Happy New Year Everyone!
As we reach mid-January though, it really isn't our new year in education is it? For us, it is Happy Mid-Year! And our main task as we transition from one Semester (or term) to the next, is to ask, how are we doing, and what mid-course direction do we need to take to best improve and impact student learning?
I have often referenced Stanford professor Carol Dweck’s application of Fixed and Growth “Mindsets” of students in the classroom (2007), but now Dweck applies her mindset theory to us as teachers. The critical question, it seems to me is this: If I have a fixed mindset about my ability as a teacher, is it possible for me to make mid-course directions and grow in my ability to teach over the rest of this 2014-2015 school year and beyond? Can I really have a “New” year?
The answer is good news: A Resounding YES!
The following excerpt (boxed in) is taken from the Marshall Memo – a weekly K-12 educational research brief I would encourage readers to check it out. The author – Kim Marshall – does a terrific job addressing a variety of educational research summaries each week.
Here is what he had to say about Dwecks’ recent article, Teachers’ Mindsets: Every Student Has Something to Teach Me in Educational Horizons, December 2014/January 2015 (Vol. 93, p. 10-14), www.edhorizons.org
By the way, at the end of this blog, is a link to a mindset "test". Sixteen questions. See how you do!
Marshall then states: “Dweck suggests taking the mindset test http://bit.ly/MindsetTest to get a handle on the specific areas where you can change your thinking about growth and achievement.”
I would concur. It seems to me, that in a profession and a professional learning community culture, that asks your team to pursue ways to improve our work, the hope rests in the possibility we can all become Growth Mindset teachers and leaders.