Hack Your Classroom - Week One: Developing a growth mindset

Week One: Developing a growth (and hacker) mindset

This week we will aim to explore the idea of developing a 'growth mindset' and how it can help to support teachers becoming more innovative and moving towards 'adaptive expertise'. Below is an explanation of the concept of 'mindset' from mindesetonline.com.

What is Mindset?
Every so often a truly groundbreaking idea comes along. This is one. Mindset explains:

  • Why brains and talent don’t bring success
  • How they can stand in the way of it
  • Why praising brains and talent doesn’t foster self-esteem and accomplishment, but jeopardizes them
  • How teaching a simple idea about the brain raises grades and productivity
  • What all great CEOs, parents, teachers, athletes know

Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference.

In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

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. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.

Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports. It enhances relationships. When you read Mindset, you’ll see how.
Source: http://mindsetonline.com/whatisit/about/

Another great explanation of fixed vs. growth mindset is this often shared one:
Source: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/01/29/carol-dweck-mindset/

There is a great article on brain pickings that supports this info-graphic here:
Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Livesby Maria Popova

Keen to explore this concept more? Why not take the TEDEd lesson created by Tutor Training using video from The NCEA YouTube Channel.

Watch the video and complete the lesson here: http://ed.ted.com/on/UA77FlTc#review

Whilst the video focuses on the impact of students having a fixed or growth mindset, it is easy to translate this to the context of teacher learner. If we value looking clever, will we be as willing to take risks and learn more. I like the message that it is better to praise 'effort' than 'cleverness'. This will be our aim this term, to praise each other for effort. To encourage those taking risks and learning something new. We should expose this side to our learners. If we want them to have a growth mindset, shouldn't we be modeling it? Make sure you share your learning with your students, or even better, let them teach you!

So if this is a 'growth mindset', what makes for a 'hacker mindset'? Let's look first at the work 'hack'. 

When we talk about hacking in the context of education, I think we actually mean a combination of the first two - we take education and 'cut, chop, hew', and we 'gain unauthorized access to data in a system', the system being that or the 'industrial age education system' which break into and shake up. It could be argued that one needs a 'growth mindset' if they wish to 'hack your classroom'. This video, again from the perspective of a learner, demonstrates beautifully how and why we need to hack education.

For me personally, the ideas of 'growth mindset' and 'hacker mindset', is simply adopting the Richard Branson mindset - 'screw it, just do it'. What's the worst that can happen? We can fail and move forward. But more importantly, what's the best that can happen? You can engage your students, raise student outcomes and you can learn something new along the way. 

Finally as we move through the #hackyrclass project I think we can learn a lot from Henry Ford...

Source: http://www.liftingrevolution.com/

And just for the record, I think you can!

Remember to share your blogpost and tweets, with the hashtags #hackyrclass #growthmindset


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