Disclaimer: I'm unsure whether I am writing this out of frustration or pride. Either way, I have been inspired by my learners and I hope you find it informative.
Teaching, as with every walk of life, is filled with trends. Fashions come in and out of social consciousness, favour and popularity; very few ideas are original (although it pains us to admit it). However, this most recent trend is one that I strongly affiliate with. I do not know whether this is down to it being the 'buzz-word' I hear most, during the maturation of my teaching years, and I have therefore been drip-fed to believe in it, or because it is something I subconsciously connect with.
Whether a personal association, or a worrying brain wash, I see evidence of this every day, both in and out of the classroom. Past costumes have seen its strategies dressed as 'learning powers', 'MAGIC skills', 'learning muscles', with all manner of acronyms and colourful characters. One of its most recent metaphors has been 'The Pit', a concept I am excited to read about and explore further.
But for the purpose of this entry, and for the foreseeable future, I will be referring to it as:
Famously pioneered and extensively researched by Carol Dweck; teaching people that a positive mental attitude and hard work, creates success! A common sense suggestion; easier said than done. How do you deal with the failures on the way? When introducing this idea to my classes, I have always used this YouTube clip as a simple introduction...
What could a Growth Mindset achieve?
If we really want children (or anyone for that matter) to develop their potential, challenge is the way forward, in order to practice listening to our Growth Mindset voice. Only by toying with the learning, through debate, finding improvement, problem solving and 'spotting the mistakes', can we really apply what has been learnt. However, in a world where everything is so readily available, and answers are just a web-search away, we rarely give ourselves the chance to work in this way; there is always a get-out clause, often to avoid the challenge we are facing. So how will we experience the sense of achievement and reach higher ground?
Both for myself and for my learners, these could be attitudes for the classroom and attitudes for life:
Where will giving up get you? You never know what you could achieve until you give it a go!