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Developing a Growth Mindset

This Collaborative Inquiry project aims to answer the question: how can we promote the development of a growth mindset in adolescent learners (grades 7 & 8)?
by

Carly Wismer

on 3 December 2015

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Transcript of Developing a Growth Mindset

Developing a Growth Mindset in Adolescent Learners
Melissa Coyle
Carly Wismer
Beth Reeves-Miclash
Jasmine Soers

References
Munzur, Zeynep. 2012. Promoting learner autonomy through portfolio. Journal of Education and Future(2): 75-92, http://search.proquest.com/docview/1460847933?accountid=15115 (accessed November 10, 2015).
What strategies can we use to change the way students think about their learning so that they see learning as a process the can improve, and mistakes as opportunities for new learning?
Guiding Question #1:
1. Use frequent formative feedback
Students should be frequently assessed ad given feedback to make them aware of their strengths and areas for development
There should be quality time in lessons dedicated to students acting on feedback and redraft work in order to improve
2. High levels of challenge for each student
Must have high expectations for all students and encourage them to take risks even if it means failing or making mistakes
3. Explicitly welcome mistakes
Actively encourage students to make mistakes, teach by modeling this
Create a safe and secure environment where failing and making mistakes is accepted without criticism and humiliation, it is accepted and encouraged as evidence of learning and getting better at something
4. Engage in deliberate practice
Provide ample opportunities for students to practice and perfect their knowledge and skills
2 best kinds of practice;
Distributed practice: spreads out activities over time
Interleaved practice: mixes different kinds of problems or mixes different kinds f material, within a single study session
5. Reward effort not attainment
Praising ability pushes students to have a fixed mindset and harms motivation because as soon as there is a challenge their confidence is gone. These students believe that if they succeed they are smart and if they fail they are ‘dumb’
Only use praise for what students have accomplished through practice, study, persistence and good strategies
Teach students scientific information about brain functioning and potential malleability
Teach students that when learning, the brain grows stronger and smarter by forming new connections between neurons
Teach students that the brain grows more when you learn something new and less when you practice things you already know


1. Support intrinsic pride
Instead of saying ‘I am proud of you’ say ‘you should be proud of yourself’ - reinforce students to look inward for appreciation and acceptance
2. Being and becoming, not having and getting
Recognize achievement be celebrating who the student has become to get to their goal – they should reflect on the work they did, the obstacles they overcame and the new capabilities they have developed
Students are encouraged to understand the value of process that leads to success
3. Celebrate failure everyday
Genuinely celebrate incorrect responses and failures
Help students to build confidence in trying so they are not concerned about the negative consequences of making mistakes
Teach students that taking risks, participating, and making mistakes are essential to success
A Growth Mindset in Assessment
Guiding Question #4:
What is a growth Mindset?
“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work -—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” (Dweck, 2012)
Guiding Question #3:
Guiding Question #2:
View Carol Dweck's Ted Talk on the power of believing you can improve:
4. Debunk the talent myth
Teach students about neuroplasticity and that brains have the capability to change over time and evolve based on our experiences
5. Start anew
Let students know that your relationship with them starts fresh, that their lives are about who they want to become and not who they were in previous years and that they have the ability to create a new future
Let students know that you believe everyone is capable of great things and ask them to apply that belief to themselves
6. Share your own growth
Share your own stories, challenges, struggles, difficult decisions, failures, and success with your students
Strategies Cont'd
Teaching Strategies to 'Create' Growth Mindset
Project Completed By:
Specific Inquiry focus: How can we promote the development of a growth mindset in adolescent learners (grades 7 & 8)?
6 Strategies for Teaching a Growth Mindset
Mindsets that Promote Resilience
Praise the effort, strategies and improvement that students make
Utilize the words ‘yet’ and ‘not yet’ when giving assessment feedback
Encourage students to take risks, take on challenges, stick to something, and trying many strategies
Teachers need to model growth mindset by seeing themselves as learners and capable of learning and improving
Set achievable micro-goal to encourage consistent, incremental progress
Design lessons and activities that are collaborative instead of competitive or individualistic
What does developing a growth mindset look like in planning and assessment?
1. Maintain high expectations for all students. Emphasize the importance of students challenging themselves on all tasks.

2. Rather than grading students compared to grade-level standards, approach assessment from viewing student progress over time. Provide opportunities for extension tasks for those who require extra challenges.

3. Assess growth over time by establishing the points that individuals have reached in their learning, setting personal stretch targets for further learning, and monitoring the progress that individuals make over time.

"When [teachers and students] change to a growth mindset, they change from a judge-and-be-judged framework to a learn-and-help-learn framework. Their commitment is to growth, and growth takes plenty of time, effort and mutual support." (Dweck, 2006, p. 244)
What prompts/questions can we use to guide students when they are stuck (to motivate them through the learning process)?
How do we engage students in learning and 'big ideas' that goes beyond their final assessment and coursework, so that students enjoy the learning process?
(Grade 7 & 8)
As educators we need to provide students with the tools they need to be self-directed learners. When students become 'stuck' when met with a challenge, having a Growth Mindset is essential and will help them through the learning processes.
The following techniques will help foster a Growth Mindset in your learning communities.
How to begin an engaging lesson:

1. Using Technology/YouTube
Examples: using current events to begin a lesson, a music video, or an eye-opening video to hook your students from the start. (Sztabnik, 2015)

2. Start with Good News
Classrooms that celebrate success build the comfort necessary for students to ask critical questions, share ideas, and participate in honest and open discussions. Starting with good news is a short, easy way to get there. (Sztabnik, 2015)

3. Cross Disciplines
Integrating subjects in a fun and engaging way to catch your students’ attention. This teaches students to deepen their learning and make connections throughout the lesson. (Sztabnik, 2015)
Connection to Family Studies

Adolescence is a time of change and through the development of a Growth Mindset students will improve their ‘development in mind’, as discussed in
The Adolescent Literacy – A Professional Learning Resource for Literacy, Grades 7-12 (2012),
“For adolescents, it is a time that may seem all at once exhilarating and stressful, while simultaneously for the adults in their lives, a puzzling and hopeful time. However, when learning is responsive to the developmental needs of students, and takes their lives into account, adolescent learners are more likely to experience success. As with any stage of development, educators play a key role in providing learning experiences with the learners’ development in mind.” (p. 8).

Growth Mindset is essential to critical thinking for the Family Studies curriculum, because when we teach students to articulate their thinking as discussed, we are creating opportunities for deeper understanding about relevant issues. The Family Studies curriculum document states, “All courses in family studies encourage students to develop critical and creative thinking skills. Students are given opportunities to deepen their understanding of relevant issues and to develop practical skills, including research and inquiry skills. Students are encouraged to explore a range of perspectives and approaches and to develop the habits of mind that enhance individual, family, and community well-being and contribute to lifelong learning”(p.103).


1. Provide Challenging Tasks - Tasks that are easy to master do not help to 'grow our brains'.

2. Normalize and Live in Struggle- Montoy-Wilson(2015) explains it best “Before a task, I often tell my students I’ve been working really hard to find something super challenging for them because they’ve been growing so much. This gives them the right balance of praise for all their effort, plus encouragement to keep working hard. Acknowledging the challenge serves to excite my students. When I say the word “challenge,” I’ve taught my students to respond with “I’m up for the challenge!”

3. Asking Questions the ‘Right’ Growth MIndset Way!
What can we do to tackle this challenge?
What can we do when we are feeling stuck? (This question moves students away from the concern of getting the right answer, and the attention shifts to creating understanding, and knowledge).
Last time when you felt stuck, what were some strategies you used to solve your challenge?
4. Teach Students to Articulate Their Thinking

Montoy-Wilson (2015) states, “When we teach students to justify their own thinking, ask questions, and critique other students’ thinking, we ensure that they really understand their thinking and are open to refining it. We promote a growth mindset by focusing students on their learning process and growth, rather than their performance”.

5. Hone in on Struggles and Give Wait Time

“Help students recognize the struggle and seize it as a learning opportunity. Don’t steal that weight from them just as they are about to reach the top by scaffolding too heavily. Let students get there themselves as you spot them and cheer them on” (Montoy-Wilson, 2015).
Students who actively engage with what they are studying tend to understand more, learn more, remember more, enjoy more and are able to appreciate the relevance of what they have learned (Park, 2003). As teachers, we are presented with a huge challenge, which is how to encourage and enable our students to engage in the learning process each and everyday.
Strategies on how to plan for engagement to occur in the classroom:

1. Authentic Learning: Plan for students to do work that has meaning and relevant in the world, beyond the classroom (Block, 2013).
2. Inquiry: Learning is most powerful when it is a process of investigation and discovery (2013). Be sure students regularly experience the power of these processes.
3. Collaboration: Giving learners the opportunity to actively participate and engage in numerous activities that improve their understanding of subjects being explored.
4. Integrating the Arts: Be innovative with lesson planning, allow students to express their ideas creatively (2013).
5. Presentation & Performance: Engagement is greater when students have an audience to share with (2013). Whenever possible, allow students to share their work.
6. Integrating Technology: Technology in the classroom is merely a tool for learning. Through invitation and then exploration, students should be offered the opportunity to use technology in the classroom if available.
Strategies for engaging students in the learning process:

1. Make It Meaningful: Research has shown that if students do not consider a learning activity worthy of their time and effort, they might not engage in a satisfactory way, or even disengage in response (Fredricks, Blumenfeld, Paris, 2004). To ensure that activities are personally meaningful to students, teachers can connect learning with students’ previous knowledge and experiences, by highlighting the value of an activity in personally relevant ways.
2. Foster A Sense of Efficacy: The notion of self-efficacy refers to a student's ongoing personal evaluation of whether he or she can succeed in a learning activity or challenge.
In order to strengthen students' sense of efficacy in learning activities, the assigned activities should:
Be only slightly beyond students' current levels of proficienc
Regularly demonstrate students’ understanding throughout the activity
Use peer-modeling (James, 2014).
3. Provide Autonomy Support: Autonomy support refers to nurturing the students' sense of control over their own behaviors and goals.
Autonomy support can be implemented by:
Welcoming students' opinions and ideas into the flow of the activity
Using informational, non-controlling language with students
Giving students the time they need to understand and absorb an activity by themselves. (James, 2014)
Strategies for a Growth Mindset in Assessment
Use frequent formative feedback; make it relevant and set goals for areas of improvement (i.e., two stars and a wish)
Ensure feedback is task driven (i.e., commenting on student tasks versus how 'smart' they are)
Emphasize the importance of student effort, not just if the answer is correct; encourage student risk-taking during the learning process, and take this into account
Include time for peer and self-reflection as part of the assessment process, use this information to understand where students are at in the learning process
Allow the opportunity for students to re-submit work
Focus on progress made over time, unique to each learner
Approach assessment from an understanding of the effect it will have on the learner
Set students up for success and build their confidence from the start by collectively creating assessment tools (i.e., rubrics, success criteria, checklists).
Attached is a lesson plan that is written for Grade 7 English. The goal of this lesson plan is to observe the ways that developing a growth mindset can directly be implemented into classroom planning. Additionally, this lesson plan shows the connection between developing a growth mindset and my subject-specific area of intermediate English.
Assessment Tools for a Growth Mindset
Portfolios: Portfolios assess growth over time, and allow students to see their progress, unique to each learner. "Portfolios and portfolio assessment will allow learners to become aware of their abilities during their learning so that learners are not only prepared for the challenges of learning, but also for the challenges of life" (Munzur, 2012).
Informal Assessments: such as pedagogical documentation, class activities, discussions, and questioning. Through documenting and reconstructing student's learning process, we can facilitate improvement opportunities. "Documentation encourages educators to step back to listen and allow the child to take the lead in the learning, inviting students into the learning process" (Ministry of Education, 2012).
Frequent Formative Assessments: These include peer and self assessments, learning logs, graphic organizers, exit cards, performance opportunities, and so on. Carol Dweck states, “If, like those with the growth mindset, you believe you can develop yourself, then you’re open to accurate information about your current abilities, even if it’s unflattering. What’s more, if you’re oriented towards learning, as they are, you need accurate information about your current abilities in order to learn effectively” (Dweck, 2012). Through formative assessment, students will be accurate in understandng their current abilities.
Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat Capacity Building Series. Pedagogical Documentation (2012), Ministry of Education, ON.
Masters, Geoff N. "Towards a growth mindset in assessment." Practically Primary 19.2 (2014): 4+. Academic OneFile. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. Retrieved from: http://go.galegroup.com.proxy1.lib.uwo.ca/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA379640511&v=2.1&u=lond95336&it=r&p=AONE&asid=5f9ff09d35b2a9396fa3050daf459102
Montoy-Wilson M, (2015) Three Ways to Encourage Growth Mindset. Retrieved from: https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2015/08/14/encourage-a-growth-mindset-perts/
4. Embrace Collaborative Learning: When students work effectively with others, their engagement is consequently amplified (Wentzel, 2009), mostly due to experiencing a sense of connection to others during the activities (Deci & Ryan, 2000).

5. Establish Positive Teacher-Student Relationships: When students form close and caring relationships with their teachers, they are fulfilling their developmental need for a connection to others and someone they care about. Teacher-student relationships can be facilitated by:
• Caring about students' social and emotional needs
• Holding positive attitudes and enthusiasm
• Increasing one-on-one time with students
• Treating students fairly
• Avoiding the use of deception or promise breaking. (James, 2014)

6. Promote Mastery Orientations: When students pursue an activity because they want to learn and understand (i.e. mastery orientations), rather than simply to obtain a good grade, look smart, please parents, or outperform peers (i.e. performance orientations), their engagement is more likely to be full and thorough (Anderman & Patrick, 2012).
Ways to encourage this mastery orientation mindset:
Framing success in terms of learning rather than performance
Placing the emphasis on individual progress by reducing social comparison (e.g. making grades private) and recognizing student improvement and effort
How to end an engaging lesson:

1. Exit Tickets
An exit ticket allows students to recap their learning and provide a student self-analysis or open communication about what they have discovered through the lesson. (Sztabnik, 2015)

2. Mimic Social Media
The digital world's spirit of collaboration and connection can be replicated in the physical classroom, as bulletin boards become mock social media spaces to share ideas. In the final four minutes, you can challenge students to compose a tweet or find an image best capturing the learning that occurred. (Sztabnik, 2015)

3. Post-It Power
Have students write one thing that they learned from someone else in class on a Post-it note and stick it to the chalkboard. At the start of the next day, read these notes aloud. This affirms that a classroom is a community of learners and validates participation because it does so much more than answer a question -- it helps others understand more deeply. (Sztabnik, 2015)

Anderman, E. M., & Patrick, H. (2012). Achievement goal theory, conceptualization of ability/intelligence, and classroom climate. In S. Christenson, A. Reschly, & C. Wylie (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Student Engagement (pp. 173-191). New York, NY: Springer.

Block, J. (2013). Planning for Engagement: 6 Strategies for the Year. What Works In Education. Edutopia.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The "what" and "why" of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227–268.

Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Balantine Books.

Dweck, C. (2015). The power of believing that you can improve. Ted.com. Retrieved 26 October 2015, from https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve

Edsurge.com,. (2015). 4 Ways to Encourage a Growth Mindset in the Classroom. Retrieved 26 October 2015, from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2014-10-24-4-ways-to-encourage-a-growth-mindset-in-the-classroom

Edutopia,. (2015). Developing a Growth Mindset in Teachers and Staff. Retrieved 26 October 2015, from http://www.edutopia.org/discussion/developing-growth-mindset-teachers-and-staff

Fredricks, J. A., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Paris, A. H. (2004). School engagement: Potential of the concept, state of the evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74(1), 59-109.

James, N. (2014). Golden Rules for Engaging Students in Learning Activities. What Works In Education. Edutopia.

The Adolescent Literacy – A Professional Learning Resource for Literacy, Grades 7-12 (2012),
Social Sciences and Humanities Ontario Curriculum 9-12 2013 https://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/ssciences9to122013.pdf

Attached you will find various external resources for teachers for developing a growth mindset in your classroom. This document includes activities, lesson plans, articles of interest to learn more about the growth mindset, and videos.
Subject Specific Connections
Connection to English
Thank You for Viewing our Presentation!
Yeager, D., & Dweck, C. (2012). Mindsets That Promote Resilience: When Students Believe That Personal Characteristics Can Be Developed. Educational Psychologist, 47(4), 302-314. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2012.722805

7mindsets.com,. (2015). 6 Strategies For Teaching the Growth Mindset. Retrieved 26 October 2015, from http://7mindsets.com/growth-mindset/



Wentzel, K. R. (2009). Peers and academic functioning at school. In K. Rubin, W. Bukowski, & B. Laursen (Eds.), Handbook of peer interactions, relationships, and groups. Social, emotional, and personality development in context (pp. 531-547). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

References Continued
Park, Chris. (2003). Engaging Students in the Learning Process: the learning journal. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Vol 27, No. 2, 183-199.
Sec-ed.co.uk,. (2015). Teaching strategies to create 'growth' mindsets. Retrieved 26 October 2015, from http://www.sec-ed.co.uk/best-practice/teaching-strategies-to-create-growth-mindsets/
Sztabnik, B. (2015). The 8 Minutes That Matter Most. What Works in Education. Edutopia.
References Continued
The underlying theme of the language curriculum for grade 7 and 8 involves the development of language in order to support students' "intellectual, social, and emotional growth" (Ministry of Education, 2006). Through becoming literate language learners, students are understanding the power of language and can use this knowledge to create meaning and make connections to the world around them. The language curriculum is based on the belief that all students can become literate. In order to support this, having a growth mindset is essential so that students understand that language develoment is a process, which they can continually improve upon by immersing themselves in language both in and outside of school.

In addition, the Ontario Curriculum states that "language is the basis for thinking, communicating, and learning. Students need language skills in order to comprehend ideas and information, to interact socially, to inquire into areas of interest and study, and to express themselves clearly and demonstrate their learning" (Ministry of Education, 2006). Having a growth mindset supports and provides the opportunity for students to articulate and justify their knowledge. Through maintaining a growth mindset in language, students are developing a deeper understanding both in the English language as well as an understanding about how they learn; they are developing metacognitive skills. This can then be applied to the way that students think, communciate, and learn in subjects across the curriculum, and contributes to developing the qualities of a lifelong learner.
Ontario Ministry of Education. (2006). The Ontario Curriculum Grades 1-8, Language.
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