GROWTH MINDSETS- LESSON 1- 

GROWTH MINDSET AND ACHIEVEMENT

NOTES TELL STUDENTS NOT TO WATCH THE BALL GO AROUND WHEN THEY’RE ’IT’ - THEY’LL JUST PANIC AND FREEZE. TELL THEM TO TRY THIS WITH CLOSED EYES. VARIATIONS PAIR UP THE STUDENTS AND USE A STOPWATCH. ASK THE STUDENTS ON THE LEFT TO NAME AS MANY WORDS AS POSSIBLE STARTING WITH A ’T’, AND ASK THEIR PARTNERS TO COUNT, FOR 15 OR 20 SECONDS. THEN SWITCH.   PURPOSE: STRETCHING THE BRAIN, THINKING CREATIVELY AND GETTING ENERGIZED AT THE START OF A DAY. "THE PASSION FOR STRETCHING YOURSELF AND STICKING TO IT, EVEN (OR ESPECIALLY) WHEN IT'S NOT GOING WELL, IS THE HALLMARK OF THE GROWTH MINDSET." (Carol Dweck, 2006)

NOTES

TELL STUDENTS NOT TO WATCH THE BALL GO AROUND WHEN THEY’RE ’IT’ - THEY’LL JUST PANIC AND FREEZE. TELL THEM TO TRY THIS WITH CLOSED EYES.

VARIATIONS

PAIR UP THE STUDENTS AND USE A STOPWATCH. ASK THE STUDENTS ON THE LEFT TO NAME AS MANY WORDS AS POSSIBLE STARTING WITH A ’T’, AND ASK THEIR PARTNERS TO COUNT, FOR 15 OR 20 SECONDS. THEN SWITCH.

 

PURPOSE: STRETCHING THE BRAIN, THINKING CREATIVELY AND GETTING ENERGIZED AT THE START OF A DAY. "THE PASSION FOR STRETCHING YOURSELF AND STICKING TO IT, EVEN (OR ESPECIALLY) WHEN IT'S NOT GOING WELL, IS THE HALLMARK OF THE GROWTH MINDSET." (Carol Dweck, 2006)


PART 1- (5 MINUTES)

Rationale

With a growth mindset:

  • achievement is supported;
  • students are more likely to rise to their full potential
  • people focus on the learning process;
  • challenges and effort are embraced.

Mindsets can be changed. (Dweck, 2006)

 

Learning objectives

By the end of this lesson, learners should:

  • understand the difference between the fixed and the growth mindsets
  • reflect on their own mindset
  • consider how their mindset impacts their performance

PART 2- GOOD AT / BAD AT- (10-15 MINUTES)

Students are to record (in their workbook) 5 things they are "good at" and 5 things they are "bad at". Once complete, teacher directs a discussion asking students to consider the following:

Have a look at your "good at" list...

- Do you believe you will always be good at these things?

- What would happen if you didn't achieve in these areas? How would you feel?

- Do you know many people who are better than you at these skills?

Have a look at your "bad at" list...

- Do you believe you can get better at this? Why/ why not?

 

TEACHER SUMMARY OF ACTIVITY: We all have different things that we are currently good at and bad at. Being good at something or bad at something right now does not mean that we can never change that. If we work at it our weak or strong areas, we can improve. If we don't work at our weak or strong areas, we almost certainly won't improve. It's not about how weak or strong, smart or dumb you are right now- it's about being focussed on improving, learning and growing. That's the main idea behind growth mindset- understand that growth and change is quite likely- when we do the work to improve.


PART 3- WATCH, COMPLETE AND DISCUSS- (20 MINUTES)

As students watch, they are to consider the difference between a fixed and growth mindset, and complete the table in their workbook. Upon completion, students share their findings with a partner and add to their own work.

Teachers then facilitate a class discussion to check for understanding.


PART 4- For further reflection and discussion- (5-10 MINUTES)

"Great job. You must be really smart." OR

"Great job. You must have worked really hard."

Which praise would you prefer to hear said about you when it comes to your talent, intelligence and abilities?

Which one usually leads us to better performance? Why?

Is it possible that someone who is smart / skilled at something could work hard at it, and become even better? Is it possible that someone who is lacking in skill / intelligence in a particular area could work hard too? What would be the result? Who would likely be the better performer over time?

Discuss / debate this point as a class.

 

A NOTE FOR TEACHERS ABOUT PRAISE: There is some strong evidence that supports effort praise, or process praise (instead of person praise or intelligence praise). However, it doesn't always work for everyone. Just because we praise effort, does not mean it will increase performance in every case. The key point is that we should be careful about the praise given- it should be well deserved, honest and thoughtfully given. And it should help students to attribute their outcomes to causes that are within their control- in particular the process and the effort that they put into the task. Not simply praise for praise sake. This also allows educators to be quite firm with students when they have not put forth an effort that leads to good learning. It's about the learning, not the learner. Keep focussed on the process of learning, and not the innate abilities (or lack thereof) of the student.