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Helping Our Students Succeed by Encouraging a “Growth Mindset” Mike Pinter Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Pete Giordano Department of Psychological.

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Presentation on theme: "Helping Our Students Succeed by Encouraging a “Growth Mindset” Mike Pinter Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Pete Giordano Department of Psychological."— Presentation transcript:

1 Helping Our Students Succeed by Encouraging a “Growth Mindset” Mike Pinter Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Pete Giordano Department of Psychological Science

2 Overall Structure  Background information for mindsets  Prompts for table conversation  Examples for course and classroom use  Additional prompts for table conversation

3 Fixed and Growth Mindsets (Mindset, pp ) Which mindset do you have? Answer these questions about intelligence. Read each statement and decide whether you mostly agree with it or disagree with it. ► ► Your intelligence is something very basic about you that you can’t change very much. ► ► You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are. ► ► No matter how much intelligence you have, you can always change it a bit. ► ► You can always substantially change how intelligent you are. You also have beliefs about other abilities. You could substitute “artistic talent,” “sports ability,” or “business skill” for “intelligence.”

4 What is a fixed mindset? A fixed mindset is characterized by:   the belief that an ability is static, set in stone   the belief that an ability is constantly being evaluated, and   ability must be re-proven at every turn   failure challenges who you are   looking to the failure of others to make you feel better

5 What is a growth mindset? A growth mindset is characterized by:   the belief that an ability is dynamic, changeable   a willingness to embrace and work through challenges   the belief that failure is an opportunity to grow and learn from the experience   looking to the success of others to figure out how to improve

6 Those with a growth mindset …  are more willing to take on challenging tasks  are more willing to persist on challenging tasks  believe that effort is what helps you learn  show a greater love of learning

7 Compare the two Growth Mindset ► “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” ► “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” ► “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” Fixed Mindset ► “Nothing ventured, nothing lost.” ► “If at first you don’t succeed, you probably don’t have the ability.” ► “Fall down once, try something else.”

8 Growth Mindset ► “I thrive in safety – feeling smart and/or talented” ► “My interest is kept by good results” ► “I feel good enough when …I don’t make mistake …it’s perfect or I win …when I can do it and others can’t” Fixed Mindset ► “I thrive when challenged or stretched or growing” ► “My interest is kept by challenge and growth” ► “I feel good enough when …I try hard …I started to figure it out …I work hard and do something I couldn’t do before” Compare the two

9 Failure What does it feel like to experience failure?   How do your students feel?   How does an athlete feel?   How does a colleague feel?   How do you feel?

10 Responding to Failure ► ► What would help after failure? ► ► IDeAS Process   Identify and describe a recent failure   De-brief the failure   Analyze the failure   Strategize solutions, plans for moving forward ► ► Building supports for a growth mindset for your students

11 What does it feel like to learn?

12 Ken Bain What the Best College Teachers Do ► ► "People are most likely to enjoy their education if they believe they are in charge of the decision to learn.“ (p. 47) ► ► "They [best teachers] create a safe environment in which students can try, come up short, receive feedback, and try again.“ (p. 47) ► ► "[Best teachers] believe that if they understand their students and the nature and processes of learning better, they can create more successful environments.“ (p. 174)

13 Teaching to support a growth mindset ► ► First day of class   First course impressions   An experience that invites growth ► ► End of course   Major assignments   Timelines   Role of Final Exam or course project   Opportunity for reflection ► ► Touchstone points in between

14 Teaching to support a growth mindset ► ► Syllabus language   Ken Bain’s ideas for an invitation   Expressions of expectations   Instructor’s role and role modeling ► ► Course structure   Opportunities for “failure”   High stakes v. low stakes   Cognitive Load ► ► Feedback to students   Formative and timely

15 Teaching to support a growth mindset ► ► Student development   Stages of development (Baxter Magolda et al)   Freshmen and lower level   Upper level   Majors v. nonmajors   Knowledge construction and uncertainty   Expectation failure   Stereotype threat   Imposter Phenomenon

16 Mindsets Toward Learning Terry Doyle and Todd Zakrajsek The New Science of Learning: How to Learn in Harmony With Your Brain

17 Characteristics of Fixed and Growth Mindsets The New Science of Learning Self-Image ► ► Fixed: to protect self-image, take on only easy tasks, discount others’ achievements and try to make others look dumb ► ► Growth: do not see self-image as tied to abilities; accept failure as an important part of learning

18 A Mindset Assignment Fall 2014 Read the “Mindsets Toward Learning” chapter in The New Science of Learning: How to Learn in Harmony With Your Brain. Prepare a 2-3 paragraph response commenting on your mindset(s) toward learning (include your major area and courses otherwise) and toward something outside of academics (sports, religion, relationships, and so on).

19 Student Responses As a kid, I had always been told I was smart and that school came natural to me….Looking back I am positive I had an aggressively fixed mindset ….Starting last semester and going into this year I am beginning to learn what a growth mindset is looking like and how to approach it.... especially with my Spanish class today….Now I am learning to learn for the sake of learning….This has proved difficult to counteract and humbling, but ultimately more satisfying.

20 Student Responses This reading really stood out to me. I experienced a breakthrough in my [instrument] playing during my first year at Belmont, and it was due to a major change in mindset. Before, I had thought that I was just a naturally good musician. I could play harder music than my peers, although I didn’t practice very often. [At Belmont] I was faced with extremely difficult music and talented musicians....I soon found that I could play almost anything if I practiced hard enough. Sadly, I never grew out of my fixed mindset in science.... When I took [science course] here, I was not successful at first, my professor was not helpful, so I basically just stopped trying to do well.

21 A Mindset Assignment Spring 2014 A final exam question in Psychological Testing: “Describe the most important thing you learned from reading the book Mindset. Be specific.”

22 Student Responses ► The most important thing I learned from Mindset is how deeply engrained it is in our lives …. Reading the book at this age has been critical as we are developing skills and a sense of self. The last chapter highlights the processes of changing your mindset. Although it is sometimes hard to let go of “fixed” ideas that you have planted in yourself (or that have been planted by parents, coaches, teachers, etc.), it is possible to change. Having the growth mindset is exciting and enriching. It makes a person more courageous, more confident, and benefits both interpersonal and intrapersonal dynamics of life.

23 Student Responses ► This book opened my eyes to how important perspective is in life. They way we look at situations shapes everything. We can limit ourselves so much and never see our true potential, if we constantly live in a state of a fixed mindset. People in the fixed mindset never see change needed in themselves and they place the blame on other things/people, rather than check themselves first. Thus, a growth mindset is where I want to be, how I always want to look at life, always wonder what I could do better than last time to improve, grow, and learn.

24 A Growth Mindset for Your Students ► Framing Your Course ► Beginning to End ► Course Design ► Syllabus and structure ► Feedback to Students ► Formative ► Student Developmental Needs

25 Conclusions  We can help our students develop a growth mindset in their coursework.  Mentoring students is a good opportunity to explore a growth mindset.  Think about your own teaching with a growth mindset!  Think about your scholarship with a growth mindset. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!!!

26 Resources ► ► Bain, Ken (2004). What the best college teachers do. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ► ► Clance, P. R., & Imes, S. A. (1978). The impostor phenomenon in high achieving women: Dynamics and therapeutic intervention. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice 15 (3), 241–247. ► ► Doyle, T., and Zakrajsek, T. (2013). The new science of learning: How to learn in harmony with your brain. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus. ► ► Dweck, Carol. (2007). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Ballantine.


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