Education, fixed mindset, growth mindset, leadership

Growth versus Fixed Mindset

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Growth versus Fixed Mindset.

My children are part of a great school and like many others of its ilk, Carol Dweck’s ideas about growth mindset and positive impact on student learning  has become a part of the culture. Why then do students struggle with growth mindset? Why is there so much misunderstanding about this approach to learning?

Peter De Witt’s article on Mindset reflects on John Hatties’s analysis of what is going on with our student learning. Hattie attributes fixed student mindset to fixed teacher mindset. Teachers are the problem. Hhmmm.

De Witt outlines several ways teachers can counter this mini phenomenon. These include relying less on testing, using more feedback, being flexible, attentive to the environment and culture. And my favourite, teachers need to stop talking.

For many teachers talking = learning. Talking = productivity. But this constant noise, with no gaps, pauses or silences does not allow students to engage, formulate responses, questions and progress their learning. Students need time to reflect and discuss with each other.

Perhaps so many teachers have a fixed mindset because we have a deep need for control. The organic, flexible characteristics of a classroom that supports a growth mindset is confronting for some educators. My guess is that this approach to learning  is a challenge to our understanding of leadership and developing our role as well. Are you a leader with a  growth mindset?

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