, H. (January 27, 2011). The trouble with bright girls: For women, ability doesn't always lead to confidence. Here's why. Psychology Today.
Heath, J. (nd). Engage now! Do your students talk at each other or with each other? From Mr. Heath's online Teacher Page