After recently reading the article on how the Developmental Approach of learning is being applied to gifted education, I found myself wanted to know more about growth mindsets and neuroplasicity. To think that we can change the way that our students brains are wired to improve learning is fascinating and something that all teachers and parents should be onboard with.
The article, What's Your Learning Disposition? How to Foster Students' Mindsets explores what exactly is meant by the term 'mindset' and what schools can do to encourage student success.
To me the belief is self success was a significant point. This idea of a self fulfilling prophecy is a relationship between belief and behaviour and can influence a learner's success either positively or negatively. If a child believes that they can succeed they will actively partake in hard challenging work with purpose. Similarly if a learner believes that they will fail they won't invest in the needed behaviours to experience success. What makes this even more interesting is that Hattie's number one factor of influencing achievement is teacher estimates of student achievement with a whopping 1.62. With this in mind how then do we ensure that both student and teacher believe that a child is capable of successful learning?
According to Carol Dweck the answer is adopting a growth mindset. This can be done in the classroom through engaging in the following strategies.
1. Encouraging students to see their brain as a muscle that can be strengthened. By doing this notions of fixed intelligence are dispelled as students begin to see achievement as a direct response of effort.
2. Ensure that constructive feedback that is specific to the task is given. This ensures that students can adjust their direction of learning so that success is more likely.
3. Allowing students to know that failure is okay and without making mistakes we can never improve.
In addition to this, we as teachers need to have that own belief that no matter who the child is and what their circumstances they are capable of success. Once we stop believing this, we set them up to fail.