Mindset Next Steps

The previous mindset day I spent at Carol Dweck and Susan Mackie is captured in this previous post; however, the purpose of this post is to emphasis the follow up and next steps arising from this day.

Firstly, presenting this material in Dean’s Assembly. The science of character video that preempted the day provides a fantastic core for this. It offers an accessible way into the argument that we can change and grow, asking “who do you want to be?”

This can work alongside an introduction to the growth mindset and a general discussion about failure. The Michael Jordan clip provices a way in for this:

The next area of follow up focus is my language in the classroom. This includes:

  • Using “what are you struggling with?” as a approach to conversation rather than “how are you going?” or equivalent. I wonder whether this is quite a negative framework to apply – however, in a space where failure is de-stigmatised this type of approach is not focused on negativity, it is focused on growth.
  • Which leads to the familiar emphasis of Carol Dweck on praising the process. I’ve written on this before in regards to active learning, where there is a challenge around focusing on the process instead of the content or the outcome.
  • And another familiar Dweck emphasis: using “yet”. By using “yet” or “not yet” in feedback, the focus is on growth and process. Not achieved is not a finale, but not achieved yet shifts the focus to something that is ongoing, a process by which the students can grow and develop from. This supports embedding the idea with the student that they can learn and they can improve.

And finally, I need to make errors. Modelling the error correction process is an important part of shifting to a growth culture. Letting students see this happen and being open to conversations around it help to emphasis a growth environment.

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