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Dweck Notes

Yesterday we had the pleasure of listening to a talk by researcher Carol Dweck at our faculty meeting. She spoke about her research on mindsets. I enjoyed her talk and I am eager to put it into practice, though I think encouraging growth mindsets in my students won't be an easy, instant change.

I consider myself a positive person and I try to encourage my students to have positive outlooks for success. I have also spent the last 6 months reading parenting books that warn against praising actions and encourage praising effort or simply summarizing actions to build self-esteem. In short, I was eager to hear her talk to learn more ways to help my students (and children) to succeed.

Wordle: mindset 2

Here are my notes:

Fixed mindsets = non-learners
Growth mindset = intelligence can be developed

People with Fixed Mindsets are concerned with not looking dumb, believe talent in innate and tend to hide mistakes.

People with Growth Mindsets will learn at all costs, work hard, pushing themselves out of their comfort zones, and are resilient after setbacks, capitalizing on mistakes in order to grow from them.

How can teachers encourage the growth mindset?

1. Praise the Process (strategy, focus, effort, persistence)
2. Easy = Boring and waste of time //  Hard = worthy of attention and fun
3. Struggle = work hard for something you value
4. The power of yet: you haven't mastered factoring yet... let's plan how you will tackle the problem
5. Encourage Effort - tackling difficult tasks makes new connects and grows your brain
6. Believe that all your students have potential

My take away:

I am on board. She confirmed my beliefs in the power of positive expectations. I think I'll need to memorize/formulate key phrases so this type of encouragement will sound natural during class.  My concerns about what ability grouping does to the mindset of the lower track kids were renewed. Perhaps we keep an honors or accelerated Geometry course, but keep the middle and lower track kids together? The kids who previously would have been placed into the low track for Algebra or Geometry can instead by assigned to 2-3 study halls per cycle that are ran by math teachers?
I graded a stack of tests last night and didn't write grades on them. I wrote the grades down in my book but chose to not put it on the tests, so that perhaps when they receive them back that they will focus on learning from their errors and not on the grade itself. I will have to answer 12 emails asking for the grade. :)

Article from 2007 on kids were over praised not taking risks and being afraid to fail.