Growth Mindset has been a big buzzword in the school community lately, so I started to read a little more about it to educate myself. It is an idea originating from Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. She proposes that in a fixed mindset, people believe their best qualities, such as intelligence, are fixed, and that talent is enough to bring success in life, regardless of effort. However, with a shift towards a growth mindset, it’s the evolving qualities of a love of learning and resilience that brings true success in life. This sounds an awful lot like advice my mom gave me when I was growing up- work hard, love what you do and never stop learning.
As I continued to research, the google rabbit trail also landed me on related Youtube videos for Class Dojo. Our school has been using this system for a few years and the kids LOVE earning dojo points for expected behaviors and bonus, it aligns with our PBIS goals. A light went on in my head, like in the last few moments of the movie “The Sixth Sense” when all the puzzle pieces click together, and it became clear! I may be simplifying it, but these concepts are all related to social language concepts. Flexibility, resilience, emotional IQ, understanding hidden and spoken rules, working in groups, whole body listening, it’s all there (even if it’s called something else).
A complementary piece of this Growth Mindset curriculum would be Sarah Ward and Kristen Jacobsen’s approach to working on executive function skills. Their guided map of starting with a solution and working the steps backwards rather than handing students a checklist, allows the students to problem solve and learn the tools to become resilient learners in the classroom (and beyond)! Zones of Regulation would also be a nice fit into this process as well, allowing our students to integrate self regulation and emotional resilience into their toolbox of life skills. Can you imagine a classroom that embedded all of these strategies into the day? Wow, I sure would want to learn in an environment like that!
What is your school using to support your student’s learning and positive behavior?