Next week, Mr. Napoles, our school counselor, and I will embark on a new journey with seven students. We will over the course of seven 30 minute sessions over 7 weeks teach students what a Growth Mindset is and how to engage in activities that grow our brains. We chose this group after identifying 14 students that all scored at the same reading level, then randomly chose half to participate. This will allow us to compare the reading achievement of the two groups after seven weeks. We posit that by only teaching about Growth Mindset and how the brain grows, we will positively affect reading achievement. Essentially, we intend to help children learn to read better without doing any reading. This is an experiment we engaged in last year and we had tremendous results. Our intention this year is to build a series of lessons that are easy to follow so that our small experiment can turn into a school-wide phenomenon.
Carol Dweck is the mindset guru. Her research and insights tell us that self-belief in the ability to learn and that effort is the key to success is not how all children (or adults for that matter) view learning. Dweck explores why some of us and some children have a fixed mindset while others have a growth mindset. People with fixed mindsets generally view their intelligence and abilities as static or fixed. Also, excelling at anything is attributed to talent or innate intelligence rather than effort. On the other hand, people with growth mindsets believe that ability can be developed and success is a product of hard work and effort.
There are many benefits to having a growth mindset. For children with growth mindsets, challenges are met with enthusiasm, perseverance is evident, and motivation for learning is fostered easily.
Dweck published an article recently that gives parents and educators insights in how adults can help children develop a growth mindset. One of the keys to developing a child with a growth mindset is feedback. To learn more, check out Carol Dweck’s most recent article, The Secret to Raising Smart Kids, HERE or by going to http://goo.gl/ENwhf8
Rio del Norte
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