Essential Question: How do you or might you use language to change the way that your students think about learning in the classroom?
Reading this week all I could think about was the growth mindset. Dweck (2016) says "a growth mindset is the belief that you can develop your talents and abilities through hard work, good strategies, and help from others. It stands in opposition to a fixed mindset, which is the belief that talents and abilities are unalterable traits, ones that can never be improved." This sounds very much like Matera (2015) describes in his book but he calls it purpose-driven Learning. He uses the following qualities to drive his instruction: confidence, creativity, enthusiasm, effort, focus, resilience, initiative, curiosity, dependability, and empathy. The way Matera uses these words, or ideas, is by layering it over his course. He claims this has "encouraged collaboration and offered a ton of self-exploration. Learning was no longer about earning a grade; it was about discovery and growth." I believe this is exactly what Dweck is advocating for in a growth mindset. We as educators have a duty to help every student learn and this idea of purpose-driven learning or a growth mindset could really help us be successful with every student.
The biggest struggle is that we as educators want an easy fix. "Growth mindsets, grit, and resilience are being championed not as paradigms that will take all people to whatever's next on their journey, but as pedagogical methods for classes, schools, and districts populated with students who don't achieve at the metrics we're using" (Hochheiser 2016). I think this is the hardest to stay away from. Instead of using these concepts and language to only help bring up those who are failing is the wrong idea. We need to use it pervasively throughout our classes. "Research has shown (and continues to show) that a growth mindset can have a profound effect on students' motivation, enabling them to focus on learning, persist more, learn more, and do better in school" (Dweck 2016). I think Matera's ideas would show the same results. "We need to help students understand that they learn as much, if not more, from their failures as they do their successes" (Matera 2015). If we teach students how to be more inclusive and how to help each other they can build more relationships with others and not learn to be so dependent on the teacher. This mindset or language includes ideas mentioned by Hochheiser (2016) include:
Dweck, C. (2016, January 11). Recognizing and Overcoming False Growth Mindset. Retrieved October 21, 2016, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/recognizing-overcoming-false-growth-mindset-carol-dweck
Hochheiser, D. (2014, September 16). Growth Mindset: A Driving Philosophy, Not Just a Tool. Retrieved October 21, 2016, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/growth-mindset-driving-philosophy-david-hochheiser
Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich, and elevate your learners with gamification and game-inspired course design [Kindle Edition]. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting.