After reading the articles on developmental theory and growth mindsets I started to think how can I directly relate this to the work I'm doing with reading intervention from Years 1-3.
Firstly I wanted to know a little more about growth mindsets so I watched Carol's Dweck's TED talk, 'The Power of Believing.' In this talk she discusses how the meaning of effort and difficulty can be transformed so that students believe in themselves to achieve success. Dweck highlights how learners with a growth mindset see a difficult task as a challenge as they innately believe that their ability can be developed with effort. In contrast those with fixed mindsets don't engage in tasks that they feel may be too hard, and eventually fail as they never want to attempt something that they might not succeed in.
So how do I relate these ideas to the work I'm doing with reading intervention?
1. First I plan to watch students reactions when they are asked to complete a difficult task. Do they have a growth mindset? This will form the basis of the strategies and specific praise that I will employ.
2. Praise the effort, strategies and perseverance. In providing specific praise about the process instead of the results students are more likely to experience improvement and increase in confidence and persistence.
3. Explicitly explaining to them the science behind neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity theory believes that when learners engage in effort and experience difficulty their brain neurons strengthen to form stronger connections. This leads to improvement and ultimately makes them 'smarter.' If learners are aware of this science they are more likely to attempt difficult tasks, employ problem solving strategies and in turn develop a growth mindset.